With the ability to reveal everything and nothing all at once, the juxtaposition and versatility of the catsuit is what makes the second-skin garment so alluring. From timeless to trendy, the unitard never fails to make a full body statement.
With Hailey Bieber opting for a sleek black velvet Saint Laurent bodysuit for her 25th birthday celebration last night, she joins a slew of A-listers slipping into the singularly form-fitting ensembles. With designers like Richard Quinn and LaQuan Smith infiltrating celebrity wardrobes, their bold skin-tight designs have been seen on the likes of Anya Taylor-Joy, Kylie Jenner, and Dua Lipa. Though recently, no one has made a case for the catsuit quite like Miss Kim Kardashian. During her Saturday Night Live debut, the beauty mogul donned a plethora of one-piece Balenciaga concoctions by none other than the inimitable creative director Demna Gvasalia.
While the catsuit has always been divisive in nature, it has been a party-staple since the original Catwoman slipped into her suit in the 1940s. With Zoë Kravitz reprising the role in 2022’s The Batman, her snug uniform has been pervasive as ever.
Emitting a particular strength, the curve-hugging look has been associated with the trope of the sexually empowered woman. Sometimes considered a femme fatale of sorts, othertimes a full-on dominatrix, the catsuit found its mainstream glory in the midst of the 1960s social movement, the sexual revolution with designs from André Courrèges.
Taking over the collections of Christian Cowan, Halpern, Prada, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Mugler, Tom Ford, and Marine Serre, the catsuit has proven to stand the test of time. While many of these various iterations are distinctively modern, with avant-garde silhouettes and unexpected cut-outs or bold prints, the garment itself represents the classic catsuit’s reemergence to the style zeitgeist, still as earth-shattering and as jaw-dropping as ever before.
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