It’s everywhere I look. Pretty, blossom coloured lace, Zara copies of Valentino girlish Audrey Hepburn-ish dresses, modest high necklines and glimpses of sylph-like legs. Maybe it’s the association with Victoriana and fluttering fans, but there’s something irresistibly flirtatious about lace; the way it simultaneously conceals and reveals.
While Valentino and Louis Vuitton gave us pastels and sugar bright colours for a Summer replete with broderie anglaise, waists cinched in with skinny belts and feet wearing barely-there sandals, this pretty sweetness gives away to a more solemn look for the Autumn. It just shows the versatility of lace that two seasons in the same year could use it in such different ways. Collette Dinnigan’s Autumn/Winter show was decidedly more tough than Valentino’s collection: this may have had something to do with her knee-length embellished lace socks, which had an air of the gladiator sandal about them. Erdem’s latex lace gives a twist on the traditional, too. Francesca Marotta’s Baroque-inspired Autumn/Winter collection is full of drama, with a red lace cape and high collared black lace shirts. And then there is Marchesa, with sumptuous gold embellishment and regal lace making dresses more appropriate for hem-kissing than anything else.
But for now, it’s Spring and the colours are soft and giddily sweet. I found this beautiful late 1950s lace shift dress for £25 in Portobello Market last year, and I can tell it’s going to stand me in good stead not just for this year, but for many to come. I like to wear it with a black satin bow belt from H&M. Lace making has been a treasured skill in Europe for centuries, and really, when you think about it, it never really goes out of fashion.