What one might term the conditions of carriage shift all the time in the broader culture, where women’s dress has always tended to attract controversy and society has sharply regulated choice of attire according to the political climate, mores and tastes.
“Effort to legislate modesty are always unevenly imposed and accepted,” Reina Lewis, a professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion, said recently by phone, adding that while the current flesh parade surely signals some kind of liberation, it is one that, likely as not, is more firmly rooted in pandemic pragmatism than a desire to flout conventional morality.
“Coming out of Covid lockdown, an awful lot of people need to get out,” she said. Young people largely couldn’t date. Many are now desperate for vacations they are unlikely to have. Travel is more expensive and difficult.