Lingerie goes minimal for 2016 with comfy but sexy cuts

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Aikyou has a sportswear-inspired line of bras with clean, simple cuts in dark colors.

The biggest names in the lingerie industry were at Paris's Salon International de la Lingerie trade fair this month showing their new trends for 2016. With sleek, understated designs, free from fussy detail, underwear has gone back to basics this year with simple, precision-cut pieces in quality fabrics.

The trend for 1990s minimalism started in 2015 and is back in an even bigger way this year, both in ready-to-wear and lingerie collections. On the catwalk, 1990s looks included the triumphant return of dungarees -- a real hallmark of the decade -- plus high-waisted pants, bomber jackets and crop tops. Underwear has jumped on the 90s trend too, ditching unnecessary trimmings in favor of simple pieces. This year, it's all about the basics.

Lingerie overhaul

It looks like 2016 could be a turning point in the world of lingerie. Brands seem to have overhauled their ranges and started again from scratch, partly in response to consumers' new expectations in terms of brand values, authenticity and transparency.

This is channeled in 2016 collections through skillful, precise cuts, a shift in techniques and, above all, a new focus on fabrics. High-quality textiles are on the agenda for 2016, with comfort proving essential. Tulle, netting, cotton and stretch satin are likely to take over from lace -- still used by brands, but much less present in this year's designs.

Key pieces of the minimalist trend are bras with no underwiring and generously cut knickers.

German brand Aikyou specializes in simple, refined bras -- sometimes with asymmetrical designs. It has a collection of sportswear-inspired pieces, with black proving the shade of choice. It's hard to imagine more minimalist.

The bodysuit is back

Bodysuits have been working their way back into stores for a couple of years and they're heading for more popularity in 2016. The bodysuit is an essential piece of the 1990s minimalist look. Here, it's been rebooted in a version that's sexier and more modern.

This two-in-one piece has double duty functions as under- and outer-wear, and can be used in all kinds of creative combinations. It's also great for sculpting the body's natural curves in a flattering yet sensual way. With open backs, low-cut necklines and sheer materials, the bodysuit has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to suit all body shapes and situations. This year sees the bodysuit get an erotic twist too, with bondage-inspired designs. Featuring lace-up cut-aways, ribbons, strings and straps, the humble body takes seduction to the extreme.

An erotic vibe was seen at Polish brand Le Petit Trou, with cutaway panties and lace-up fastenings around the derrière. Brands Absainte and Flash You and Me showed strap-based designs harnessing the torso and chest, while Luna Mae had pieces with strapwork all around the buttocks and hips. Aubade's sexily refined silk ribbons also hint at tie-me-up straps.

In designs that suggest rather than show all, Lejaby kept things more modest with seductive necklines and cleavages, while Hanro and Paloma Casile favored the open back.