Cutout Dresses

One of Woody Allen's alter egos once said that relationships are like sharksÂ--they've got to move forward to surviveÂ--a simile that is just as applicable to fashion as it is to love. Following the progression of a trend is always fascinating, whether it's watching the way Rodarte's cobweb tights turned into diamond-cut leather leggings or seeing how one strong collection featuring exposed zippers can launch a thousand YKK-embellished imitators. In addition to watching designers evolve, we also pay close attention to the way trends and key pieces develop. Right now, the body-con dress is topping our observation chart, as this snug silhouette transitioned into a daring shape for spring. While some runways showed fitted frocks with sheer details, the most daring designers simply did away with fabric all together! We're fascinated with the results, some of which we explore in this month's Obsession du Jour: Cutout Dresses.

We saw numerous iterations of these snipped-and-clipped dresses on so many spring runways, it's impossible to discuss them all. Instead, we're just going to give you a handful of highlights, please check them out at your leisure. Don't miss the slivers of skin at Narciso Rodriguez (shown above) or the sensuous looks at Givenchy, including the Crisscross Mini Sweater Dress ($681). Even Stella McCartney offered a version of the cutout frock with her Woven Strap Dress ($2395), modeled above by Lily Donaldson at a party in Paris.

Though there is a certain aggressive sexiness inherent in the cutout dress, as we researched this story, we found that there is a surprisingly wide range of styles available. Whether you prefer a punk look (try the safety-pinned tank dress from Stolen Girlfriends Club), something a bit sportier (Opening Ceremony's version is slightly scuba chic), or a sharply designed frock (hello Herve Leger!), surely there's one that fits your personal taste. Of course, you can always go the "classic" route as well and grab a bandage-style update of Demi Moore's Thierry Mugler-designed Indecent Proposal dress. Whatever you pick, you'll certainly be a cut above the rest!


H&M Crisscross Dress ($50)
We always adore H&M for its spot-on style, but they really killed it with this Crisscross Dress. It recalls the strap-happy frocks Cindy Crawford favored back in the early nineties. (Remember her bad-girl Barbarella moment in black Versace at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards? Too hot!) This ultra-affordable cutout dress has a similar style and makes a strong statement. In short: we love the hint o' bondage!

Stolen Girlfriends Club No Safety Dress ($162)
If your style tends to run towards the punkish/Alice Dellal side of things, make sure you check out the pin-decorated dress by the Kiwi brand, Stolen Girlfriends Club. The white cotton tank is certainly edgy and really should only be attempted by those with abs of steel and an attitude to match.

Herve Leger Bandage Minidress ($990)
As professional red-carpet watchers, we've come to the conclusion that it's nearly impossible to find a celebrity event without also spotting a Herve Leger dress. After all, bandage-style frocks and bodacious starlets go hand in hand! Accordingly, we can't wait to see who wears the daring and dangerous Cutout Minidress, shown above. The sharply slashed dress is just a hot slice of naughtiness and deserves an equally sublimely shaped owner.

Scout Bra-Cup Dress ($180)
The Los Angeles boutique Scout is beloved by in-the-know shoppers and trendsetting tastemakers alike for its well-edited collection of new and vintage clothing. The shop's in-house line is always smartly designed and at a great price point, as you can probably tell from the sleek style of their Bra-Cup Dress.

Opening Ceremony Zip-Up Lattice Dress ($450)
We've found a slew of perfect pieces at Opening Ceremony lately, including this zip-front dress. Available in blue, as shown, or black, the bustier-style bodice is smart and slightly sporty, while the provocative, woven back is quite memorable.

Runway image from First View.
EXPLORE: Lily Donaldson, Givenchy, Rodarte, Narsico Rodriguez, Obsession du Jour
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