“That’s so cool how it’s got all these… holes. And yet you can’t see through it,” the photographer said, offering one of the more accurate, and amusing, descriptions of lace I’ve heard in quite some time. He’s right: this Kitri dress, the colour of a sun-ripened tangerine is, technically, full of web-like holes. It’s lace, so naturally quite airy and breathable. Literally cool. And a winner in bone-crushingly hot weather. As I write, temperatures are creeping up past a record-breaking 34C outside. And I want to wear all the holes.
Formerly the fabric of lingerie drawers and weddings, lace is currently having a fashion moment of the highest order. Designers are using this most delicate of textiles in refreshingly unexpected ways. On the spring/summer runways, Victoria Beckham used it to create sheer renderings of oversized, masculine shirting, while Christopher Kane used it as the bedrock of his sexed- up, slightly Eighties, slightly futuristic dresses and separates. Meanwhile, Alexander Wang spliced lace into sporty football-style jerseys. They proved that lace is much more versatile than you think: yes, it makes a gorgeous dress, but it can make an even bigger statement as work or sportswear. For example, the shape of this dress is all business, but the colour and fabric are all party. I’d wear this with Alvaro sandals to the office, then change into strappy shoes for a fashion dinner later in the evening.
In terms of the best place to go to find a range of statement lace, Zara can’t be beaten at the moment. Try their lace bomber jackets in olive green or navy blue. They will look equally as good with leather shorts, pois tights and satin courts on a night out-out in December as with a pair of relaxed, slouchy trousers and trainers in October. Ganni is a close second with a selection of standout lace pieces that include a broderie anglaise blouse with a single, blouson sleeve – an easy way to elevate a pair of jeans.
As for how to deal with the practicalities of wearing something so sheer, I tend to go for a tonal base layer, such as a bodysuit or slip. If I’m feeling especially bold, I’ll wear a bright one for contrast. If that’s a bit much for you, look for a piece with a built-in slip like the one I’m wearing here. And remember: the more holes, the merrier.
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