And Then There Was Mesh

The fashion trends of the 1980’s had one thing in common: they were wild. Some of the first things to pop into your head when you recall that beleaguered fashion era might be spandex, excessive shoulder pads, and the hot neon looks inspired by Miami Vice.

But one trend you probably forgot about is mesh, with Madonna as fearless leader.

1980’s Madonna layered in mesh

Consider the different sources of mesh inspiration. 60’s flower power I-want-to-get-stoned-and dirty-in clothes ready for either planting or war looks; 70’s boho-chic Virgin Mary dresses and body hugging pants a la Farrah Fawcett with a hint of Sex Pistols, complete with all the Mohawk and mesh a rebellious Material Girl could stand.

We were all over the place, but are we any better now? Take a look at Gisele in Colcci (image below), and you tell me.

Gisele Bundchen for Colcci

Mesh was born of the desire to show skin post 60’s-70’s, without baring it all. In the 80’s mesh was used to add layers to popular neon crop tops in an attempt to fuse punk with the mainstream so that anyone could wear it and be hip.

The 2011 mesh trend is a recycling of older trends, coming on the tail end of  war inspired garb, 70’s “Lady of the canyon,” with just a little Sex Pistols ready to rock mixed in.

Feral Childe, spring ’11

Mesh can’t help but be edgy with its inherent industrial reference to chains, but designers for spring ’11 have decided to tone it down. Their fresh takes on the old look are tasteful and inventive. Take for instance this cone shaped mesh hat from Issey Miyaki. It provides a little ying to summer’s heavy, sun-filled yang.

Issey Miyaki, spring ’11

Loomstate’s exploration of fabric for the every-woman has us thinking more under the sea than in an underground club.

And Samantha Pleet goes all the way with her netastic floor length dress that leaves just enough to the imagination.

Samantha Pleet, spring ’11. Image from Elisa Hyman

Will all of us be wearing mesh? Probably not, but it definitely makes for texture in the closet and for fun when dressing up as an alternate to solid fabrics.

Top image: Isabel Marant, spring ’11 backstage

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.