Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cut-outs gain gala traction

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You don't have to flip through a fashion magazine to see that dresses and tops with cut-outs that show that sexy little glimpses of skin are one of this year's hottest fashion trends. Just look around at the next gala or special event you attend -- there's likely to be at least one person showing off the style.

Based on what we've seen, it looks like the trend will be here for a while.

"Cut-outs started gaining popularity on the 2013 spring/summer fashion runways," says Sonya Barnes of Charlotte, N.C., and CEO and founder of Harris & Barnes image consultants. "This season, labels including Akris, Burberry, Chloe and Carven are taking it to the next level."

Actress Lupita Nyong'o looked stunning in a Calvin Klein Collection gown with cut-outs at the waist that she wore to the 2014 Critics' Choice Awards. Model Daria Werbowy smolders on the February cover of Harper's Bazaar in a Proenza Schouler dress with a cut-out that gives a peek of her sleek stomach. And actress Freida Pinto also flashed her abs in a spring look from Michael Kors from the front row of the designer's recent show in New York.

Barnes says wearing cut-outs takes a certain amount of confidence and attitude. "Fashion is about fun and self-expression, so give it a try," she says.

But, she warned, you need to be fit and you have to make sure the fit is right. If you're toned but it's too tight, the danger of muffin top looms. Be sure to sit and view yourself from all sides before deciding whether the look is right for you.

If you feel you can't pull off a cut-out on your waist, stomach or back, Barnes suggests trying a top with small cut-outs at the shoulders or neckline.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 8, 2014 D17

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