When Villanelle wore that bubblegum pink, frothy tulle, gown by British designer Molly Goddard in the first season of Killing Eve, tulle officially became cool.
And yet, while there’s been a movement – largely underpinned by Goddard’s genius creations – over the last few years to reclaim femininity and embrace frou-frou dresses, the fabric hasn’t really been seen in daywear.
This summer, fashion is wholeheartedly embracing tulle’s super sheer and slinky sister, silk organza. And it’s the perfect OTT-yet-underdressed way to bring a serving of sass – and an inevitable slip o’ the nip – to your summer wardrobe.
It all started at Prada’s autumn 2018 show, when an array of ultra-wearable neon organza silhouettes were sent down the runway. From angular patchwork tulle overlays on functional midi skirts to an electric orange tulle bow trailing behind a khaki coat, Miuccia Prada made a material traditionally associated with occasion dressing, instantly appropriate for any occasion. For their spring 2019 collections, brands like Rejina Pyo, Sandy Liang and Rodarte all went big on daywear organza separates in the prettiest of pastels.
For his autumn 2019 show, Dries Van Noten made the fabric office-appropriate, by layering the sheerest of loose-fit embroidered organza blouses over structured tailoring.
Zara has, as ever, also been quick to catch on, with a summer 2019 collection bursting with Prada-esque organza bow blouses and sheer shirts in an array of gorgeous jewel hues. In fact, it would seem we are all on the hunt for diaphanous delights, as Google searches for ‘organza blouse’ have risen 1280 per cent in 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018.
Net-a-Porter has also noticed a 60 per cent increase in searches for ‘organza’ in the last year, with searches for ‘organza dress’ up a whopping 227 per cent. As a result, the online retailer is increasing its organza offering by over 25 per cent for autumn, with some exciting sheer pieces coming in from new brands such Maison Cleo, Nanushka and exclusives by Maggie Marilyn.
For this season, Net-a-Porter has found that Mui Mui and Prada’s organza offerings have been super popular, but some of the bestselling organza items have been from smaller brands: shirts by Matin, maxi dresses by Lee Mathews and trend-led suit separates by Rejina Pyo, especially the neon blue blazer.
Hungarian brand Nanushka has some seriously cool utilitarian lilac trousers, shirts and trench coats dropping for autumn. Brand founder and creative director Sandra Sandor set out to flip the fabric’s feminine connotations on their head. “Organza has a beautiful and luxurious feel and it's often used for evening wear,” she says. “I wanted to experiment with it and put it in a more modern context, so I combined this elegant fabric with work wear and sportswear elements, for example the organza trousers have a traditional jeans cut. I found the process very interesting and I love the outcome.”
Another designer making hay while the organza sun shines is Parisian Mélanie Pothron. Unlike Nanushka, her brand, Aurore Van Milhem, embraces uber-femininity to make beautiful ruffle-collared super sheer organza blouses from the fabric leftover by the great Parisian couture houses.
“It’s my favourite material,” says Pothron. “I’ve been obsessed with silk organza since I was a child! I just love everything about it, the transparency and the lightness, how easy it is to work with.”
Pothron, who makes all the pieces herself, by hand, and to order, believes the attraction of organza to be its ethereal quality. “I think this kind of material allows the woman wearing it to dream, while feeling incredibly feminine and powerful,” she says. “It transforms a woman into a living and breathing goddess!”
Don’t believe her? Check out these mega organza moments…