Fashion: White luxe

Fashion continues its love affair with white, but this summer, it’s all got a bit intricate. Stephanie Smith has tips.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 7th April 2015, 10:03 am
Long beaded maxi dress, £199, from Debenhams.
Long beaded maxi dress, £199, from Debenhams.

I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. It’s all very well to come up with lots of cool, on-trend images of models elegantly draped in summer white, but have you ever tried wearing it when you’ve got two sticky small children, an over-enthusiastic dog and a Force 9 barbecue to contend with?

Be that as it may, white is a major trend for this spring and summer. As it was last year, but back then there was a more minimalist, pared-back feel to the fore, whereas for this season, it’s the worked whites that have taken over, so lots of embroidery, crochet, cutwork, embellishment and detail, detail, detail.

So, first the catwalk influences. It’s really all a continuation of fashion’s love affair with the sheer and the peek-a-boo, but in a high-minded sort of way, so playing with Victorian lace and virginal white church ceremonial style dressing, but creating looks that cover the body in intricately worked, delicate white cloth that you can see right through, if you look hard enough.

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Valentino showed beautiful lace tunic dresses with wide cutwork lace cuffs and skirts, but high buttoned collars. Erdem came up with a lace and crochet high collar maxi dress with shirt sleeves, yoke and frill hem – but completely see-through (and no petticoats provided). You get the picture.

So, flashing the flesh is definitely part of the summer worked whites look, but don’t feel that all you can do to get it right is invest in a pair of big knickers and hope for the best. Wear a white or nude colour cami under a short sleeved white crochet top and flash some arm flesh instead. Look for lace hems on skirts and cuffs, jackets with lace sleeves.

Choosing footwear to go with white can be tricky, so take a tip from the catwalk and try black. A white button-through lace tunic with chunky black platforms, or a pair of black flat gladiator sandals. Nude is a safer option, but starting to look a little too safe. Brown leather and suede work well for bags and shoes.

You can wear brown suede fringed cowboy boots with anything.