I can thank Sarah Hill, my ex-ex-ex-ex-ex best friend (remember when you changed best friends every week and it meant absolutely nothing) from year 5-6 at primary school for two things. The first is coming up with my nick name Susie Bubble, which seems to have good sticking power despite it being born out of the burblings of a group of hyperactive ten year-old girls. The second is making me feel ever so slightly inferior as she was the blue-eyed blonde trendy in our class, who bought all her clothes from Tammy Girl and wore skin tight bodies to parties with flippy polka dot skirts. I had no such luck convincing my mother that a leotard-esque top with poppers on the gusset area were exactly what I needed to fit into my new school (I changed primary schools quite a bit). I definitely couldn't get her to take me to Tammy Girl either. It was C&A Clockhouse, hand-me-downs and cheapie clothes from Hong Kong all the way. Therefore I had to resort to wearing stretchy tight t-shirts and tucking them into tights to try and get the same effect as that of a streamlined and wrinkle-free body. It never really worked that well. As I ploughed on in to secondary school, I moved on from Sarah Hill and her collection of tight tight bodies. So did everyone else apparently. Doc Martens, Brit pop pin badges and Eastpak rucksacks replaced the body as the ensuing rotating obsessions. My gusset has largely remained popper-free until very recently.
Stylist Raquel Franco, currently a contributing editor of The Gentlewoman, saw the need for the body as a reintroduced staple in our wardrobe and started Bodyline a few years back, which has now morphed into Body Editions. The collection consists of a concise edit of tailored bodies, ready to create a smooth foundation for any outfit. There are hourglass shaped seams that run along the front, to accentuate a woman's body and there are no side seams so that the line is completely uninterrupted. Carine Roitfeld, who not surprisingly is a natural body wearer gives Body Editions her seal of approval: "It‚Äôs very rare to find a good body suit in the right proportion. I like Body Editions body suits because they are cut to so well! The leg is very low so you can wear low hipped trousers or a skirt, and the form of the V on the body make for a great silhouette."
The current S/S 12 collection consists of a lot of fine Italian knit bodies with built in collars in contrasting muted colours as well as some night time bodies with mesh panels and more striking designs with black and white stripes. Raquel is a real perfectionist when it comes to the materials feeling good on the body and the knits have been developed especially to have that perfect second skin quality, free from lumps and bumps. The S/S 12 collection is available on Avenue 32 and on Opening Ceremony now.
Her A/W 12-3 collection builds up on that collared body silhouette with additional poloneck knit bodies and also some striped lurex knits for a body that can go into the night. I wonder if Sarah Hill today would be into them?
To dip by toes into the bodysuit of 2012, I've turned to a familiar and friendly material – Raquel has created some bodies for S/S 12 that mimic the look and feel of a grey marl sweatshirt. Search "grey jersey" on the right hand side and you'll see how many words of devotion I've lavished on this humble cotton. The body is indeed the softest second skin type garment I've ever worn and the fit is down to the cotton and elastane mix. It's something of a no brainer staple given how loyal I am to anyting that relates to the grey sweatshirt and moreover, I'm now an adult in control of my own bodysuit destiny and can finally get some popper action going on down there. I can now bop around in a body to Whigfield in my own home all by myself and not feel like a loser. I've made it. This is what growing up is all about.