Fashionable Return to Innocence

Katie Zarrella

It’s nearly impossible to open a paper or turn on the television and not hear about the corruption of modern society. Many of today’s leaders say we are growing up in immoral times filled with sex, drugs and sin, and that all innocence is lost. They’re absolutely wrong. Innocence isn’t lost, it’s just been hiding in the sketchbooks of today’s top designers, and they’ve decided to save our souls this summer with their heavenly collections.

Okay, so maybe the clothes of Summer ’06 aren’t the key to redemption, but there’s no doubt that the innocent look is in. Runways were filled with white, while almost every shirt, skirt and dress was crocheted, lace or eyelet. Designers focused on looks that suggest youth and purity but still have a sophisticated edge. So even though this summer is a return to innocence, you’ll look hotter than hell in these lacy styles.

Lovely in lace, Michael Kors’ ecru long sleeve V-neck dress is sweet and sexy. Romantic is the word that comes to mind when you look at this dress’ large satin bow, empire waist and wide flowing sleeves. On the hanger, it may look like a frock fit for a pure princess, but the upper-thigh length skirt and plunging neckline would certainly cause controversy amongst the lords and ladies of the Court. An air of innocence is certainly present in this dress. The lace, satin and fit create a look that’s almost angelic, but these innocent elements make the dress secretly sexy.

Vivienne Tam’s white silk chiffon peony-appliqu?e dress is innocence at its best. There’s nothing revealing or overtly racy about this sundress; it’s girly, it’s flirty, it’s even tea-party appropriate – but that’s what makes it so hot. Fitted on-top and high-waisted, this dress hits at mid-thigh and is as pure as the driven snow. Floral cutouts give the dress a look that resembles Battenberg lace, and the unevenly cut shoulder straps are a far departure from what you’d find on your ordinary sundress. Tam’s dress is a simple statement that looks luscious with no added impurities; but if you like a little corruption in your style, spice this dress up with some bright shoes or a bold-colored bag.

ABS’s eyelet dress is very innocent, but in a bohemian chic kind of way. The dress is crisp with a V-neck and spaghetti straps. A slightly fitted bodice ends below the hips, and the tiered, ruffled skirt shows just a little knee. The dress has somewhat of a gypsy look, but the skirt, eyelet design and a small bow on the bodice make for a soft and feminine look.

Dolce and Gabbana’s entire summer line is whimsical and heavily innocence-influenced, and its white eyelet tank is no exception. This tight tank is held up by two thick scalloped trim straps. A more heavily scalloped sweetheart neckline is accented by eyelets and the two-tiered peplum waist balances out the shirt. Cut almost like a corset, this shirt is certainly sultry, but the eyelets and scallops tone down its classic Dolce and Gabbana sex appeal to create an innocent feel.

Joie’s Could Be Top is light and relaxed. Made of semi-sheer gauze, this long, loose tie-halter top has a thick crocheted V-neck and an unfinished bottom. You’ll feel like you’re floating when you throw this top on with casual rolled jeans and flip flops or fitted denim and heels for a dressier look.

With its capped sleeves and an empire waist, Miss Sixty’s Rory eyelet top is unarguably innocent. Empire waists give off a renaissance maiden vibe and the cute capped sleeves are pretty and almost peasant like with their subtle poof.

Another piece that brings back last summer’s bohemian look is BCBG’s white crocheted silk sweater. Baggy all around with a fitted waistband and long, droopy sleeves, BCBG’s sweater is accented by abstract flower cutouts on the chest and sleeves. The crochet work is very modern, but still maintains this season’s innocent look.

Embodying everything about this season’s innocent trend is Elie Tahari’s eyelet Mara skirt. Two layers of scalloped chiffon make up this elegant white, knee length skirt. As if the skirt’s modest length, a line cut and flowing material didn’t make it innocent enough, it’s topped off by a bow that ties at the waist. Wear this sweeter than sugar skirt, and you’ll be cute as a button!

It’s hard to be good all the time and, let’s face it, sometimes us Colgate girls can be downright devilish. It might take you a while to completely cleanse your karma, but, thanks to this summer’s innocent looks, at least your clothes can have good moral fiber.