In a counterintuitive plot twist, during the hot months of summer when most people are keen to wear as little as possible, Kim Kardashian, Julia Fox, and a smattering of other trendy celebrities and fashionistas have been stepping out, slinkily, in form-fitting unitards and bodysuits.
Several of these celebrity looks can be attributed to the hotshot fashion house Balenciaga; led by forward-thinking creative director Demna Gvasalia, the brand has lately been sending its celebrity ambassadors to photo calls sheathed in tight-fitting ensembles that reveal not an inch of skin on any appendage.
At Cannes, Isabelle Huppert killed it in a jade-green Balenciaga bodysuit, complete with matching cape and glove-like sleeves.
Kardashian, inarguably, is a major player in this trend. SKIMS, her successful shapewear brand, traffics in neutral, body-hugging garments designed to flatter and contain the body. (She’s had less luck with other ventures: Skkn, Kardashian’s skincare brand, just got slapped with a trademark infringement lawsuit.)
Many of these trendy, sylphlike bodysuits are completely modest, even going so far as to cover the ankle. When paired with matching shoes, which many celebrity catsuit fans have been doing, the result is a seamless, liquid-like visual effect.
Many brands, chief among them high-end names like Mugler and more accessible options like tights manufacturer Wolford, have been in the bodysuit business for years, but the choice to bare zero flesh and essentially rock a luxury undergarment is a trend that’s very new.
“Bodywear is certainly one of the product categories that our customers appreciate the most,” Silvia Azzali, the chief commercial officer of Wolford, told The Daily Beast in a statement. “We have designs from our Essentials collection that are ever-green pieces and never go out of style, but also new models from our Trend collection that are rapidly getting our customers’ attention thanks to more contemporary and seductive shapes.”
“Bodywear is cool and sexy,” Azzali added. “They’re the ideal ‘top’ for high-waist shorts, pants and pencil skirts with no need for constant adjusting and tucking. They hug your curves, generating the perfect foundation for your looks; they are also versatile and functional and offer always a timeless elegance.”
Arguably, the celebrity pulling off the bodysuit trend best is Julia Fox, the breakout star of Uncut Gems and a hometown New York City legend. In March, Fox paired a black latex bodysuit with a silver minidress; in June, she went with a gray number with fringed detailing and cutouts. It’s also important to note that Fox is fearless: this is a woman who grocery shops in her underwear in broad daylight.
“Bodysuits are sexy. Period,” Briana Andalore, Fox’s longtime stylist and close friend, told The Daily Beast.
Plus, Andalore explained, “Shapewear makes people feel secure. It helps garments sit better and does the trick sometimes with dresses riding up. I love those high-powered Lycra materials. When I had my knitwear line, I used to infuse everything in high powered Lycra to actually give the dress more structure and a smooth appearance on the body, giving you an effect of wearing a shapewear piece without having to.”
“Julia and I, well, we’ve been wearing them since the American Apparel days and/or before they were accessible,” Andalore said. “We could just go buy one with a mini skirt or leggings and go out partying. We didn’t even need to go home; we could just pick up a look and go. That’s the beauty of bodysuits, there is something effortless about it all.”
The world is cluttered with an avalanche of options: what to watch, what to eat, who to love, where to go? There’s a convincing argument for slicking back your hair, throwing on a hot little catsuit and heading off into the night, unencumbered.
“Why hide anything anymore?” Andalore said. “All aspects of all women’s bodies are beautiful!”
Just one question: How do you pee?