One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art - Oscar Wilde

Monday, 7 June 2010

An enduring love affair with lace

There is something about lace, that by it's very wispy nature, eludes simple definition. Coco Chanel said of the fabric:

"I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin."

The appeal of lace lies in a feminine fantasy of being at the same time both delicate but durable. In the same way that a spider spins a web to trap its prey, a woman who is adorned in lace is capable of attracting and even trapping a man, such is its allure.

Lace can be worn in a myriad of different ways. Consider this for day: a pair of fitted military style utalitarian trousers set off by the contrast of a pretty lace top. Or skipping around town at night clad in a scrap of lace: I would pair a baby doll dress, with a sleeveless lace bed jacket over the top, belted at the waist for structure. Complete the look with lace tights, skyscraper ankle boots and lashings of black eyeliner to toughen up the look. Lace can be paired with almost any material, for example a hint of lace could be seen in a lace vest worn underneath a low cut, draped neck jersey dress; or it can be added to offset it's rebellious sartorial opposites: denim or leather.

Like shoes, lace appeals to women of all ages, sizes and shapes, as you can add merely a touch of the fabric or you can clothe yourself head to toe. Lace can definitely be all things to all women, and it could be described more provactively as the Madonna-whore of fashion. Lace can make you feel oh so innocent, like the ethereal Cecilia of the 'Virgin Suicides' who first attempts to take her life ironically wearing a white lace wedding dress; or it can be infinitely more seductive: by its very construction lace is the ideal fabric for underwear and for showing off almost everything without being completely exposed.

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