Clockwise from top left: Valentino, Lanvin, Chloe and Ann Demeulemeester floated “sheer” down their runways.

Exposed celebrities are opting for cut out/peek-a-boo as opposed to all over sheer.(Clockwise from top left) Gwen Stefani in Stella McCartney, Jennifer Lopez in Catherine Malandrino, Madonna in Dolce & Gabbana, and Sarah Jessica Parker in Louis Vuitton.

Curiously enough celebrities have yet to abandon simple peek-a-boo cut-out choices in favor of the lucid all over transparency we saw on catwalks. The obvious explanation for this is their unique and inherent fear of mega watt paparazzi flash bulbs that have a way of revealing more than they had planned in a sheer ensemble; landing them front and center in a “what was she thinking” segment of TMZ.

Meantime, the rest of us who don’t spend days dodging paps, can dare to do bare-er. After all it’s a trend that was made for summer dressing.  Limit the lucidity to one piece or one area, such as a top, skirt, or (for the more timid) a shoe. Play with weight in opposition; a sheer shirt paired with a leather jacket  is genius. A tulle tee with substantial shorts is a delight. A whisper of a shift dress with a tailored jacket or cozy cardi screams brilliance. Silks and chiffons will always read more elegant than lace or netting, the latter which could tread dangerously close to raunchy. Superior underpinnings that cover what needs not be seen are essential for the success of this look. And finally,to the working girls among us, it’s a look best left for weekends, evenings or lunches with the girls, not quarterly performance meetings with the CFO.

Sheer madness: (top row, left to right) H&M dress from, Alexander Wang Intarsia silk blend sweater, Versace platforms from (middle row, left to right) Anna Sui sheer blouse, Vanessa Bruno dress at, Chan Luu blouse from (bottom row, left to right) DKNY tunic at, Haider Ackermann skirt at, 3.1 Phillip Lim blouse at

Fashion editors and art directors are having a heyday with the sheer trend of SS2012. “SHEER GENIUS” “SHEER DELIGHT”  “SHEER BRILLIANCE” and more plays on the word that describes the see-through, gauzy trend, are crowding magazine covers everywhere. It started last fall with sheer sleeves and has taken a firm stance for SS2012 with sheer everything else. Unlike the provocative cheeky 80’s version, this go round it is sophisticated and elegant. Silks and chiffons flowed and moved in skirts and dresses done in modest neutral tones, solid primary colors or the perennial sheer fave…black. Lanvin, Valentino, Versace, 3.1 Phillip Lim and other designers were all out for some favorable “exposure” for SS 2012.

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