Friday 24 November 2017

The rise of the little white dress

Selma Blair. Photo: Getty Images
Selma Blair. Photo: Getty Images
Karen Gillan.
Jessica Alba.
The Spice Girls would like to see drama school pupils cast in their musical

While the shops are awash in corals and pastels, really this summer is all about the Little White Dress.

Celebrities who want to stand out are choosing it for red carpet events, including actresses Jessica Alba, Blake Lively and Selma Blair and model Daisy Lowe.

Sporty Spice, Melanie C, chose a white Acne dress for the announcement of details about the Spice Girls musical and put her bandmates to shame. Geri looked ridiculous in a homemade lace dress and Emma, in boring blue dress, has been memorably described coming dressed as Kate Middleton’s engagement portrait.

Melanie B was ‘meh’ in Lanvin (it was the fairly vile tattoos on her arm that let the outfit down) and while Victoria was undoubtedly looking very fashion forward in one of her own designs, it was arguably trying too hard. You can imagine she opened her wardrobe that morning and said: “What can I wear that would vanquish the image that I was once a WAG and a Spice Girl with very obvious breast implants?”

But step forward Melanie Chisolm in a tiered, sateen dress by Acne, which costs €350. She looked ethereal and lovely in the unusual design, which was also worn by ‘Doctor Who’ actress Karen Gillan as well as Kylie Minogue, who wore the dress out to dinner during the Cannes Film Festival.

Mel C, in her white dress, looked fresh and modern, unlike poor Victoria who one can only image was sweating a bit in her knee high boots.

However, the Little White Dress does not offer any of the security that the Little Black Dress does. It’s not a case of throwing it on and being ready to go. It’s not really an option for days when you feel less than confident and it doesn’t exactly have the safe sophistication of an LBD.

Wearing a LWD and you will become immediately nervous being in the proximity of anyone drinking red wine. If you’re looking a bit peaky, wearing white will make you look completely washed out. There can be something a little naff about white. Plus, it’s very bridal. And at the most basic level, it fails to satisfy a fashion need that many women desire in their garments – that it makes us look slim. White does not necessarily make us look slim.

But in favour of white, it shows off a tan wonderfully. It’s eye-catching, it’s different, it screams ‘summer’ and it’s simple and chic.

Some important LWD pointers:

- Choose your underwear carefully. Always go for flesh coloured as opposed to white.

- Choose a shade to suit your skin tone. Cool skin tones suit bright white, while darker skin tones work better with off white.

- Choose a heavy material or at least hold the dress up to the light to see how sheer it is before you purchase

- Accessorise with a colour pop, or metallics which go very well with white.

Besides that, avoid children with sticky fingers, sitting on the grass and drink only water, champagne or white wine. It’s not ideal but who said being on-trend was easy?

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