But did it ever really go out of style? A look back at the history of the alluring hosiery and why it’s having a moment right now. Fashion — Jan 03
As we enter the “new twenties,” there’s one trend that has endured over the past century: the fishnet stocking. Historians trace the popularization back to the early 1920s, a time when women began to expose their legs publically. Flappers, burlesque dancers, and showgirls loved the holey hosiery because the flexible material allowed the body to move more freely. The look then reemerged in the ‘50s and became widely associated with sexuality and femininity. Pinup models embraced the pattern as a wink to the viewer. It cleverly covered yet revealed, highlighting natural curves.
This rebellious spirit of the stockings further evolved in the late ‘70 and ‘80s as a way to reject mainstream fashion. Members of the punk subculture purposely ripped the holes of their pairs wider in the form of self-expression. Respected designers like Vivienne Westwood helped usher in subversive inspiration to the fashion world, and soon the biggest stars of the time (think Madonna) made fishnets part of their signature look. As the ‘90s arrived, the woven pattern was utilized for full garments beyond stockings and then quickly trickled back up onto supermodels and into the pages of Vogue.
To see how the style has become a mainstay now, one only needs to look to the streets of fashion month. Show-goers have creatively layered fishnet tights under jeans or knitwear, proving that fishnet stockings add interest and textural dimension to any outfit. Mesh-like details have also graced the recent runways of Dior, Comme des Garçons, and Tom Ford, further making a case for the refreshed modernity of the style.
It’s safe to say there’s something both edgy and glamorous about reincorporating fishnet stockings into the wardrobes of today. Not to mention the legwear is also perfect for transitional dressing, making shorter hemlines look more fall/winter-ready. How would you wear yours?