When Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation premiered nearly twenty years ago, the film’s hazy opening image of Scarlett Johansson’s derriere—aglow in a pair of pink, semi-sheer, mesh-like panties—was forever canonized into the minds of aesthetes the world round. Inspired by a 1973 John Kacere painting, the director and style icon personally chose the silhouette from a then-little-known lingerie line, Araks (and, as the story has it, modeled it herself to convince a shy 17-year-old Johansson).
Two decades on, Araks’s subtly sexy underpinnings—which now count Lou Doillon and Kelsey Lu as staunch supporters—continue to be consciously crafted from candy-colored shades of mesh. After all, beyond offering a visually-pleasing touch, the soft netting is breathable too—a fact surely not overlooked by the British brand Dora Larsen, known for its kaleidoscopic lace-edged styles, or Cuup, whose made-for-women-by-women underwire bras boast a “sturdy power mesh.” As Kye Intimates’ Bonita Kye—who sources a delicate deadstock version of the material for her barely-there designs—muses, “The duality of mesh allows you to create structured silhouettes, and also maintain an element of sensuality.”
Below, the best mesh underwear—from bras to bodysuits and beyond—that strike a perfect subtly-sexy note.