ELLECyclopedia: The Cheeky Trajectory Of Bumsters, The Butt Cleavage Baring Trend


Bumsters. Pranksters with bums? Bums of hipsters? Bummer that oysters aren’t available on the menu tonight? Okay, clearly not the best with my pun game, I rest my case here. Bumsters are essentially low-hanging pants, seemingly propelling the arse crack as the focal point of the ensemble. Errm, yes.

Now having embraced various renditions by morphing into dresses by forgoing the inseam business, the trend’s gotten sexier and certainly more red carpet worthy. The recent catwalks from Versace by Fendi, Jacquemus and Dolce & Gabbana among others, featured a lot of wearers with ultra-low waists. Despite the dabbling of these houses in parading the silhouette, McQueen is the OG player credited with the rise of bumsters.

What Are Bumsters?

Versions for both men and women are available, all thanks to the audacious spirit of fashion designer Alexander McQueen who’s renowned for his outrageous (code for splendid) designs. Sparking a great deal of criticism and condemnation, bumsters simply slide off the hips to expose the upper region of the buttocks or, more accurately, the point where the gluteal fork starts.

Bumsters are also believed to be the designer’s most well-known creation to date. He started working on them while attending college, and ultimately decided to use these trousers for his first runway presentation in 93.

Runway Prudence

McQueen debuted his ‘Taxi Driver’ collection, heavy on the low-rise silhouette on a clothes rail at the Ritz. This was a far cry from the grandiose presentations that would later become his trademark. The low-rise jean was a popular style in the 1990s and 2000s, albeit it was never as low as McQueen’s original design.

Though McQueen later said it was about elongating the feminine form, there were rumours that the so-called ‘builder’s bum,’ when trousers are inadvertently worn too low – was the source of his original inspiration. He was of the opinion that the bottom of the spine was the most sensual portion of the human form, doesn’t matter male or female which ultimately reflected in his line of work featuring bumsters aplenty.


Like McQueen’s vision that led to the creation of extravagant, theatrical, and exaggerated collections, Thierry Mugler was also captivated by the low back. For Fall/Winter 1995, he reimagined bumsters via the couture route. Bumsters also made a comeback at the Cirque d’Hiver fashion show, at the brand’s 20th anniversary.

A model walked the runway wearing a sophisticated black cocktail dress that lowered at the shoulders to reveal a cutout in the back that framed the buttocks. Three pearl strands were atop the cutout to give the appearance of a traditional necklace with embellishments around the neck, a classic Mugler indicator. News to no one, this tasteful interpretation was very well received in the fashion circles. No ifs, no butts.

With ELLECyclopedia, we aim to demystify terms from the world of fashion, beauty and pop culture. If such deep dives pique your interest, stay tuned as we’re exploring the origins of many such interesting words. In the meantime, you can also read about ‘jellyfishing.’ Ever heard of it? Tap here to read all about it.

- Digital Fashion Writer


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