Pre-fall 2016 key item: A mini adventure

mini board

Alice & Olivia, Tory Burch, Carven, Mugler, Christopher Kane

The pre-fall collections have confirmed one thing – (almost) anything goes. That means that when it comes to length, there’s something for everyone and the mini is as big news as midi, maxi and everything in-between.

So what’s key about the new minis? Well, what’s worn with them is as important as the skirts/dresses themselves. The new ankle socks meet bare legs, while ankle boots remain favourites, as do strappy sandals and over-knee boots (which designers are still trying to turn into commercial key items).

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about the accessories. These skirts make a several strong statements that take them from relaxed day dressing to after-dark and even onto red carpets. Think four key themes…

Soft sell

soft mini board

Preen Line, Alice & Olivia, Carven, DSquared, Tory Burch, Karen Walker, Karen Walker

Printed silk tiers, soft gathering at the natural waistline, simple A-lines in the softest materials and ruffled babydolls give the mini a retro edge that’s part late 60s-into-70s, part 80s. Worn with boots or a chunky platforms they avoid being too girly for their own good.

School report

schoolgirl mini board

Coach, Victoria by Victoria Beckham, Burberry, Carven, Lisa Perry, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Versace, Versace

Think demure pinafores, sweet pleated skirts and gentle A-lines worn with prim shirts or blouses. But team them with killer heels or work them in high-end leathers or brocades and they ‘re 100% grown-up.

Simple life

simple mini board

Versace, Diesel Black Gold, Christopher Kane, Christopher Kane, Carven, Alice & Olivia, Alice & Olivia, Versace, Coach

Take the simplest mini silhouettes (cut straight or only-slightly-A-line) and keep them minimal, as at Coach. Or dress them up with powerful detail that has a transformational effect. It’s up to you if you want to use print, embellishment, material or trim to turn what’s perhaps the most basic item in a wardrobe into a statement trend piece.

Sex & sizzle

sexy mini board

Versace, Christopher Kane, Antonio Berardi, Mugler, Mugler, DSquared, DSquared, DSquared,

Designers cut their dresses close to the body, defining the waist above all to place the emphasis on a curvy body and long legs. Decorative stitching, metallic trims, Zena-style pleated skirts with warrior queen bodices, and a whole load of attitude add to the sex-on-legs look.

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