Zara's lovely – but backless – dress

FASHION NEWS

Dear high street, why does my dress not have a back? 

Thong jeans, lattice-laced swimsuits and backless dress – Frankie Graddon on the inescapable rise of the clothing cut-away  

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By Frankie Graddon on

This morning I awoke to the news that thong jeans are apparently now a thing (barf). Debuted during Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo by designer label Thibaut, the stonewashed jeans have absolutely no back, save a strip of denim that goes up your bum. They also have no front, rendering them completely useless as trousers. They are, in my opinion, pointless  – but hey, what do I know? The way to wear them? With a beige leotard.

Thibaut thong jeans
 

The arrival of thong jeans (jongs?) got me thinking about the state of clothing today. Perhaps I'm just feeling old and cranky but I am getting increasingly frustrated when, half way through a shop, I pick up a seemingly fabulous dress/shirt/jumper to discover that, oh! There’s a giant hole in it – usually where an element of my underwear should be. Why is that? Who wants this?

Yesterday I received an email from my editor, with the subject “this is the most annoying dress ever”. I clicked on the link and sat staring at a quite wonderful high-necked, long sleeve frock with a swooshy midi-length skirt. “From the front it’s GORGEOUS”, said ed, “from the back…” Uh oh, the entire back panel, from collar to waist band was missing, meaning a bra was impossible. Very annoying indeed.

We are at real risk of standing in a changing room trying on something with less surface area than a cheese string

It appears that we are in the age of the extreme cut-away. Not content with a keyhole slit here or a cold shoulder there, the fashion world has graduated to the entire removal of fronts/backs/whole sides of clothing. Cut-aways so severe, we are at real risk of standing in a changing room trying on something with less surface area than a cheese string.

It started back in March when Topshop launched the (sell out) ‘Clear Panel Mom Jeans’, a pair of cropped, high-waisted jeans that were missing the entire knee section. This was followed by a collaboration between Vetements’ and Levis, which featured a pair of jeans that had a cut-away over the bum that could be fastened or un-fastened (?!) with a zip. The cut-away calamity was confirmed when Kendall Jenner wore a pair of ‘invisible jeans’ – aka a denim crotch attached to ankle cuffs with two piddly side seams – in public.

The start of summer saw the cut-away contagion spread to swimwear. No longer a conversation about ‘one piece or two?’, the shops and our Insta-feeds were filled with slashed/plunged/peek-a-boo/lattice-laced suggestions of lycra, typically floating poolside atop an inflatable flamingo. One could only worry about the tan lines and the chafing.

And whilst the logical line of thought would be to send the cut-aways packing as soon as the temperature dropped, they appear have only accelerated. Hence me in Zara being pissed off that I can’t buy the dress I want BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HAVE A BLOODY BACK.

The answer to this unfortunate turn of sartorial events? I’m afraid I’m all out. I’m still reeling from the fact that Crocs are considered fashionable and I might have to wear a pair come spring. Ah well, at least they’ll be an appropriate accompaniment to my thong jeans.

@FrankieGraddon

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Zara's lovely – but backless – dress
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