Saturday, April 02, 2005

Shopping Saturday - Return of the Maxi Skirt

Maxi skirts are everywhere now.

A recent visit to Topshop, Warehouse and all the shopping malls in Singapore proved that. They were mainly gypsy style, with crotchet trim, ruffles, boho floral prints, tie ribbons etc.

Another item that is everywhere is the bermudas. Specifically, white and khaki ones. But that's another story for another day.

Back to Maxi Long skirts:

Aside from offering an airy freedom, one of the advantages of long skirts is that they cover one's legs, which, once freed from the helpful camouflage of opaque tights, are always a problem. At this time of year, when bare skin is just creeping out from hibernation, a long skirt can be particularly helpful .

You can wear these skirts in a number of ways. All ages can wear them with a big, tucked-in and belted white shirt. Your reference for this look is either American society dames, such as Carolina Herrera and Lynn Wyatt - who would probably add a substantial necklace - and Georgia O'Keefe for a more minimal look. For this approach, avoid flimsy fabrics.

Another option is to pair the skirt with a very light, skinny cardigan from somewhere like Pringle or John Smedley. It will hug your torso and give it shape, and it will also provide a bit of a cover-up - if you don't want to bare arms, but want to maintain a small top half. For this, you must keep your cardigan short and tight, and not at all sloppy.

Alternatively, you could take a more gipsy-like tack. If this is more your style, exchange the shirt for a drawstring-necked smock which can be pulled down and off the shoulders for evening.

A different and probably younger look is to pair your maxi skirt with long layers of the inexpensive, loose vests that can be found in all the high-street stores. French Connection and Miss Selfridge have good selections.

I'm not sure that I can bring myself to wear the tiered cheesecloth versions of the maxi, though, which are too close to my teenage memories. However, something floral or in one bold, bright colour is very appealing. This time around, pair them with some wedge heels, which also offer the height needed to carry off a maxi. Don't, however, be tempted to wear them with spindly heels: stack heels, chunky, flat sandals, or boots are better alternatives if you aren't keen on wedges.

- When I buy a piece of clothing, I tend to allocate it a role. I recently bought a Matthew Williamson crocheted skirt, in which I thought I would drift through the summer party season. This, of course, means that it has been hanging in my wardrobe, unused, for weeks. I could have chosen to wear it during the day with a fur gilet, a pair of thick tights and a sweater, but I know that if I'd done this, it would never again be imbued with the requisite glamour to be worn as a summer party skirt.

-Much is written about clothes that work from day into night, with the addition of the odd pair of earrings and high heels. I think, though, that once something has been worn through a hard day at the office, it isn't charged with the necessary feel-good factor to make you comfortable to wear it for a fun evening out.

-Also, the use that one person designates to a printed tea dress is not necessarily the same choice as another.

Because I work in fashion, it is easier to wear exotic clothes to work, but many of us could have more fun with our daily wardrobe. Why not wear a silver skirt with a neat, simple top? It will make you feel good, and will add a bit of literal sparkle. Buy a satin trenchcoat to put over plainer dresses; wear a floating, chiffon dress, but put a neat, short-sleeve T-shirt, or a plain camisole from M&S or Muji underneath, to reduce cleavage and toughen it up.

[From Fashion Telegraph ]

Spring Runway 2005 shows - Full skirts galore



Carolina Herrera

Alexander McQueen

Bottega Veneta

Alberta Ferretti