Be a fashion style hero this Summer

Cocoon at The Designers Show at Epic Studios for Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley

Cocoon at The Designers Show at Epic Studios for Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant copyright 2012

Fashion inspired by Superman and Batman may give an old trend a new look, but when it comes to wearability this season's superhero trend is anything but super, says EMMA HARROWING.

Underwear as outerwear is a little passe. In fact the look, where you would wear hotpants and a bralet top or a corset with jeans was only ever a look for feisty fashion-conscious teens.

However, the news is that the under garment look is back, but it returns under a new guise – the superhero trend.

Comic book character prints on dresses, skirts and the ubiquitous t-shirt is a mini trend this year as the early 1990s look takes hold of fashion. And while many will joke that the superhero trend involves putting your pants over your tights, this look is in fact a serious trait of this new style.

On the catwalk at Norwich Fashion Week last month next generation fashion designers from City College Norwich showcased hotpants worn with bralets or figure-hugging jumpers, and in some cases sheer tights were worn underneath. The looks, part of the second collection from the students' Cocoon fashion label, were inspired by insects (transforming humans into insects through fashion, now there's a comic book story).

And it's not just among aspiring fashion designers that this look is attempting to fly. On the high street Summer collections include a new breed of hotpants called knicker shorts and bralet tops all adorned with eye-catching embellishments. Even denim shorts have had a makeover with sequins, studs or metallics, turning even the most trusty stable caterpillar-like piece of fashion into a butterfly.

So how can you wear this trend?

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Just as the underwear as outerwear trend was for the younger generation, this 'superhero' trend is also for those under the age of 18 – and what's so super about that.