If early signs are any indication, we suggest you enroll in an ab class pronto. The most daring look to emerge from the Paris runways so far is all about exposing the midriff. Yes, that curious domain of the belly-button is being paraded around as a new erogenous zone not seen since its heyday in the late eighties, when it featured in countless hair-band videos, teenage rom-coms and Jazzersice videos. And the most surprising part? It’s not from who you’d expect. Here’s a round-up of the best so far, and a word of caution: think new proportion, not biker slut.
Ever-ladylike, Rochas went naughty French maid with a series of frothy baby-doll dresses with peek-a-boo midsections. Dries Van Noten’s intoxicating ode to South Beach delivered some cougar-appropriate attire, replete with bandeau tops, sailor pants, and sheer mini-caftans. Manish Arora sent out Judy Jetson clones in futuristic crop-tops. Damir Doma shed his usual conceptual cocooning for a series of smart, navel-baring suits in citrus hues. And yes, even Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga explored that patch of skin, albeit in his own constructed way, with paneled layers. But body-con Hakaan might have had the most aspirational version, with cropped leather tops and trailing skirts, reminiscent of a young Angelina Jolie, circa Girl Interrupted. And come to think of it, tummies haven’t looked that good since.