Redefining Femininity with Tulle
When we say tulle, most of us think of wedding dresses, veils, ballet-dancer-tutus, and overall everything frilly and puffy. In some ways, people’s preconceived notions about this fabric reflect similar themes in femininity and women as well, such as how ballet is still considered to be a more “girly hobby” and how girls are represented by the color pink (sugar and spice and everything nice, after all). However, many have stepped up to combat gender stereotypes these days, choosing to redefine previously set standards. These trends of cultural, social, and political awareness have their influence in the realm of fashion as well.
This summer, designers and fashion lovers alike are turning to tulle to say something that goes beyond its historically saccharine connotation.
You could say that we’re in the middle of something like a “tulle takeover.” While some designers are falling back on the more romantic and soft inspiration of tulle, others have taken a rather rebellious interpretation to the fabric. Whichever style they’ve turned to, however, it’s easy to see that tulle has undergone a major fashion makeover.
All eyes on the queen of tulle, Molly Goddard! Goddard has built her brand on this very fabric since her first show in 2014, and her Spring/Summer 2017 collection certainly did not disappoint. The young London-based designer threw an all-out rave, with playful smocking and sensual ruching techniques, rainbow-neon sweaters, and of course, tulle—everywhere.
We all knew Goddard would deliver, but it’s also a treat to see other designers’ takes on tulle as well. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first ever woman creative director of Christian Dior, used tulle as a powerful expression of femininity in her debut show for the brand. One of the most memorable pieces from her collection is the “We should all be feminists” tee paired with the black tulle skirt that swept the floor (and the audience away!).
Similarly, the designer duo for Marques ‘ Almeida incorporated tulle in their punk, street attitude-filled SS 2017 collection, bringing an array of puffed out tulle sleeves on t-shirts and a stunning denim two-piece with tulle accents.
Saint Laurent’s Vaccarello also incorporated bits of tulle to put a racy spin on tuxedo dresses in his edgy, black-dominated collection.
Despite being rather delicate to work with, tulle looked anything but in these brands’ pieces, instead evoking confidence and adding to the strength of the collections.
For the fashion avids out there hoping to hop on this new trend, the trick is to leave behind previous associations of tulle with idealized femininity. Whether you’re rocking tulle in a blushing pink top or a tough black skirt, push the boundaries of this fabric, and wear it to fit your style, whatever that may be!