How to dress like a grown up: Dazzle like a Duchess – shiny is chic this Spring
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing a metallic green silk chiffon dress
Designers have embraced shine across the board via metallics and sequins
Shiny can be incorporated by a slithery dress or including a blouse or skirt
You may have seen the pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge during her visit to Ireland wearing this green goddess of a dress (pictured) which fashion watchers have spotted is by hot label The Vampire’s Wife. Good to know Kate is courting cool British designers and keeping ahead of the curve.
This is not just a Vampire’s Wife dress, it’s a shiny Vampire’s Wife dress, an iridescent metallic silk chiffon dress that’s getting a wearing in March, not at The Royal Variety Performance in November. Kate knows that this spring shiny is the instant route to glamour.
And it’s a lot easier than it looks, because you don’t have to do the throat-to-calf version like the Duchess of Cambridge. Designers have embraced shine across the board: from sequinned tank tops at Louis Vuitton, via metallic shirts at Paco Rabanne and sparkly Lurex trousers at Missoni, to the bigger party statement pieces, like Saint Laurent’s glossy leopard print dress or Dolce & Gabbana’s shantung parrot green trouser suit.
The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing an emerald green shiny dress by The Vampire’s Wife during her visit to Ireland
The message on the catwalks was you don’t have to be going to Studio 54 to get your shine on. It doesn’t even have to be after dark. Most of the shiny clothes on the catwalks were simple, classic easy pieces —they just happened to be made in something a lot like lame or high shine satin.
There are two ways to go with the new shiny. All the way — with a slithery evening dress — or just substitute something you like to wear, and already own in silk, or stretch cotton, for the shiny new version. Conventional clothing – an ordinary blouse, a bias cut skirt — can become something more interesting and glamorous glistening in the light.
A statement blouse — big sleeved, tie necked and poufy — is a must-have of the moment so why not make it shiny too? Topshop do a grey striped sateen blouse (£35 topshop.com) and Alexa Chung’s new capsule collection includes a glossy pale blue pointy collared shirt (£130 alexachung.com). Massimo Dutti do a high-neck, high- sheen peach shirt (£69.95 massimodutti.com) and a pearly grey satin slip skirt (£89.95 masssimodutti.com) while & Other Stories have a shiny pewter leather skirt (£118 andotherstories.com). Metalicised leather is quite a big commitment, to be fair, but you never know.
Metallics: The rules
Wear shiny separates, one at a time, with boots.
If in doubt try sateen or high polished leather.
Introduce a bit of shine with bags, trims, shoes.
Try a jacket with satin lapels.
Shiny is having an impact on leather in general, even when it’s brown or black it should be glossy and polished or have an iridescent glow like Ganni’s snake foil leather jacket (£525 ganni.com). And if you are wearing leather a slippery satin shirt always looks good next to it.
Golds and nudes and neutrals are a good place to start with shine. & Other Stories do a wrap-over gold lame dress, that but for the V neck, is a dead ringer for Celine’s gold lame knee-length jump suit which — thanks to Celine —looks like something you might wear in the day with black boots.
Zara does a rose gold tea dress with short puff sleeves that could also look pretty under a jacket (£49.99 zara.com) and & Other Stories has a pale duck egg blue bias-cut puff sleeved dress that’s a bit like the dresses Erdem has done for this autumn (£85 andotherstories.com).
At the other end of the shine spectrum — there is a 1970s mood in fashion, again — is a purple and red striped lurex pleated skirt in Zara (£49.99 zara.com) that could be fun worn with a sweater and black boots. You may want to dial down the polish, with a tan leather belt or a chunky cream turtleneck, loafers, boots or woolly scarf.
Polished accessories are a good place to start experimenting, from high-shine patent slingbacks (if Prada’s are too steep at £555, try Ganni.com’s, £225) to shoulder bags in fire engine red patent (£515 Byfar.com) or shiny gloves.
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