Skin - it's something which we love and something which we hate (and something which one day we'll probably donate) because skin, like Rihanna's infamous selection of haircuts and Britain's weather, is fickle. Just when we think it's going to be as clear as day it decides to rain on our parade and splash us with spots, dimples, cuts you name it. Our brief modelesque complexions fade away and suddenly we find ourselves looking as though we ought to be posing in the before picture of a Neutrogena advert.
However, when our skin isn't acting up like some sort of moody teenager, it is our friend because skin like a pair of newly waxed legs or a freshly shaven face is a weapon of attraction. Not only does it define our looks but it is innate to our smell, our touch and of course ourselves. Even if we don't show it all off as David Gandy does regularly on the Dolce and Gabbana catwalk, our skin lures people into us, our looks and the lives we lead.
Yet as gorgeous as Gandy's skin and body undoubtedly are, and let's face it they are, often what is more interesting about fashion is not our skin as a whole but the skin which we choose to show. A tactical flash of skin wherever it may be is often more intriguing if not more attractive than skin it's entirety. It teases us without completely pleasing us. It gives us a glimpse of a person's body with the result that it leaves us longing for more. It allows our skin to become a tool of seduction, a tool of temptation.
And it is this skin, which changes and mutates season after season as designers suggest and reflect which areas of the body we might deem attractive through the means of their designs; they play with what is conventionally shown and hidden by clothes. From Givenchy's breast exposing couture to Louis Vuitton's ankle skimming circle skirts fashion has played with each and every peekaboo possibility, showing us almost all skin with its own imagination and presenting us with nearly no skin in order that our own imaginations may run wild.
Of course this season is no different as fashion finds a new part of the skin to focus on in the months to come after AW- the midriff. Something which, whilst it may not possess the most fortunate of names and is certainly not for the most faint-hearted of people, can be utterly enticing. The midriff is to the body the awkward kid at school who no-one notices. Hidden in obscurity it goes unthought-of and yet when let loose on the world it can succeed, often more so than its counterparts.
One need only look at SS's array of midriff options to see that the awkward kid really can turn out popular after all. Whether its in the form of Proenza Schouler's quirky pencil skirt combos or Prada's 'Vintage Americana' classic throwbacks, Emilio Pucci's gypsy skirt beauties or Miu Miu's vampire inspirations, Nina Ricci's ethereal outfits or Roland Mouret's slick cut-out designs, the midriff is out on parade in all its forms.
It's daring and it's beautiful but the question is come SS will you have the confidence to forget about your inhibitions and put yours out on show? That Prada pencil skirt does look rather inviting after all...doesn't it?