updated 10 Jun 2013, 13:19
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Sun, May 05, 2013
ST Urban
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(Un)dress to impress
by Rohaizatul Azhar


Kate Moss caused a stir at the launch of Carine Roitfeld's book launch in Paris in February, as her presence usually does.

This time, however, it was not the rock-star aura of the British supermodel that created a buzz, but her outfit.

The 39-year-old wore a Saint Laurent Paris ensemble that was straight off the fall/winter 2013 runway - a black jacket over a bodysuit. But unlike the runway model, who had a skirt on, Moss left her house without putting on her pants.

While some felt her outfit was in sync with her reputation as a fashion maven, others wondered if it was a cry for attention.

As veteran fashion show producer Daniel Boey says: "There's a fine line between breaking the rules of fashion and showing a complete lack of taste. In this case, it reeks of bad taste and desperation."

But Moss is not the first style star to go without pants in public. In the past year, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Beyonce's younger sister, Solange Knowles, have also gone bottoms-free at various public events.

A rash of overly sexy dresses, with plunging necklines down to the navel and slits up to the hips, have also been spotted on the red carpet, with stars such as Heidi Klum, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez all raring to bare as the stakes go up.

Mr Boey says: "Sex sells, as they say. So, many are going in that direction to get attention. But one can be sexy without being vulgar."

The red carpet, however, is no longer the only platform for celebrities with a penchant for exhibitionism.

Social media tools, such as Twitter and Instagram, are fast becoming avenues for celebrities to share personal pictures of themselves - sometimes in various states of undress.

For instance, singer Rihanna regularly posts Instagram pictures of herself in sexy poses.

Social media analyst Tania Chew says these platforms now form part of celebrities' personal branding as well.

In a phone interview with Urban, the 36-year-old, who works for Word of Art, a media consultancy, adds: "Sure, it is your own personal page, but you have to set some boundaries. If anything, you owe it to your fans to present your best image."

And while it is the prerogative of celebrities to dress however they like, housewife Fiona Wang, 37, feels they should also act responsibly.

Her nine-year-old daughter is a fan of Miley Cyrus. With her increasingly provocative dressing, the teen idol seems eager to shed her wholesome image as the star of the former Disney Channel sitcom, Hannah Montanna,

Ms Wang says: "While I do teach my daughter not to follow fashion trends blindly, she is at an impressionable age and it is hard to instil all the right values when kids these days are constantly being exposed to celebrity culture, whether it is on TV or the Internet."

At the end of the day, stars, like everyone else with a social media presence, have a choice, Ms Chew points out. They can control what they put out on their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter and Instagram accounts.

"It all boils down to how you want to brand yourself because you cannot take back whatever you have posted online," she says.

Click here for photos.

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