Back in October of 2021, we (correctly) predicted that the new frontier of suiting would be the A-lister-approved catsuit. Since then, this one-and-done ensemble has become a staple in the wardrobes of the celebrity style set.
Now, the matriarch of street style and patron saint of daring, risk-taking designs—Rihanna—is proving that the lace catsuit is more than lingerie, but a high fashion must have.
In a pioneering new editorial shoot, Rihanna (and her “lil fashion killa”) graced the cover of US Vogue, donning a custom new season Alaïa catsuit designed by Pieter Mulier.
Of course, much like the Midas touch, anything Rihanna does or wears turns to gold with searches for lace catsuits spiking +191% in just two hours after the cover’s release.
According to e-tailer aggregator, Love The Sales, the Regencycore lace gloves that Rihanna also wore had an +110% increase in searches.
Of course, Rihanna’s influence over fashion certainly is no surprise. But what you may not know is how rich of a history the catsuit actually has.
From Balenciaga to Mugler, the catsuit silhouette is a tried and tested staple in the ateliers of our favourite luxury fashion houses. The high-octane, and often sexualised, one piece is a symbol of the avant-garde, theatrical and über-feminine styles of the late 80s in 90s.
For her ‘Future Nostalgia’ tour, Dua Lipa made the catsuit her trademark, donning not one but two for the occasion. Her high-voltage and fluorescent lace catsuit from Balenciaga subverted the maison’s penchant for spandex and latex one pieces.
Casey Cadwallader, Creative Director of Mugler, also created a custom cut-out catsuit complete with 120,000 crystals for the stylish pop-star. The trompe l’oeil, barely-there suit paid homage to the luxury labels archives, with the silhouette donned by Mugler muses like Bella Hadid, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell.
More recently, New York icon LaQuan Smith put his own spin on the classic design for his sky-high landmark Spring/Summer 2022 collection. The nude-illusion black lace catsuit was begging to be worn by the celebrity style set, with a pregnant Kylie Jenner snapping up the opportunity in the heartbeat.
Perhaps it was Kylie afterall who set the precedent for the lace catsuit to become a staple in a new mother’s wardrobe.
Either way, you can be assured that the lace catsuit is here to stay.
If you’re looking to try this style for yourself, keep scrolling below for seven ELLE-approved options to show now.