When I saw the Gucci ‘twins’, in their head to toe crystal bodysuits (AKA: Unicorn Suits) pop up on every fashion insider’s Instagram, my heart almost burst. (Premonition: 2018 Festival season will be dominated by crystal encrusted bodysuits.)
I just so happened to be flipping through a 2004 Vogue Italia supplement, as normal, well adjusted people do, when I saw that Lancetti sent a full crystal bodysuit down the runway in SS/2004. I thought to myself what other amazing crystal bodysuits have I missed and most importantly, where can I find one? Wether you’re Cher going through a contentious divorce with Sonny Bono or Marilyn Monroe making everyone ask, ‘Jackie who?’ at JFK’s Birthday party, there are many to choose from.
Like all the greatest fashion trends, putting crystals on seemingly sheer things started with ladies of questionable repute. Burlesque dancers in Paris and the the Ziegfeld Follies worn racy outfits dripping with strategically placed rhinestones and glass crystal. In 1953, Marlene Dietrich asked French costume designer Jean Louis, to make her something special for her immensely popular Las Vegas show. Headlines, referencing ‘nude dress’ make of ‘skin and beads’, were made – no article forgetting to mention she was 52 at the time.
Ten years later, Marilyn Monroe came to Jean Louis for another headline making dress. In 1964, she slipped off her fur coat to sing “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy, and a shimmering icon was born. At the time, Bob Mackie was a junior illustrator for Jean Louis and sketched Marilyn’s dress. Twelve years later, in 1974, he would create a red carpet worthy crystal ‘nude illusion’ bodysuit for Cher who was in the middle of a messy divorce from Sonny Bono.
The crystal bodysuit reemerged when Theirry Mugler put Jerry Hall in his crystal Angel Dress for his 1995 runway show. But things didn’t really take off for the crystal bodysuit until 2004, first Lancetti created a full crystal bodysuit for SS2004, then BOOM, 2004 Britney Spears Toxic video. A nude Brittney dances in nothing but a thong and strategically places Swarovski crystals and the floodgates opened.
Various performers wore variations throughout the ’00s (Gaga, J. Lo etc) but in 2013 Karlie Kloss was serenaded by Taylor Swift (put a pin in that) as she walked down the Victoria’s Secret runway in a nude illusion crystal bodysuit. Then in quick succession, Beyonce wears a full crystal bodysuit during ‘Drunk In Love’ in the Bey/Jay On The Run Tour in 2014. In 2015, Taylor decided she really liked that crystal bodysuit suit her bestie wore in 2013 and has one made for her 1989 tour. Where we are back to the Gucci Twins, and the fashion circle is complete.
Get ready for the return of crystal mania my friends.
Happy Hunting, xo New It. Team