How to wear... satin
The 90s partywear staple has emerged as a summertime favourite, but it requires a bit of savvy styling to avoid looking over-dressed, writes Meadhbh McGrath
The typically starry Cannes Film Festival was a little less Hollywood this year, but it did have one great fashion success story. Elle Fanning, the actress and official jury member, proved herself a force to be reckoned with on the red carpet with a series of striking ensembles. There was the homage to Dior's classic New Look, the high-voltage Barbie princess dress by Vivienne Westwood and the floral Valentino fairytale gown.
But it was her opening look that established her as a true style star: a dramatic caped number by Gucci in lustrous peach satin. The effect was high Hollywood glamour with an edge of femme fatale, and it was a show-stopper.
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While the majority of us will never set foot on a red carpet, and have no need for a sweeping floor-length gown, satin has emerged as a summertime favourite, from slinky eveningwear to cool daywear.
On the catwalks, Prada rendered most of its spring-summer collection, including babydoll dresses, Bermuda shorts, camisoles, double-breasted coats and circle skirts, in shiny duchesse satin - finished off with this season's must-have accessory, a voluminous headband in matching fabric.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi took a more fluid approach, with a lighter, softer satin cut into ruffled blouses and puff-sleeved party dresses in shades of pastel pink and cream, with flashes of electric blue and tomato red.
At Christopher Kane, a draped satin midi dress in iridescent teal blue was neutralised with a pair of chunky trainers, while Roksanda offered flowing maxi dresses with full-length sleeves. Models wore them with sculptural bags and block-heel boots, but a pair of stilettos and a clutch could take the look into evening with ease.
Most often associated with after-dark, satin requires a little bit of savvy styling to bring it into the light. But simple tweaks to accessories or even the addition of a plain white T-shirt can go a long way to making sure you don't feel over-dressed. The slip skirt has been the indisputable hit of the high street this season, with leopard print midis flying off the shelves. We recommend a block colour rather than a print - particularly one so ubiquitous that it has its own Instagram account (@leopardmidiskirt).
It's a more accessible and flattering piece than the 90s slip dress, and it's easier to bring into 2019: just add a T-shirt and trainers.
The satin blouse is a wardrobe staple, and can be adapted for a last-minute night out or a day at the office. Kate Moss takes things back to basics, teaming her satin blouse with a blazer and high-waisted trousers. For a more casual effect, dress your blouse down with a pair of jeans.
As we head into peak wedding season and a slew of summer events, a satin dress or jumpsuit makes for impressive occasionwear.
For an afternoon party, look to Sex Education actress Emma Mackey, who tones down a glossy satin dress with understated accessories - tan sandals lend a more laid-back feel than a dressy black pair, while the bucket bag adds a modern air. If the satin comes across too delicate and feminine, a thick gold chain necklace or a pair of trainers or brogues can give your outfit an androgynous edge.
The downside of satin is its proclivity to crease. It can be difficult to get around, but if you have to travel in your dress, one trick worth trying is to throw a towel in the dryer before you head off and wrap it around your waist for the drive. It won't stop every wrinkle, but the heat should eliminate some of the worst of it. Likewise, avoid holding your bag on your lap, and straighten your skirt before you sit down to avoid it bunching up.