Boudoir Goes Beyond the Bedroom

Let’s just put it like this: a woman’s whereabouts and place of personal reflection have always been of intrigue. The minute an IGTV video of our favourite celebrity’s bag contents pops up, there we go voyeuristic-ally peeking into their hold-alls for whatever secret lip gloss they might use for that perfect pout. So, when curiosity around the ‘boudoir’ (French for a woman’s bedroom or private salon) caught the imagination of fashion, thereto began a whole trend filled with the loftiest, see-the-world-through diaphanous sheer and corseted confections. Fast forward to 2019, and the trend has gone through its own share of evolution over time. In seasons past, of course, we’ve seen the lingerie-inspired pieces resurface on runways, but now we are seeing them out—and at all hours—in the real world.

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Madonna in Like a Prayer

One part dishabille, two parts glamorous, remember Madonna’s chocolate-brown slip dress from Like A Prayer? Her boudoir style dressing was a first in the innerwear-as-outwear trend. Followed by Alexander Wang, who brought out sleep sets as daily uniforms at New York Fashion Week only a couple of years ago. And now, rather than an out-of-bed lady of leisure look, boudoir no longer belongs in the bedroom, but rather worn on top of denim jeans, power-paired with leather and spikes and layered atop your favourite jammies (as seen at Jonathan Simkhai). At Dries Van Noten, a sequin speckled slip dress came topped off with a tissue-like organza, while at Balmain, marabou trimmings circled a white sheer jacket.  Both looks you’d imagine German-American actress Marlene Dietrich wearing in The Blue Angel (1930). But to bring it into the now, Van Noten added space-silver metallic boots and Olivier Rousteing brought punk accents.

Jonathan Simkhai, Boudoir, Fashion, Luxury, Designer Collections, Slip Dress, Lace
Jonathan Simkhai

But beyond the runway, IRL, celebrities dare to bare. You just have to look at Irina Shayk in the pages of Vogue Spain, sun-soaking in a strappy bralet, or Priyanka Chopra Jonas wearing a twinset with delicate frills dotting its hems.

Boudoir, Fashion, Luxury, Designer Collections, Slip Dress, Lace
Priyanka Chopra seen wearing a twinset

Whether on the catwalk or during catnaps, one thing is abundantly clear: The after-hours staple is far too chic to be confined to the sheets.