Beyoncé has confirmed the return of the exposed thong in a custom Christopher John Rogers gown

Beyonce´ for British Vogue photographed by Kennedi Carter
Beyonce´ for British Vogue photographed by Kennedi Carter

  • Playing underwear peek-a-boo takes on many forms - from wearing bras as outerwear to bustiers over shirts to sheer dresses that show off your lingerie.
  • In May 2019, after reviewing Met Gala looks, we spotted another risqué trend, predicting that exposed thongs would take center stage à la the early 2000s as Lupita Nyong'o and Hailey Bieber wore thong illusion gowns.
  • And now, dressed in a crystal thong on the December issue of British Vogue, Beyoncé is the latest celebrity to confirm that exposed thongs might just be back to show off some more cleavage. 

From sky-high side slits to freeing the nipple to cut-out jeans, sartorial liberation has meant that there isn't really such a thing as "taking it too far" as long as you're comfortable and confident. 

And it sure does take a great deal of confidence to intentionally expose your undies as an outfit accessory of sorts. Perhaps this is why A-listers are usually the early adopters of certain risqué trends. 

READ MORE: Would you rather wear janties, a deconstructed denim jacket or see-through PVC pants? 

Last year, model Hailey Bieber caught our attention and admiration when she walked the pink Met Gala carpet in an Alexandra Wang gown. Hailey's Alexandra Wang Met Gala 2019 gown was "work at the front and party at the back" - a long-sleeved turtleneck with an exposed back and "Wang" embellished on the thong - gave us a look that I would describe as elegance with an edge.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Model Hailey Rhode Bieber
Hailey Rhode Bieber is seen arriving to the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images) 

To give us another memorable look from the last Met Gala of the decade, was Lupita Nyong'o who wore a Versace dress to the afterparty. The Versace chain created this exposed thong illusion at her lower back much like Beyoncé's British Vogue December 2020 look. (Swipe to see the stunner)

View this post on Instagram

#MetGala Look 2.

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

READ MORE: Welcome back to the early 2000s, because the return of the exposed thong is here 

Teasing a peek at one's intimate accessories has long been a part of the game of risqué fashion, and when we all embraced the "underwear as outerwear" movement circa 2016, a gap for reimaginations of the past was opened. I guess that's why exposed thongs are the new old way to show off some cleavage.

So as no stranger to provocative accoutrements, Bey has created a stir with her latest showstopper - an Agent Provocateur crystal thong demurely positioned atop her derrière, popping against her red custom gown by CFDA award-winning designer Christopher John Rogers. This makes for just one of her stellar looks for the British Vogue December 2020 she is the cover star of. 

This editorial was styled by the publication's Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful, and shot by 21-year-old Kennedi Carter - the youngest photographer to ever shoot a Vogue cover. Once again, Edward makes a historical move - this time, with Bey's help.

READ MORE: Rihanna makes history as she fronts the May issue of British Vogue in a durag

While we're talking history, let's take a backside look at other stars who've made a statement by dotting their "i's" and crossing their T-strings on red carpets.

Actress Gillian Anderson sported this ballsy trend in 2001 at the Vanity Fair Oscar after party. Halle Berry also played peek-a-boo on the 2000 MTV Movie Awards red carpet, while the 'bad girls' of the noughties era - Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Paris Hilton - all dabbled in the exposed thong trend on more than one occasion.

exposed thong trend is back
CULVER CITY,CA - JUNE 3: Actress Halle Berry att
Images: Getty 

It became a regular occurrence to see the spaghetti strap equivalent of underwear peeking out of the low rise jeans and skirts of 2000s fashion enthusiasts and TV stars. 

And in 2017, this Vogue writer even dared to try this at the office, garnering mixed reactions from her colleagues. 

Over the past few years, nude illusion dresses have been no anomaly on both local and international red carpets - if anything, this has been their heyday.

Perhaps these somewhat risqué gowns have eased us into a less conservative gaze that can now allow us to embrace the return of this daring game of peek-a-boo that has since been cemented on red carpets by a few A-listers and reality TV stars of this era.

In 2017 - also at the Met Gala (like Hailey and Lupita) - Kendall Jenner gave us a reupholstered La Perla version of Rose McGowan's 1998 MTV VMA's "sheer fringe dress that fully exposed her black thong". 

Kendall's dress was also sheer, but it was not fringed or short like Rose's 1998 look, yet it was probably one of the most memorable times this introverted model has coloured outside the lines of her pristine image. 

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Model Kendall Jenner is se
Image: Getty 

In 2018, People Magazine spotted J.Lo on set for a music video in tweed trousers and a matching high-cut thong, and it really wasn't as jarring as a concept as it sounds.

So we think this "dare if you will" trend will also soon hit local streets too in an unexpected high fashion kind of way. 

And for one last look at this phenomenal image... 

View this post on Instagram

British Vogue December 2020

A post shared by Beyonce´ (@beyonce) on

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up for W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24