Monday, January 30, 2012


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

One of the funny things about being a fashion journalist/consultant is that sometimes you have to do and say the kind of vacuous things that fashion people in the movies say. Such as "It's all about skirts." Which is a bit weird/sad/makes you wonder what all that eduction was for.

I said "It's all about skirts" a lot last October and November when I was talking to interested parties about what fresh new trends were emerging after the catwalk collections in New York, London, Milan and Pareee. Now, responding by saying "skirts" might sound a bit stupid to you. You might be thinking "women wear skirts all the time. Skirts are an everyday fashion item." That is not an unreasonable thought.

You'd be surprised though. The retailers I work with are constantly bemoaning the poor sales racked up in the skirt category. So I say "Its all about skirts," and they say "but skirts don't sell!"  The blockbuster categories are pretty much always dresses, casual trousers, and tops. Generic yes, but within that percentages go up and down with fashion. Dresses dominated for most of the last five years. Then tops, or rather blouses stormed in and became a key wardrobe item under the noses of most fashion retailers who then all quickly caught up.

The thing that happened with blouses is about to happen with skirts, especially little flared numbers shaped like little ding-dong bells. Over the next few months they are going to seem to become very, very important items; something fresh and different to wear with your blouse or luxed-up T-shirt. A girly change from skinny pastel jeans or cool sports pants. In short the must-have wardrobe update for the warmer months of the year.

A lovely blouse and skirt from Prada SS12

It was something Miuccia Prada said after her fantastic Spring 2012 show that stuck on my mind.  "There are basically no dresses, [in the collection], its all separates combined in a realistic way," she told Normally her post-show pronouncements are more Confucious like; sage and cryptic. This one was instructive. It signalled the end of her love affair with dresses, and quite poissibly ours too, for the time being.

If the most influential woman in world fashion has done away in dresses in favour of pretty skirts and tops, who are we to argue? Without further ado I'd like to show you the best ones from the catwalk for this Spring. I'll start with my absolute favourite one now, this beautiful Herve Leger bell skirt will last for ever, and its the sort of piece that will give new life to the rest of your wardrobe. The high street are catching up, but slowly.
Herve Leger skirt from Net-a-Porter

Carven SS12

Nina Ricci by Peter Copping SS12

Acne Studio SS12

Jason Wu SS12

Louis Vuitton SS12