I’ve had a crush on tulle since my days as a prepubescent ballerina, and if anything, my feelings on the material have only deepened in the intervening years. However, never has the diaphanous fabric felt so fresh and so fashionable as it does in the hands of Molly Goddard. This visionary Central Saint Martins-taught designer first revealed the modernity of tulle to me with her Spring 2016 collection, and ever since then I’ve been spotting yards of the brightly colored stuff sashaying down runways from Gucci to Dior (and strutting conspicuously down sidewalks on the likes of Rihanna).
Of course it’s impossible to talk about tulle without mentioning Giambattista Valli, the King to Miss Goddard’s Queen of Tulle. It’s his yellow gown you’ll see when you scroll down, and I dare you not to imagine yourself in that dress, twirling across a ballroom floor with a tortured-but-ultimately-loveable Beast as soon as you clap eyes on it. And that’s really it isn’t it? That’s the magic of tulle. Its tiny perforations allow it to be borne aloft by the slightest spring breeze and tufted into dramatic tiers that never seem to sag beneath the weight of everyday life—tulle turns you instantly into a princess. And now, thanks to designers like Molly Goddard, you can choose just exactly what kind of princess you’d like to be, thank you very much.
You can choose to pay homage to your balletic roots with a softly draped midi skirt in a pretty sherbet hue. You can forgo classic styling in favor of a sheer tulle crop top that layers perfectly over your favorite vintage band tee for a look that’s more rock-and-roll than it is orchestra. You can go full tulle from head to toe—earrings, top, skirt and socks—to mimic the runway looks below in a way that may shock the people on the street but will hopefully impress your fashion-forward coworkers. Or, you can simply slip a little tulle-embellished lingerie under your t-shirt and jeans for a sweet little secret. The point is, tulle is no longer confined to the stage or even to the runway. In fact, it looks best when incorporated into an already established wardrobe for a look that’s flirtatious but surprisingly not saccharine.
Keep scrolling for some tulle-related inspiration straight from fashion week, then click the links below the round-up to shop some of my favorite reasonably priced tulle pieces.