Stella McCartney started it all way back in fall 2011 when she released the “Ottavia,” a racer tank dress with dark side panels that gave the illusion of a tiny waist and womanly figure. And poof: the “illusion dress” was born. Everyone – celebs, normals – wanted one for ourselves. And knockoffs were everywhere, committed by both high-end designers like Victoria Beckham and Phillip Lim – who both sent their versions down the F/W 2012 runways – and fast fashion retailers.
Well, now it looks like Herve Leger has found a new way to play on the optical illusion trend. The designer has put a pop art twist on his trademark bandage dress with curved contrasting panels that don’t just stay on the sides of the dress, but swoop across the front of it. The result: the appearance of a thin, hourglass shape on the most boyish or thick bodies. Could this be the new miracle-working dress to take off? Though he’s featured a few styles with this wavy cross-body panel, our personal favorite is the Herve Leger Pailey Combo Dress ($1,250) – which, we admit, isn’t exactly small change. So if you can’t stomach the cost for the actual dress right now, we tracked down a more affordable alternative. Shop it below, and let us know what you think in the comments: Has Herve Leger created the new “it” dress? Is the illusion trend over or just heating up?