The nude dress trend is a staple of the red carpet, but a new ‘it dress’ takes things to a new level – thanks to its predominantly sheer fabric, multiple cutouts and barely there straps.
The see-through creation, which costs £1,400, is the work of Albanian-born Central Saint Martins alumna, Nensi Dojaka, 28, who, unsurprisingly, studied lingerie design for her undergraduate degree and MA.
A-listers including Zendaya, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Bieber and Jourdan Dunn have all been spotted in variations on her famous dress, which is so skinny it’s impossible to wear a bra underneath.
Nensi has quickly rose to the status of beloved fashion among celebrities and the industry that landed the emerging designer talent gong at the British Fashion Awards this week, and the prestigious LVMH award for young designers earlier this year.
But while the high streets are usually quick to run out of their own copies of the latest celebrity trend, can a mere mortal without a supermodel body ever get away with wearing one of Nensi’s ultra-thin designs?
“These are not easy dresses for most women to wear. There’s nowhere to hide in a sheer dress like that,” body shape expert and stylist Anna Berkeley told Femail.
Instagram influencer Camille Charriere in a musty green dress by Albanian designer Nensi Dojaka at the Fashion Awards earlier this week. Zendaya wore a see-through thready number from the designer when she was in London for the Dune premiere in October 2021.
Supermodel Bella Hadid was the first celebrity to wear a bold Nensi Dojaka mesh bodysuit and tailored pants to the 2020 MTV VMAs
“Most women will be really concerned about the amount of flesh on display.
Having your stomach, breasts, shoulders, arms and half of your legs bare is anything but not being able to wear a bra. So I find it very difficult in that regard.
“There are certainly people who can get away with it, who are very bold, but for the few average women it is incredibly difficult to pull off.”
Practically speaking, there’s only one season for the delicate designs, and that’s summer, but when worn in the cold, breezy months of November and December, it’s a testament to how on-trend Dojaka’s pieces are.
Supermodel Adwoa Aboah showed off her black mini dress which retails for around £1450 and quickly sold out everywhere
Pop star Dua Lipa, who has become a fashion darling with designers like Donatella Versace and Nensi Dojaka, is seen wearing a mesh bodysuit similar to Bella Hadid’s
“It’s almost like dressing for the Oscars, instead of your normal Christmas party attire,” Anna said.
“But you could put a blazer over it for example and that gives a little coverage and then it feels a lot less scary because it’s not all out there.
“If you have the confidence in the body for it, go for it.”
Nensi’s pieces start at size 6 and go up to size 14, excluding a plus size, although she says her dream is to dress plus-size model Ashley Graham.
But Anna said she would look for something more structured for her clients.
“Curve women (16+) can look incredibly sexy, what I look for in my curve clients are softer, more expensive fabrics, great design and quality that lasts,” she said.
Models wearing pieces from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, presented at London Fashion Week
Hailey Bieber put her own spin on the little black dress by teaming it with a Stüssy bucket hat and a mini underarm purse
“In the brave world where we celebrate natural beauty and body confidence, Nensi Dojaka’s sexy silhouettes and fine fabric cut both support the body while showing off the perfect amount of skin,” Elizabeth Hurley’s famed stylist Mike Adler told Femail.
‘Sexy dressing isn’t just about confidence, it’s also about balance, something I always prioritize with my celebrity dressing.
When sporting a Nensi Dojaka red carpet item, don’t challenge the look and keep jewelry to a minimum with a glamorous pair of stilettos, knee-high boots or pumps.”
Nensi Dojaka studied lingerie design with a bachelor’s degree at London College of Fashion and her MA collection at Central Saint Martins.
In 2020 she made her London Fashion Week debut with design collective Fashion East.
That same year, Bella Hadid donned Dojaka’s tailored pants and mesh bodysuit for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, an event that’s as much about music as it is fashion.
“It was a great exposure and a lot of buyers came to me for the first time,” Dojaka told Vogue Business this week.
It was soon noticed later on Emma Corrin, the rising fashion star of The Crown, in November when she promoted the Netflix hit show with her stylist, Harry Lambert, the man behind Harry Styles’ standout looks.
The designs have been imitated by fast fashion companies such as Pretty Little Thing, Shein, Boohoo and Oh Polly.
A piece similar to Corrin’s costs £1,425 on Matches Fashion, while replicas over the internet cost £8.
The bodysuit everyone wants: Sophie Turner in a stringy mesh bodysuit that all it girls are now wearing on Instagram
Model and author of the new book, My Body, Emily Ratajkowski chose an LBD from the Central Saint Martins graduate at the Tribeca Film Festival (left). Amelie Zilber took a more evening wear version of this ruby red Nensi Dojaka dress she wore to the amfAR Gala in November 2021 (right)