Why Manushi Chhillar’s thigh-high slit gown is the perfect choice to close the year

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Manushi Chhillar is hoping on the “leg-dress” theme with a black sequin gown, taking the concept quite literally. It’s evident that thigh-high slits have become a trend on red carpets, showcasing a bold and daring style. Taking a brief look at the history of slits, the first glimpse of exposed legs came with Christian Dior’s slit skirt in 1954, causing a sensation worldwide. Dior labeled this collection as the H-Line, referring to the silhouettes he crafted with parallel lines. Since then, this design has captivated the hearts and minds of creatives and fashion enthusiasts alike, establishing itself as an iconic piece.

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Manushi Chhillar’s outfit draws parallels with the iconic style of Marilyn Monroe, the pop culture icon, particularly in a scene from ‘Ladies Of The Chorus’ where she wore a glittery black chiffon gown designed by Jean Louis. Chhillar’s gown, named Antares and created by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, featured a tulle construction with a sweetheart neckline. A tulle dress with with a sweetheart neckline. Notably, the gown featured a daring thigh-high slit, embellished with tonal and metallic crystals, sequins, and bugle beads arranged in a detailed all-over motifs artwork on sheer fabric.

Marilyn Monroe showing leg in a scene from the film ‘Ladies Of The Chorus’, 1948. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

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Manushi Chhillar in Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna. (Photo: Courtesy of @manushi_chhillar)

Thigh-high slits, often considered daring and risqué, have a history of sparking controversy. Throughout history, women and their clothing choices have been subjected to a controlled narrative, with slits being labeled as “inappropriate” or “revealing.” Unfortunately, this has often led to a barrage of sexist comments directed at women who choose the style. However, women have consistently clapped back.

During a photo call in London for her film “Red Sparrow,” Jennifer Lawrence chose a Versace pre-Fall 2018 gown featuring a plunging neckline, thigh-high slit, and gold strap detailing. Predictably, media outlets and social media users criticised the outfit as “revealing,” especially when compared to the more covered attire of her male colleagues. In response, Lawrence boldly asserted, “That was my choice,” effectively reclaiming control over her decisions and asserting her autonomy in the face of societal judgments.

Jennifer Lawrence during the ‘Red Sparrow’ photocall at The Corinthia Hotel on February 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)

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Jennifer Lawrence during the ‘Red Sparrow’ photocall at The Corinthia Hotel on February 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)

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The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, wore a striped grey-and-white dress from Reformation. The dress featured a waist tie, thin straps, and a thigh-high slit, sparking controversy. In a photo capturing a charming moment where the duchess squats on the ground, smiling and holding a fan’s hand, the positive atmosphere turned negative as comments rolled in. Markle faced criticism for her choice of attire, with some users deeming it “inappropriate” and “disrespectful.” Others went so far as to question her royal standing based on her fashion choices. Despite the cute moment, the Duchess found herself at the centre of fashion-related scrutiny.

These instances highlight the fact that body-shaming is a form of attempting to control and dictate a woman’s choices regarding her own body. Yet, like Jennifer Lawrence, these women continually come back stronger, confidently flaunting styles with never ending daring slits much like Gwyneth Paltrow’s striking white Emilio Pucci column gown from 2010. Designer Alexandre Vauthier has played a significant role in crafting iconic moments with slits. For instance, Anja Rubik’s appearance at the Met Gala in 2012 in a stunning white slit silk gown and Bella Hadid’s moment on the Cannes 2016 red carpet, in one of the sexiest dresses—a red silk satin gown—both creations of Vauthier.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Los Angeles Premiere “Country Strong” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2010 (Photo by Getty Images)

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Bella Hadid attends the screening of “The Unkown Girl (La Fille Inconnue)” at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in 2016 (Photo by Getty Image)

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Anja Rubik attends the after party for the “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” Costume Institute exhibition in 2012. (Photo by Getty Image)

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Fashion, inherently political, has seen a notable trend this year with a strong focus on girlhood and empowerment. The unapologetic presence of thigh-high slits on red carpets and at events reinforces the resounding message that it is “their choice.”

Also read:

Wear the trend: Thigh High Slits

All the details on Khushi Kapoor’s “leg dress” she wore at Vogue India’s Forces of Fashion

Do fashion and politics go hand in hand?


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