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Whale Tail Fashion makes a comeback in British Vogue’s December issue




When Beyoncé’s British Vogue cover story came out, she once again generated attention as she posed with her back to the camera. She sports a low-back, red Christopher John Rogers gown in the photo with a whale tail—a crystal-encrusted Agent Provocateur G-string on display.

Within 48 hours following the release of British Vogue’s December issue, along with Christopher John Rogers and red maxi dresses, the visible thong—whale tail—surprisingly crept its way up to the search trends.

And it’s not only Beyoncé. Even Kim Kardashian West marked her own G-string moment in an Instagram post as well.

After all, Kim is known to revive items that people thought had been banished for good. (Yes! We’re referring to the pink velour tracksuits she wore with Paris.)

The Whale Tail Origins

The controversial whale tail first debuted at Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring ‘97 runway show. It then, later on, made appearances in celebrity performances. The most popular of its appearance was during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards when Britney Spears wore a gold two-piece with a built-in G-string and performed “Oops I Did It… Again.”

It was again spotted on Paris Hilton at the 2001 New York Fashion Week. It also showed up in Milan at the premier of Spear’s Crossroads and the release party of Justin Timberlake’s Justified.

Contemporary Whale Tail Fashion

Though the trend went away in the mid-’00s, it seems it started slowly creeping back only a few years later. In 2019, Hailey Bieber was spotted with a thong that screams “Wang” while walking the pink carpet at the camp-themed Met Gala.

Jennifer Lopez and Rowan Blanchard also let their thongs slip into view some time in 2018 and 2019. Lopez, at the set of Second Act and Blanchard during a night out in New York.

Bella Hadid joined in and showed off a Versacé signature gold thong at the spring ’20 Milan Men’s Fashion Week. The Heron Preston catwalk in Paris also hailed a model sporting a black G-string just days later.

As comfort reigns over style this 2020, it seems unbelievable that the controversial G-string is back. Surprisingly, it didn’t just return. It made a comeback and gained more popularity than what people thought is possible.

The Whale Tail Comeback

Now, images of the long-forgotten whale tail are creeping up everywhere. Along with it, a new wave of designers is also launching brands embracing the controversial trend.

Kendra Duplantier, a designer from Los Angeles, launched her namesake brand. Her flagship product: a pair of low-rise trousers with cutouts that look like her so-called staple—the visible thongs.

Kari Fry, the designer behind another newly-launched L.A.-based brand, Subsurface, also focused her clothes’ designs around thongs. According to her, fashion has a 20-year-rule, and trends tend to run on this cycle. As for the whale tail, Fry only says, “I’m a ‘90s baby, and this style [with visible thongs] is nostalgic for me.”

Whether it is about nostalgia for the older times or the fashion trend cycle, one thing is for sure: the whale tail is back.

Worshippers of the visible thong may argue that it never really went away. However, others would say that this trend is best left where it had been these past years—no butts.

Always on the lookout for fun stuff to try, and great lifestyle stories to share. Writing about life and beauty since 2015.

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