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Florence Pugh Is Not The Only Female Celebrity To ‘Free The Nipple,’ As Bella Thorne, Kylie Jenner And More Embrace Naked Dress Trend

Florence Pugh turned heads at Valentino’s recent show in Rome by – as she put it – choosing to “fucking free the fucking nipple.” While the see-through pink dress turned heads and made headlines, it also brought a bit of controversy to the fashion event, which the Little Women star later went viral for addressing. She’s not the only person to wear a “naked dress" before as other similar dresses have been making the rounds on the likes of Kylie Jenner, Bella Thorne in 2022. Zöe Kravitz is also a notable advocate of the trend. 

In fact, Kravitz was an early adopter, having worn a see-through gold bra to an Oscars afterparty in 2019. This somehow didn't make as much fuss as The Batman star's see-through Met Gala dress in 2021 that, like, Pugh, landed her backlash, though in that latter case the actress actually had worn strategically place cutouts. 

 

Zoe Kravitz in sheer Oscars afterparty dress 2019.

(Image credit: Photo by Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic)

While some celebrities have gone a similar route to Pugh and Kravitz, others have been rocking optical illusion outfits made by designers like Sergio Castaño Peña and Jean Paul Gaultier in recent months. You may remember seeing its likes for the first time on Kylie Jenner when The Kardashians star also declared it was time to "free the nipple." That look will cost you a pretty penny too, as it’s still for sale (opens in new tab) for $325 dollars online as part of Gaultier’s collaboration with Lotta Volkova. 

Meanwhile, Bella Thorne notably rocked a dress that was printed to make her look completely naked to the premiere of Jared Leto’s superhero movie Morbius in March. Like in Kylie Jenner’s case, the dress made Thorne look topless, though it was only a screenprint of a woman’s body over her own rather than a fully sheer costume that highlighted her chest as Pugh’s was.

Bella Thorne and her sister Dani at the Morbius premiere.

(Image credit: Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

After Pugh wore her dress to the Valentino show, she opened up about being surprised about the response she received, though she knew when she “wore that incredible Valentino dress that there was no way there wouldn’t be a commentary on it.” What was shocking to her was the vitriol over how her body looked in the dress and the comments people were comfortable with making. She noted on Instagram

It makes me wonder what happened to you to be so content on being so loudly upset by the size of my boobs and body..? I’m very grateful that I grew up in a household with very strong, powerful, curvy women. We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable. It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘fuck it and fuck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive. I wore that dress because I know.

Unlike Pugh or Kravitz, in the case of the optical illusion dresses, the response has been more positive, with Thorne's look being described as “jaw-dropping." Similarly positive feedback was given to Jenner, as news pieces have said the look “slides past the nipple-baring double-standard society,” as Stylecaster noted. Of course, this is from news outlets and not the trolls Pugh seems to be addressing in her post. 

Not everyone has been negative about freeing the nipple, however. There have been a lot of positive comments on her Instagram post. In Pugh's case, she had some staunch support from other A-listers over the look, including Jessica Chastain. Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, who should also know a thing or two about having his body talked about online, also shared support for Pugh

It’s  true that nearly-nude looks are not exactly the same situation as Florence Pugh’s completely sheer dress, as the other type of dress is imprinted with a female body that’s not actually the star’s own. Still, it’s clear that myriad ways of freeing the nipple are becoming a trend on red carpets, with other celebrities including Cardi B, Demi Lovato and more trying out the new look, particularly of the Sergio Castaño Peña variety. Lovato even wore hers on network television during an appearance on Jimmy Fallon-- though in that case there was a jacket involved. 

Demi Lovato in naked dress on Jimmy Fallon 2022.

(Image credit: Photo By Todd Owen Young, NBC.)

Following Florence Pugh’s Valentino dress debut, we’ll have to wait and see if the sheer trend also becomes more of a thing moving forward, but, either way, it’s looking like 2022 may be the year we’ve officially freed the nipple. 

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.