THE psychologist who spoke
of clothes as "a perpetual blush upon the surface of humanity" might have found something to blush about himself if he had attended the recent fashion collections in Paris and Rome.
There were shirts moulded to naked bosoms, powder puffs and ostrich feathers playing the parts usually reserved for figleaves and coyly-crossed arms.
Some outfits were described as pretty, others vulgar and the people who saw them for the first time were the Fashion Editors, those arbiters of what you and I should or should not wear.
Individuals to a woman, they had different views on the nudity trend in fashion. Some thought it was just another example of young people's desire for freedom. Others that there was little in the collections either elegant or flattering.
If nude fashions catch on dare we hope that only those who look good in the seminude wilt wear the see-through styles? Or are we in for a minibra saga to take the place of the mini-skirt? To find out what the experts thought I asked the fashion correspondents to give me their personal views on the naked look.
Tall, slim and energetically American Serena Sinclair, Fashion Editor of the Daily Telegraph, views the trend with the sad air of a romantic born into the wrong age.
"l'm baffled by the nude shows," she said. "I feel I'm the only one out of step. I don't seem to go to the sort of parties where anyone wears a see-through dress or parades a naked bosom. All I know is I don't like it. Six months ago the nudity look was pretty with masses of black, floating chiffon drifting in an airy sense of mystery—art Isadora Duncan look, which is lovely.
This time everthing is cut so close to the body.
"Tough, aggressive fashion has been the key for the last few years. Now, when we are expecting something soft and feminine, we get this—sick different instead of tough different. It's all too jokey for words and the joke is on
"Nudity is prettiest when suggested, merely boring when blatant."
Ernestine Carter, Fashion Editor of the Sunday Times, views the new ideas with her customary air of stylish equanimity. Formidably chic and always irreproachably turned out, her dispassionate attitude is one of style rather than feeling.
"Nudity in fashion isn't really so overwhelming—the see.through look began in Paris four or five years ago. I think it's a healthy sign against constructive clothing, especially if it makes people more conscious of their bodies and keeping them in shape. The danger is that too many people with nothing worth showing off will take to it."
Prudence Glynn, Fashion Editor of The Times, feels that this is exactly what will happen. "The naked aspects of fashion are going to provide a marvellous opportunity for bad taste," she said, "and my objections are based purely on aesthetic grounds. There has always been nudity in fashion," she added with an obvious air of authority. "It's always been a fact that high-class women