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Darren Kennedy's fashion file: how to wear - fringe

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DOLCE AND GABBANA, S/S 2015

DOLCE AND GABBANA, S/S 2015

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Black dress, (€39.99) H&M

Black dress, (€39.99) H&M

Heidi Higgins' coral/red wool crepe dress (€395 Brown Thomas)

Heidi Higgins' coral/red wool crepe dress (€395 Brown Thomas)

Dark green maxi evening dress by No 1 Jenny Packham (€195, Debenhams)

Dark green maxi evening dress by No 1 Jenny Packham (€195, Debenhams)

Midnight blue Murcia dress (€465), Phase Eight

Midnight blue Murcia dress (€465), Phase Eight

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DOLCE AND GABBANA, S/S 2015

Designers dipped their toes into fringe last year, but this year they've gone full-throttle with fringing back in a huge way, making it by far one of the biggest hits from the Spring 2015 collections.

In many respects, fringing has undergone a high fashion facelift as designers take the typically boho detail to a new frontier with directional trimmings on everything from coats, dresses, skirts and tops.

Some designers even went so far as to elevate the humble fringe to eveningwear status. At Dolce & Gabbana fringe appeared contrasted with the richest shades of red and exquisite lace on rose embroidered ponchos and shift dresses in what was a lavish celebration of Italian style.

Sonia Rykiel made a sophisticated statement with a luxe leather fringe skirt that swished and swooshed down the runway, while Proenza Schouler fashioned a slinky metallic fringe dress with a playful, modern design that was reminiscent of the 1920s' flapper. At Parisian powerhouse Balmain, designer Olivier Rousteing presented sexed-up leather mini dresses using alternating layers of black and white fringing to create a chevron stripe effect.

 

READER QUESTION

I'm going to a ball and awards ceremony with my work colleagues in Dublin in April so I'm on the hunt for something suitable to wear. Some of the girls are wearing full-length gowns while one or two others are going shorter. I'm not sure what's the most appropriate. I'm fairly petite 5'2 and a size 8. I have dark hair so I would like the dress in a colour that compliments. Any suggestions?

Sarah, 32, Tipperary

DARREN SAYS: It's easy to get caught up with what everyone else is wearing or what's on trend. Focus on what suits your shape and most importantly what you feel comfortable wearing.

If my experience of awards ceremonies is anything to go by, it'll be a long night so it's vital that you feel at ease in whatever you decide to wear. Personally, I think the key is to be elegant without being too flashy.

Phase Eight have a dedicated petite range of limited edition evening dresses and this midnight blue Murcia dress (€465) is a floor-sweeping number with detailed sequin lace embellishment. This V-neck wrap style with detachable satin waist-tie is demure and incredibly flattering. If you'd rather a shorter length, something along the lines of Irish designer Heidi Higgins' coral/red wool crepe dress (€395, Brown Thomas) could work nicely. If you do opt for this classic silhouette, you need to really go for it with your accessories and ramp up the glam with a pair of strappy heels and some statement jewels. Another option is a black dress; simple and versatile, the open back and metal waist decoration on this black dress (€39.99, H&M) is spot on. With a slit to the front and full-length sleeve it strikes the perfect balance. For a touch of old Hollywood glamour, the dark green maxi evening dress by No 1 Jenny Packham (€195, Debenhams) is reminiscent of Julianne Moore's red carpet style. Featuring a beautiful draped wrap over front with stone embellishment, it's a stunner.

Irish Independent