This Summer's Dress Finally Hits the Shops; LAURA CRAIK FASHION EDITOR

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 16, 2004 | Go to article overview

This Summer's Dress Finally Hits the Shops; LAURA CRAIK FASHION EDITOR


Byline: LAURA CRAIK

HELLO, and welcome to the Summer Dress Awards. Since this is my last column of the season, it behoves me to mete out these awards in honour of those special dresses which have shone over the summer months.

Every girl needs a good dress: one that makes her feel pert of tit, slim of thigh and gorgeous.

Unfortunately, finding such a creation can be a lifelong task.

Thanks to my own peculiar body shape, designer dresses are sadly off-limits, and so my dress of the summer was a humble black pleated chiffon tea dress from Oasis Vintage. Forties in style and with a belted waist, it took me through scary meeting to best friend's birthday and back again - and all for [pounds sterling]50.

In celebrityland, the stakes were far higher, which is why only the finest designer dresses can qualify here for an award.

Third place goes to that mintgreenconfection by Chloe, which I'm so bored of that I can barely write another word about (you know the one: Kylie wore it, then it got its own tribute from Tesco).

Second place goes to the redand-white peacock-print dress by Roberto Cavalli, as worn by Sienna Miller at the Serpentine summer party (you don't need to see the picture - it's probably imprinted on your memory as the night Sienna and Jude outsmugged Victoria and David).

But the dress that outshone all the rest indubitably has to be the Peony (just like your handbag, your dress is a nobody without its own name) by Matthew Williamson. Who would have thought that an empire-waisted dusky pink confection of chichi chiffon could cause such a stampede among London's sex sirens?

Was it the purple-velvet ribbon snaking round the bust that swung it for Laura Bailey?

Was it the romantic Peony that clinched it for newlywed Kate Beckinsale? \ And what attracted Faria Alam: the swishy skirt, or the plunging neckline?

Nancy's diamante catsuit simply could not compete.

You'd think that such an overexposed dress would be sold out by now, but so accelerated is the culture we live in that the Peony has only just hit the shops. Yes, ladies, the Dress of the Summer is not a summer dress at all: it's from Williamson's new autumn/ winter collection, and it's available to buy from 28 Bruton Street, W1. …

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