Alice Fisher on style: metallics
Posted: Aug 19, 2014
Sometimes it’s glorious to be wrong; to have the blinkers lifted from your stupid eyes and let the light flood in. I imagine I enjoy the feeling so much because it’s rare. I mean, 99.9% of the time I’m totally right. Just ask my husband, he’ll tell you.
I feel a little rush of that delight every time I see someone walk past wearing a metallic fabric: those shimmery shirts that have made the hot summer days a little brighter; the cheeky sparkle of a sequinned sweatshirt on a crowded bus; the dull glint of the metallic thread running through your bank manager’s top as she turns down your mortgage application; silver sandals everywhere you look.
Pictures: white formal dress
When I first saw metallic fabrics on the spring/summer 2014 catwalks I thought they’d never catch on. Too flashy for the school run, too tacky for the office and too try-hard for the weekend. Who wants to look like70s Elton John crossed with 80s Joan Collins?
Luckily I was completely and utterly wrong. Silver trainers and bags were the first mainstream hits, giving a comforting glow to this year’s long, cold spring. Gold shoes followed when people got tans. Shiny sweatshirts and bomber jackets looked surprisingly practical in the park. I realised the key to metallics is the finish. Avoid high-shine items if you’re not naturally dressy. Go for brushed metal or satin finishes and simple shapes – you know, like those Jura sink taps you can’t afford.
I still think I’m right about the foil skirts and iridescent shirts – they’re too high maintenance for me with their manmade fibres and razor-sharp creases – but can you wear them for me? It really cheers me up when I see them shimmering down the street.
Many of these clothes aren’t expensive. Topshop can kit you out in a load of foil and you’ll still have money left over to stump up for the dry-cleaning. Cos has always excelled in unusual but wearable fabrics and metallics are no exception. Go there and you’ll see how sophisticated this trend can be.
If you just want to dip your toe in the silvery waters, then buy a pair of shiny shoes. They’re surprisingly versatile; you’ll be dragging these Jigsaw slingbacks out of your wardrobe for years to come. Or look for clothes with that metallic thread. This was another big high-street hit and adds a little fun to formal clothing. For God’s sake hurry to Jaeger to get this metallic tweed dress. It’s really cheap in the sale.
I’m sad that shiny, iridescent fabrics were mainly consigned to eveningwear at the autumn/winter 2014 shows. Though look out for the new season’s silver coats and statement knee-high boots – they were tremendous on the catwalks at Marni and Saint Laurent. It doesn’t look like the light of the metallics trend will dim anytime soon – and I’m 100% right about that.See more at cocktail dresses
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