Serge Gainsbourg photographing Jane Birkin in a White Lace Crop Top.
Crop tops have dominated the S/S runways for the last couple of seasons. Not only is the belly-baring style an anticipated trend for S/S 2014, crops have been dominating street style as well as fast fashion. While most people attribute the daring look to Madonna in the 1980s, this style of top has been well worn since the 1940s. Old Hollywood beauties have flashed their taut tummies under stylish wears from Audrey Hepburn to Lauren Bacall., demonstrating that there is such a thing as tastefully showing skin. The crop tops that developed over the ‘80s and ‘90s showed a sportier, schoolgirl take on this piece. Think Britney Spears in her One More Time Video, or Tiffani Amber Theissen as Kelly Kapowski. In the modern day, designers have managed to find a fresh balance between the crop tops of the 1960s and those of the 1990s. It comes down to styling. Crops look great when paired with highwaisted bottoms, or even layered over a camisole, with a flattering over piece. Showing skin may not always be the name of the game, this belly-baring trend offers the opportunity to further customize your outfit and layer, even after the weather begins to warm.
(L) Photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1939. (R) “Cruise wear fashions” from the Life Archives, Photo by Peter Stackpole, 1940.
(L) Adele Mara, 1940s. (R) Olivia de Havilland, 1941.
(L) Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, 1944. (R) Barbara Stanwyck, The Lady Eve, 1941.
(L) Photo by Constantin Joffe, 1946. (R) Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1946.
(L) 1950s Life Archives. (R) Audrey Hepburn in Malibu, 1956.
(L) Elizabeth Taylor, 1956. (R) Marilyn Monroe, 1950s.
(L) China Machado, Photo by Louis Faurer, Harper’s Bazaar, 1959. (R) Françoise Hardy, 1960s.
(L) Jean Shrimpton, 1960s. (R) Pat Cleveland (15) at first show with Ebony Fashion Fair, as posted on her Instagram account, 1960s.
(L) Nancy Sinatra, 1960s. (R) Jean Shrimpton, Photo by Bailey in Mexico, Vogue UK January, 1963.
(L) Vogue Model Brigitte Bauer, Photo by Henry Clarke, 1965. (R) Lisa Baker, Playboy Playmate, 1966.
(L) Photo By Helmut Newton, Vogue, 1967. (R) Jean Shrimpton, Photo by Otto Storch, June 1967.
(L) Jours de France, August 1968. (R) Andres Courreges, Photo by Bert Stern, Vogue US, March 1969.
(L) British Vogue, May 1969. (R) Photo by Jeanloup Sieff, Vogue Paris, 1971.
(L) Alva Chinn for Bruce Oldfield, 1976. (R) Helmut Newton Polaroid in St Tropez, 1978.
Madonna, 1983. (R - Lucky Star Video).
Vogue Italia, 1983.
(L) Drew Barrymore, 1990s. (R) Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Saved by the Bell, 1990s.
(L) Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, Photo by Herb Ritts, 1991. (R) Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1992.
(L) Claudia Schiffer, Photo by Marc Hispard and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Vogue US, January 1992. (R) Kate Moss, Photo by Glen Lunchford, Vogue US, April 1995.
(L) Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, Clueless, 1995. (R) Gwen Stefani, Photo by Tim Mosenfelder, 1995.
(L) Spice Girls, 1996. (R) Britney Spears, Baby One More Time Video, 1998.
(L-R) Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2012, Oscar De La Renta Resort 2012, Carven S/S 2013, Balenciaga S/S 2014, Alberta Ferreti S/S 2014.
(L-R) J Mendel Resort 2014, Christian Dior Couture 2014, Chanel Couture 2014, Badgley Mischka S/S 2014, Giambattista Valli S/S 2014