Moda   Tendências  

English Version | Eyes wide shut

05 May 2023
By Ana Murcho

Sheer, corsets, slip dresses, ultra-luxurious robes, lingerie. From the bedroom the street, the hot season is dressed with indecent proposals.

Sheer, corsets, slip dresses, ultra-luxurious robes, lingerie. From the bedroom the street, the hot season is dressed with indecent proposals.

It went viral on TikTok, where it was quickly dubbed the “I want to kill my husband robe”, despite being presented as a piece for brides (Woman's Feather Bridal Robe). One of the first users to have it justified the purchase as follows: “Do I need this? Not at all. Am I going to buy it and pretend I live in a mansion with five chihuahuas while drinking champagne? Absolutely.” This silk and feather robe, available in 39 colors and four sizes, is on sale on Amazon for just over a hundred dollars - it is not, however, one of those “normal” deals, since it is usually customized according to each customer's wishes, making delivery time longer than usual. It is the height of excess and glamour, a mix of Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight (1933), Bette Davis in Stage Fright (1950), Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her (1992), Joan Cusack in Addams Family Values (1993), and Lizzo on the red carpet of the 2022 BET Awards. I discovered it in May last year, when I finally succumbed to the power of TikTok, and have had the image of an “I want to kill my husband robe” on my Amazon wishlist ever since. Like the aforementioned shopper, I am well aware that I don't need this robe for anything - other than to satisfy a personal whim, and validate a notion of empowerment that may not make sense to anyone else - and that there will be few occasions when I will wear it.

Still, there is something very powerful in the image evoked by this piece, which takes us back to other, more refined times, when the robe was an essential element of a woman's closet. If by chance we turned into a very rich socialite who suddenly decided to kill her husband, which we would do discreetly, of course, this is what be what we would be wearing when the police came to our house - a wonderful marabou robe, a glass of whiskey, eyes smoky with pain, elegantly combed hair, and the most intense perfume in the closet. It didn't happen, but it certainly could have happened. At least that's what the buyers of this (unusual) must-have guarantee. “I want to run for Congress with this thing”, an American woman wrote on Amazon in January 2021, accompanying herself with a photo showing off her lush pink robe. “This is everything the TikTok videos said it was. You can do more than murder your husband, you can do anything in this robe. It makes me feel like a goddess.” That's precisely the point of the boudoir trend, which was seen in several Spring/Summer 2023 shows: Prada, Acne Studios, Alaïa, Victoria Beckham, Simone Rocha, No21, Versace, Valentino... It's a style we associate with 1950s Hollywood, when the great actresses were larger-than-life divas and strutted around the studios with abnormal doses of pizzazz. Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor are some of the names that represent the opulence and excess of this look, which relies on luxurious, highly seductive pieces and textures (silk, satin, lace, organza).

Enticing, but with a nuance: the boudoir of the new millennium is sexy and non-sexualized. The self-determination we now see on the catwalks is intended, above all, to grace women, not men - whose gaze determined, for too many decades, how the female body was undressed and dressed. Look at Rihanna in 2014, on the red carpet of the CFDA Awards, wearing an Adam Selman dress made entirely of Swarovski crystals. One of the best fashion moments of the decade? Without a doubt. Last year, the Met Gala after-party also witnessed the relevance of this trend: Bella Hadid, in Burberry, and Kendall Jenner, in Prada, appeared in black lace dresses overflowing with sensuality. In October, Florence Pugh - who has already shown that she is not afraid to take risks when it comes to clothes - appeared stunning at the presentation of the film The Wonder, in London, in a salmon Valentino Haute Couture that looked like a tribute to Bette Davis. Given Miss Pugh's recent appearances this was yet another way for the actress to say, loud and clear, that now is the time for women to use (and abuse) their femininity. Whether or not they then murder their husbands is secondary. Not least because it's not convenient to get your robe dirty.

Translated from the original on The Pleasure Isse, published May 2023.

Ana Murcho By Ana Murcho


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