Sexy & Sheer

As we mentioned in Look Forward to: Spring 09 Trends, filmy fabrics are on our fashion radar this season and we've already detected their presence on several of our favourite trendsetters. Rather than simply selecting flowy, diaphanous pieces, these red carpet regulars are turning up the heat by choosing body-conscious frocks with transparent details for a look that's sheer and sexy.

Never one to play it safe, Alice Dellal recently pulled off a particularly risqué version of the look at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York City. Dellal turned heads in Alexander Wang's body-hugging Stretch Netting Embroidered Dress ($955) and a pair of peep-toe platform booties from Wang's new footwear collection-a straight-from-the-runway combo that definitely pushes the envelope.

Both Lindsay Lohan and Hana Soukupova also sported little black dresses sexed up with see-through elements for the premiere of Madonna's film, Filth and Wisdom, in NYC a few months ago. Since Dolce & Gabbana hosted the event, the starlets were each appropriately dressed in the designers' creations and patent footwear. A slightly-less-envelope-pushing interpretation of this trend was demonstrated by the lovely Emma Watson at the Los Angeles premiere of The Tales of Despereaux. Watson beamed in a stunning navy blue dress by the up-and-coming designer William Tempest and lace-up peep-toe heels. The invariably well-dressed young actress made an excellent choice with this dress: the silhouette is modest while the slightly sheer bodice and sleeves are a bit daring. The result is a look that's both age-appropriate and edgy-always an excellent combination!

While not all of us have the sylph-like physiques that it takes to pull off these form-fitting, mostly-transparent ensembles, there are several pieces with more subtle sheer attributes to consider. For instance, Milly's Paillette Shift Dress ($280) and Rag & Bone's Zhora Dress ($150) both offer effective, subtle renditions of the trend. You may also consider a frock of a lighter colour, like Pencey's Deco Dress ($428). If you want to apply the trend to your work wardrobe, just remember that a little sheer goes a long way! Try pairing Valentino Roma's Sheer Knit Top icon ($690) with a blazer, or even consider layering Alexander Wang's Knit Tank ($425) with a thin tank and a cardigan, for an unexpected and sophisticated ensemble.-Jessica Amento

Photo of Emma Watson, Splash News.