Sheer Fashion Is in Style for Men, Too

Bare limbs were big news throughout the spring 2023 menswear season, with many designers putting an emphasis on shorts and tank tops and skimping out on fabric in the process.

When fabric was used, chances were it was either opaque or completely transparent, allowing guys the chance to catch up on the naked-dressing trend that’s been saturating womenswear for some time.

Burc Akyol, one of this year’s LVMH prize finalists, presented options for both in his first coed runway show during which WWD’s London Bureau Chief Samantha Conti took note of the French-born Turkish designer’s deft hand as sheer knits and mousseline capes wafted through one of Paris’ open-air courtyards.

See-through evening tops were also spotted at Saint Laurent, DSqaured2 and Courrèges, where creative director Nicolas Di Felice worked printed mesh into a bodysuit so the gradient colors appeared to be spray-painted directly onto flesh.

“Many brands embraced a broad degree of body-baring garments and spare tailored underpinnings to meet a growing desire and comfort level of the men’s customer,” said senior men’s fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman, Bruce Pask.

Conceptual clubwear brand Lazaoschmidl, for example, took inspiration from AI renderings of a gay summer holiday leading to a finale of clear ponchos worn over Speedo-style swim trunks. They “left little to the imagination, which works if you are in a sudden downpour, or drenched in sweat as if in a club,” wrote WWD general assignment editor Rhonda Richford in her review.

AI was also used to generate show notes at Doublet, where designer Masayuki Ino layered tissue-paper thin trousers over shorts, a styling trick picked up by Denzilpatrick’s Daniel Gaye as well.

Technical tailoring emerged as one of the season’s most directional uses of transparent fabrics.

Chinese sportswear giant Li Ning returned to the runway after a three-year hiatus, taking over the Center Pompidou to showcase a collection filled with transparent suits and trench coats. WWD London/China market editor Tianwei Zhang liked these to the one Christian Bale’s character wears in “American Psycho.”

And for his Emporio Armani collection, Giorgio Armani showed hooded jackets with utility pockets and drawstring waists in mauve-colored gossamer fabrics, while Walter van Beirndonck cut an opaque flight suit that hinted at underwear underneath.