• time. Hooray! For is it possible not to be hypnotized by its intricate, spidery fabulousness? As Coco Chanel once pronounced, ‘I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature… I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin.’ I know what she meant. No wonder whole fortunes were built on lace, back in the day. No wonder it keeps coming back to the runway, each time in a different way.

    But how to do it this time round? How to keep it looking ‘now’, rather than ‘then’, if you are not Monica Bellucci? You’ve got to be careful wearing lace. It is such a ‘weighted’ medium in the way it tells a story and, like the color pink, is almost too feminine for its own good. Too much, too tight, and one can definitely veer into the, ahem, puttana territory. But as much as one doesn’t want to look tarty, one doesn’t want to look too girlie, either. Keep this in mind where

    white lace is concerned – and white lace is huge for fall.

    Perhaps the way to avoid coming across as a Pronuptia bride, a giant antimacassar or worse, frumpy, is to play the transparency card. Forget a boring old slip and check out the black lingerie set Dolce & Gabbana sent down the runway under a demure but see-through white lace dress. Note how it was the perfect foil for the pretty A-line shape and those altar-boy sleeves. If you are not keen on showing your underwear, add a touch of hardcore fluoro via jewelry or nail polish, or maybe a pair of patent brogues, to give the look the requisite edge. With white lace, unless one actually is getting married or undergoing one’s First Holy Communion, one really does need an edge.

    “As much as one doesn’t want to LOOK tarty, one DOESN’T want to look too GIRLIE, either”

    A foxier bet might be colored or printed lace. If you have the tan, red can be fabulous (again, see Dolce) as long as it is kept simple. A tan. A red lace dress. And not a scrap of makeup. There you go.

    Me, I know how I’m going to do it: by embracing my inner goth. I’m not talking Marilyn Manson, I’m talking lace the way someone who would never normally wear lace might incorporate it into their wardrobe. What I mean is, how a tomboy would wear it.

    For starters, try a black lace T-shirt with a leather biker jacket. A pair of black lace boots from Nicholas Kirkwood with faded jeans, perhaps, or black lace skater shoes from Givenchy with a dark denim pencil skirt. Maybe a baseball-style sweatshirt with a lace insert by Nina Ricci. Hey, even Erdem, the master of ladylike, has butched up lace, sending it out in dark colors and giving it a sharper, more structured shape. All we need now is for Erdem’s biggest fan, Samantha Cameron, to be snapped wearing lace thus. If she can do it, so can you and I.”

    How to work


    It doesn’t have to be girlie – contemporary pieces keep it cool


    Throw a biker jacket over a delicate tee.


    White lace always needs an edge; just add fluoro.


    Lace accessories are a subtle nod to the trend.

    The Edit
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