As any Style.com devotee knows, the garter belt snapped back into the fashion industry's collective consciousness relatively recently. Model-turned-designer Erin Wasson was one of the first to officially embrace the trend back in February. For the Fall 09 presentation of Erin Wasson x RVCA, she added suspender belts and thigh-highs to black denim shorts and crushed velvet mini dresses. Wasson wasn't the only one, of course; we also noticed sly undergarment references at Richard Nicoll, boots with garters at Prada, and nearly every single look at the Christian Dior F/W 09 Couture show was accessorized with visible garter belts.
With all these runway examples, it's no wonder that the high-impact hosiery has made its way into a few very famous wardrobes. For example, one early ode to the look came from Julia Restoin-Roitfeld when she attended the Yves Saint Laurent F/W 09 show wearing a pair of Fogal stockings that were embellished with mock garters. (Her exact style is no longer available.) Much like the Henry Holland for Pretty Polly Mock Stockings Tights ($14) we mentioned in our recent Patterned Tights story, JRR's semi-sheer legwear suggests said lingerie without actually requiring any. They're the perfect choice for a body-con frock-such as the American Apparel Double U-Neck Dress ($36) Restoin-Roitfeld wore with a custom-made belt-because they give you a smooth silhouette.
Another way to achieve the look without buying full-blown lingerie is to pick up a garter-inspired article of clothing in the spirit of Daisy Lowe. The lovely Lowe was snapped at a launch party for Bolongaro Trevor wearing Agent Provocateur's Rachel Dress ($990), which is made from knit silk cashmere and comes with detachable working garters. Obviously her frock is quite pricey, but happily there are alternatives such as Natalie Encarnita's eponymous line, which includes lingerie-inspired clothes for the non-designer budget. We think her Mesh Suspender Leggings ($113) are super chic and don't miss her cheeky take on the Suspender Dress ($140).
Of course, we have a feeling that a few lingerie enthusiasts will want to commit to the full look à la Taylor Momsen and Byrdie Bell. Both ladies were snapped in today's accessory during New York Fashion Week; Momsen wore this key piece to her band's Fashion's Night Out performance, while Bell attended shows in the Bryant Park Tents in her garters. Momsen paired a Kiki De Montparnasse Boyfriend Shirt ($295), vintage Chanel black sequin hot pants, and Phi buckle booties with vintage garters and Wolford's Individual 10 Suspender Stockings ($28). Bell's directional look also features an intriguing mix of high and low: she deftly combined a sheer t-shirt from American Apparel with Brian Atwood Suede Over-The-Knee Boots ($1470) and a bottomless garter belt from Starstruck Vintage. We love the fact that Momsen and Bell opted for antique undergarments and of-the-moment accents; the resulting outfits are totally modern and fresh-just like the ladies who wear this look!
Photos of Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Byrdie Bell, and Daisy Lowe, from Getty Images; Photo of Taylor Momsen, from Splash.