Maxi dresses are a wardrobe staple - fact. Considering their prominent role in taking us through the summer, it's become hard to remember a time where we all considered their resurgence as just another fleeting trend. On the whole, it's not hard to understand why we've all become so taken by them. They're easy to throw on and like any other dress, it helps avoid the daily conundrum of finding something else to go with it but saying that, it's not always an easy task finding the right one.
This week, though, Miranda Kerr gave us a lesson in how to wear them well. On one day she stepped out in New York sporting a mint block coloured wrap around style. The thigh high slit instantly made the dress as suitable for the day as it would be in the evening simply teamed with heels rather than sandals. The block colours means you can go to town with prints and interesting details on your accessories like Kerr did with her printed bag and printed Stella McCartney sunglasses.
Later on in the week she sported an uber feminine yellow printed sheer dress. The lightweight fabric works particularly well on those really hot days (where they are I still don't know) and is the perfect style for the daytime, teamed with relaxed and neutral accessories like Kerr's simple nude Mary-Janes.
Veronica Etro went in a different direction this season at Etro. The silhouettes were clean and simplified but in a good way. Like Frida Giannini, the collection was all about the 1920's and the synonymous drop waist style that was all the range at the time but combined with a new print, it felt fresh and modern. The collection reflected the frivolity and optimism of the pre-Depression era with the stencilled florals and sorbet coloured prints that moved away from the house's signature paisleys. Geometric art deco shapes made silk blouses and dresses look interesting and also added something special to boxy bags.
Despite the current optimistic feeling this season, the precarious nature of the economic situation is an ongoing reality and as has been pointed on numerous occasions, customers are increasingly becoming demanding from luxury brands and Etro definitely rose to the challenge this season by covering all basis. The printed blouses and skirts that hung just above the knee would be as appropriate in the office as they would at an evening event and the bright pieces that dominated the collection felt special and worth the hefty price tag.
Yesterday Veronia Etro produced one of the best collections that we've seen from Etro in recent years. The collection was a lot more subdued that we've seen in the past and much to our amazement, there wasn't a floaty maxi dress in sight. Etro played with fabrics a lot this season showing cropped jackets in metallic blue with sheepskin collars. Wool plaid coats came with leather sleeves, fur made an appearance on gillets teamed with knee length dresses and oversized wide leg trousers came in tweed as did single breasted blazers
But for those strong Etro fans, don't be worried, prints still dominated but were revised and developed this season. Inspired by antique carpets, tapestry and embroidery, prints came in autumnal tones in various incarnations on bod con dresses and wide leg trousers. The piece that stood out was a mustard coloured shiny floor length dress with brown detail around the neckline and along the hemline and one volumous sleeve worn by Abbey Lee Kershaw.
One legal case against Dolce & Gabbana was dropped last month, but that doesn't mean the designers are safe from other legal concerns. On Monday, the designers were officially charged with tax evasion over accusations that they were using a Luxembourg holdings company to handle their business safely away from higher Italian taxes.
The designers could face a full criminal trial, and if found guilty, they could be handed a prison sentence of as long as three years or a fine as steep as $1.3 million. According to a statement from Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: "It's a paradox! Since when does one have to pay taxes on money one never actually collected?"
Although it's probably not comforting to the duo, other high-fashion brands have previously faced similar tax-related trouble in Italy. Labels ranging from Versace to Roberto Cavalli to Etro are among the list of those previously investigated.
Down with the jumpsuit Veronica Etro said before her show today. The designer said that she's over the style that's been around for the past few seasons so instead she played with separates, tucking tops into trousers creating the illusion of the style.
True to form, the collection was vibrant featuring bold colours and graphic prints. This season Etro was specifically inspired by tribal meetings in the Sahara desert which was clear on dresses that came in strong African prints that also appeared on loosely tailored lightweight coats.
Silhouettes were often soft and fluid, which we've seen a lot of this season, but the designer deliberately steered clear from going down the bohemian route. Tailored trousers in an earthy green came styled with rich orange blouses and graphic jackets teamed with lashings of gold necklaces and cuffs. Dresses and shorts were at their best in these rich tones compared to where Etro played with yellow and light blue florals on white maxi dresses. Aside from the prints, simple pieces like a red loose fitted maxi dress appeared and although they were not groundbreaking, it's these simple pieces (that were teamed with gold sandals and matching cuffs) that will be the go-to basics for your everyday summer wardrobe.
Images courtesy of Style.com, Topshop, Net-a-Porter and Forever 21
In tough times a girl needs a tough outfit, so make your military wardrobe troop through both the Summer and Winter seasons by investing in a khaki jacket. Not keen on the fierce angular shapes so well loved after the craze of Balmainia? Then head for a more slouchy style, with many catwalks rocking either the parka jacket - a la Tory Burch - or the billowing but belted trench, as seen at Aquascutum. If you want to be really ahead of the crowd, opt for the aviator take on the military trend, and follow Christopher Bailey's lead by purchasing a shearling jacket, as seen at Burberry.
The one-shouldered wonder dress is here to stay, and to keep on-trend through Summer to Winter, veer clear of black, opt for bright colours and either embellishments or billowing ruffles. The latest breed of asymmetric dresses are not for the shy - choose from short and sweet for cocktail dresses as seen at Armani, or a statement floor-length gown a la Valentino for the more sophisticated events.