Apparently we’re out of recession or so the politician’s tell us. Try telling that to those of us who are still finding it hard to make ends meet. It’s tough. Never before has the old adage of ‘A Little of What You Fancy Does You Good’ been sooo in need. If you look back at fashion at some of its most austere moments, you will see that women (and men) have still found ways to look good. Now we’re not suggesting that you follow in the footsteps of our predecessors and start to cut up the curtains for frocks, simply channel an element of this season’s new looks in the most cost effective way of all. What am I talking about? Why hosiery of course. What else!!!!
Some of the hottest looks this season work so well on your legs that there’s no reason to run to the shops in search of a whole new wardrobe. So here’s my run down of What to Wear NOW………
Autumn might have stripped the leaves from the trees but florals are still front of mind. Several leading designers built their collections around strong florals including Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and Christopher Kane. American hosiery brand Celeste Stein has championed floral tights for a long time and has both a day option with its Celeste Stein Heaven Flowers Tights, a cacophony of pinks, lilacs, peaches and golds and an evening option, Celeste Stein Wallpaper Tights, a dramatic solid black leg with a large format all over orange and green rose print. Celeste Stein Ditsy Floral Tights is another great all rounder with a smaller all over pattern that will work with most looks.
Another brand that has come up tramps in this department is Emilio Cavallini and its Emilio Cavallini Printed Flower Tights have just the right blend of matte black leg combined with Art Deco style red, lavender and blue flowers which will act as a perfect foil to that little black dress. It doesn’t all have to be about colour though and if subtlety is the note that you want to hit, Pamela Mann Flocked Rose tights have a black on sheer black tangled rose design that is both pretty and eye catching.
Tartan, Argyle & Houndstooth
Think Tartan, think argyle and I generally think of Vivienne Westwood who has championed these prints and was the first to present an alternative take on designs that have been around for hundreds of years. Fast forward and Henry Holland, the current enfant terrible of hosiery is the master of reinvention creating the most eye catching range for Pretty Polly. House of Holland for Pretty Polly Houndstoth Tights are serving up a large geometric take on the print in vivid shades of pink and red or royal blue and grey. Perfect to brighten up a dull day. Emilio Cavallini is the go to brand if you want to take houndstooth from day to night. Emilio Cavallini Houndstooth Tights are a silky sheer black hose overlaid with a very graphic black pattern. Utterly gorgeous and very wearable.
From Sheer to Solid
Think sheers and most of you will refer to the tights that your mum wears but thanks to a new generation of fans including the Duchess of Cambridge, sheers are enjoying a renaissance. What makes sheer fabric of any kind more wearable is when it’s combined with a solid print. Just as Marc Jacobs and Prada have updated the humble t-shirt by mixing sheer silk with a solid print, so brands like Jonathan Aston and Emillio Cavallini have done this mix of sheer & opaque to great effect with tights. Mark Fast for Jonathan Aston Stripe Tights are a great example. An all over sheer with an alternate opaque stripe cannot fail but make your legs look longer and slimmer. Jonathan Aston’s own design team has also come up with Jonathan Aston Innocent Tights which is a very sheer barely there leg with a sweet, sporadic leaf print that looks as though is hovers over your skin. Emilio Cavallini has mixed a sheer barely black leg with a wrap around horizontal stripe for its Emilio Cavallini Large Spiral Tights while Henry Holland has taken the suspense out of suspenders by creating the illusion of this sexy garment using sheer and opaque thickness on his Henry Holland Super Suspender Tights. Now why didn’t we think of that?
Not since the heyday of Stevie Nicks has lace been sexy or fashionable but if you thought it indefinitely resigned to the back of cupboard, you’d be wrong. Lace is back with a vengeance and over the last two seasons it been everywhere, from Dolce and Gabbana to Chloe to YSL and even jumped into ultra cool street brands such as Acne. Lace has been styled up with colour and some of the prettiest legs around this season come from Oroblu Marie Lace Tights, Jonathan Aston Sweet Roses Tights and Pretty Polly Lace Secret Slimmer Tights with the added benefit of tummy support. Shades of cobalt, aubergine, black and grey help to lift the pattern and make this a perfect way to colour block lace into your outfit. From lace tights to stockings, hold ups to anklets, lace is back to stay!
More Prints & Patterns
Now ever season print reinvents itself, although this year’s A/W 2012 designs including Gucci, Prada and Marni are very reminiscent of some of the more out there ‘pop art’ prints of the 60’s and 70’s. Dumbed down slightly in hosiery but
still very supportive of the trend, new technology in the industry is allowing hosiery design teams to be more adventurous with what they present. All over flock style print, as seen on Jonathan Aston Phantom Tights and Emilio Cavallini Arabesque Flock on Metal Tights both emphasis its design through shimmer. Jonathan Aston Siren Tights blend opaque and sheer with raised pattern to greet effect. In reverse body con style a pretty scallop of opaque going up the inside of the leg emphasizes the sheer spotty design on the outside of the leg – particularly effective in red. Good old Celeste Stein will also allow you to tap into any trend. With over 1000 actual prints, we are the UK’s only stockiest and our range has topped 100 different designs including Celeste Stein Harlequin Tights, Celeste Stein Missoni Tights, Celeste Stein Green Pucci Tights and Celeste Stein Old English Love Tights, all the big print trends are represented. If you can’t find something in the range that suits, then don’t do print this season.
So there you have it. Another way to look the part this season without parting with the cash. Tights like clothes can be archived and brought out again when a trend is repeated, so think of your purchases as investment dressing, albeit without the big bills!
Until next week…..