Kristen Stewart Uses Naked Dressing to Make a Point

Even in the context of the current pantsless trend prevalent on the runway and in some celebrity circles, as well as the vogue for thematic dressing at movie openings, Kristen Stewart’s looks during her press tour for “Love Lies Bleeding” have stood out. Rarely has an actress been so unapologetically, gloriously undressed.

Ms. Stewart and her stylist, Tara Swennen, have taken the film’s carnality and covert politics and translated them for the promotional panopticon, forcing anybody watching to confront their own preconceptions about women’s bodies, their sexuality and exactly what empowerment means, while at the same time undermining the whole circus of branded celebrity dressing.

That’s a lot of subtext under very little — clothing, that is. But it was adroitly managed and awfully entertaining to see.

Margot Robbie had fun dressing à la Barbie during her “Barbie” press tour; Zendaya captured eyeballs and social media during her “Dune: Part Two” camera calls dressed in sci-fi-themed Mugler, Givenchy and Alaïa; and the cast of “Godzilla Minus One” walked the Oscar red carpet in matching lizard-heel footwear. But with her “Love Lies Bleeding” appearances, Ms. Stewart took the concept of character cosplay to a new, more pointed level.

It started in Berlin back in February, when Ms. Stewart shed her shirt for the film’s European premiere, wearing a very short Chanel couture patchwork miniskirt, matching blazer and knit bralet. (She is a Chanel ambassador.) She raised the ante with a controversial Rolling Stone cover in which she wore only a Nike tank top and a jockstrap.

And when she showed up for the film’s Los Angeles premiere in only a “skirts, who needs ’em?” Bettter bodysuit, cut very high on the thigh, with sheer black tights, a black blazer and black stilettos, it was clear that such choices were not mere flukes but a conscious strategy.

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