Sartorial inspiration can spring from the unlikeliest of places.

In the year of our lord, 2024, the source is potentially squatting on their haunches, unclogging your kitchen drain. That’s according to New York Magazine’s The Cut, which published an article on Wednesday decreeing that “Cracks Are Back”.

“Celebs have gone in search of a fresh take on provocative attire: intentionally flashing some intergluteal cleft,” reporter Emily Kirkpatrick writes

No longer is (inadvertently) exposing one’s so-called “butt-cleavage” an honor reserved for plumbers. For the A-list, Kirkpatrick says, “butt crack has never been hotter.”

She goes on to cite a slew of brave pioneers who – in the age of underwear as outerwear, naked dresses and cut-outs – have … gone deep on the trend in recent months.

Take, for example, Noah Cyrus: at Paris Fashion Week in January, the singer donned a pair of leggings so low-cut it prompted her 5.8 million-strong Instagram following to wonder if she was in the midst of a wardrobe malfunction (aptly summarised by one user, who asked: “Maam, why is your crack out?”).

Or musician CMAT, whose bottom was censored by the Brit Awards in early March when she walked the red carpet in a low-backed, crack-exposing Sophie Lincoln gown, inspired by the animated Mr Bean’s opera-singing girlfriend, Roxy.

A few days later, Katy Perry appeared at the Billboard Women in Music Awards in a red, Ellie Misner corset and matching skirt that laced up over her butt, leaving her black thong fully visible.

Two weeks after that, it was Chloe Bailey at the GLAAD Awards, in a dress with corseting that spanned from the back of her neck to reveal “a little booty out for the babes”, as she put it on Instagram.

Fashion that accentuates the wearer’s exposed crack, Kirkpatrick notes, can be traced back to Alexander McQueen. At his debut fall 1993 collection, “Taxi Driver”, the legendary British designer sent what became known as the “bumster” pant down the runway (the style proved so enduring the fashion house revived it some 30 years later, as part of its SS24 show last year).

McQueen later told The Guardian he conspired the low-slung look because he “wanted to elongate the body, not just show the bum”.

“To me, that part of the body – not so much the buttocks, but the bottom of the spine – that’s the most erotic part of anyone’s body, man or woman,” he said in 1996.

Other designers, among them Thierry Mugler in 1995 and Tom Ford in 1997, soon followed suit.

At the world premiere of Dune: Part Two in London in February, Zendaya stole the show in one of the former’s most iconic bumless silhouettes: a futuristic suit of armor.

The style “has taught us”, a piece exploring the history of the trend in CR Fashion Book read, “that no matter how outrageous or seemingly tasteless a fashion statement may be, there is always a subliminal message to uncover”.

“That message is often one of liberation and self-expression that transcends the traditional boundaries of patriarchal and societal expectations. Though the jury is still out on the stylistic merits of some of the bumless choices, its place in the historical evolution of fashion has been rightly established.”

It’s not just the red carpet that’s seen a resurgence of bare rear ends – in a piece for Vogue Business published in February, reporter Amy Francombe wrote about the prominence of the “bumster” on runways at the Autumn/Winter 2024 shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan.

Asked if this would translate to consumers, Ukrainian-born, London-based designer Masha Popova – who showed cut-out butt cheek jeans at her AW24 presentation – suggested it’s likely, given that “many people are becoming increasingly confident in showcasing their natural forms.”

“(They’re) seeking fashion that allows them to express their unique identities and personal confidence,” she added.

“It seems to be a collective response to shifts in social movements, deeply rooted in a cultural embrace of body positivity and a celebration of body diversity – making room for bold statements like bumsters that highlight the body in an unconventional way.”

Womenswear, kids-wear and fine jewelry buying director at luxury e-commerce platform Mytheresa, Katie Rowland, agreed.

“There’s a noticeable trend towards greater confidence in showing skin, evident in the prevalence of cut-out and sheer designs,” she told Vogue Business.

“We’re definitely noticing a shift towards more low-rise styles, particularly in pants and denim, although not quite the full-on original McQueen bumster.

“We have observed its influence incorporated somewhat in dresses, especially in eveningwear … The consumer for this trend is fun, confident and sexy.”

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