Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hollywood Vamp

Dressing for the heat

Time to heed the siren call of hourglass dresses and stiletto heels: the Hollywood vamp is back, writes Jo Adams

Sunday July 31, 2005
The Observer

Maybe the heat is getting to me, or maybe I've just had my fill of scantily clad bodies and tissue-paper-thin flouncy sundresses, but at the moment I find myself in the mood for high heels, a sexy blouse and a fitted skirt that gives me a waddle in my walk. In other words, I want to be a woman again - I want clothes that reveal my curves, and to hell with anything boho.
At the couture shows I sat staring in pure admiration at Dita Von Teese (right at the Giambattista Valli show), the burlesque performer and girlfriend of Marilyn Manson, the It Girl of the moment. She was working the autumn/winter hourglass look straight from Roland Mouret's catwalk show - every inch sexy but still ladylike, poured into a figure-hugging pencil dress, Jessica Rabbit style.

Just say no to exposed bra straps unless you are in your boudoir in French knickers and a matching balconette-bra ensemble.

The new look is neat and sleek, with minimal accessories - so forget layering beads, and concentrate on shoes and bags (never a problem for me). Shirts are made of delicate silk in soft colours with lace detailing - alternatively, a dainty tie-neck and tailoring is ultra-feminine and super sharp.

If you would rather slip into something more tactile, think tweed and tartan: they give a little more to play with and make for a more eclectic look. Try layering a blouse with a shrunken knitted cardigan that still accents shape.

If you are not a suit or figure-hugging kinda girl, dresses still work the feminine shape, but from the bust down they're empire line, Hollywood-siren style. Top with sexy tousled hair as at Roland Mouret - side parted a la Lauren Bacall - and tail with needle-thin stilettos: enough to turn any head.

So go grab yourself some attitude, and get yourself noticed.