I’ve never been a dress person, and certainly not an Hervé Léger person. Though, maybe I should start wearing one more often. An Hervé bandage dress acts as a bra for your whole body—holding you perfectly in place. Plus, it’s a moment in fashion history. The designer Hervé Léger (later Hervé Leroux) reigned the runways in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Every supermodel walked for his show, including Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Yasmeen Ghauri. The bandage technique was innovative, too. In an April 2007 Vogue article, writer Tim Blanks recalls how Leroux made the genius silhouette-cinching technique. Leroux devised the technique when he worked under Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi, where he created felt bands for fur coats. Lagerfeld liked it, and then, according to the late Leroux, “[Lagerfeld] did a whole story with it.” After he launched his own label in 1985, Leroux’s creations reigned the runway and he remixed the bandages. He churned out dresses composed of rainbow bands, and fashioned the strips so they crisscrossed the body, creating the sexiest straight jacket known to man.
When Leroux left the company–he was bought out by BCBG Max Azria in 2007—Hervé Léger somewhat fell to the wayside. The dress seemed to descend into reality television-ville and fashion girls, including myself, wouldn’t give it the time of day. And yet, it is here, on the red carpet, in club lines, and at events. In 2019, Emily Ratajkowski wore one to the premiere of Uncut Gems (the same premiere where she wrote “Fuck Weinstein” on her bicep); this summer, Tiffany Haddish (styled by Law Roach) wore one on to the Friday Night Vibes premiere. Since April 2021, search interest for Hervé Léger increased 74 percent and search interest for bandage dresses increased 49 percent. The brand’s current creative director is Christian Juul Nielsen, an archive-head at heart who cut his teeth at John Galliano’s Dior and also is the designer behind AKNVAS. He’s revived the ’90s vibe of the label but added his modern flairs. It’s done wonders for the label.