First it was the return of sheer fabrics several seasons ago that heralded a new emphasis on the female form and allowed women to show off their healthy, well-toned bodies. Well, almost show off but not quite. The diaphanous organzas and filmy chiffons acted somewhat as veils, hinting rather than totally revealing.
Then came shorter and shorter skirts, bare midriffs and a preponderance of sleeveless jackets, dresses and tops that showed more and more skin.
Now, for this spring and summer, designers have come up with even more ingenious means of baring a bit or a lot of body. Slices have been carved from some dresses, backs have been scooped out, dresses have had portions whittled away so that they look like separates rather than one-piecers.