Is it just me or has the fashion industry’s love of the little black dress (and little black jumpsuit/top/trousers/skirt) gone into overdrive this year? Yes, store windows are also full of sequins but if spangles aren’t your thing, it looks like black’s the way to go.
So what’s on offer? Well, the ubiquitous Kendall and Kylie Jenner launch their party 2015 collab with Topshop this week. As you’d expect from members of the Kardashian Klan, the emphasis is on sexy party dressing. Think bodycon, cutouts, and lacing, with some strong contrasting outerwear added to make sure you get to and from your party without freezing. Prices are a reasonable £30 to £130.
At & Other Stories, the Dark Poetry theme could have been inspired by Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy but is none the worse for that. The versatile silk deep V maxi dress is £145, while the floral lace dress at £165 looks great with strappy sandals, ankle boots or directional over-knee ultra-fitted boots. The tux (£165) and lace top (£79) combo make a great masculine-feminine contrast, while the lace top makes a completely different impact when teamed with a leather pencil skirt (£165).
Over at Zara, there are some great dresses but many of the pieces are about building a look via separates too with plenty of lace, little tops and details that reveal just enough (but not too much) flesh. Prices are good – think lace bodysuit at £22.99, lace dress at £39.99, lace-trim jumpsuit and back-laced dress each at £59.99, cami top at £25.99 and velvet slip dress at £49.99. My favourites are the last two as they’re a great transition into SS16’s slip trend.
And River Island? There’s a big choice targeting, we must assume, a wide customer base. My picks of the bunch? The demure embellished collar dress (£55) is sweetly sexy with its fit and flare silhouette and short skirt. The limited edition beaded top (£45) and snake print flares (£40) feel fun and made for dancing. And the devoré velvet mini dress has some great retro-influenced details, from the fabric itself to the bell sleeves and yoke edged with a frill. I’m not so sure about the cutout (it seems like a detail too far) but it’s kept discreet so it’s forgivable.