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What Happens When The Lingerie Trend Collides With The Nineties Slip?

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“You look like me, aged 15” said a colleague, recently, when I arrived at work in a leopard print slip dress over a white tee. “I look like me aged 15 through to 29”, I replied, recollecting the red polkadot slip I bought aged 20. As history of this blog will testify, I’ve always loved a slip dress. I wouldn’t even say that the slip is anything particularly new; though it’s certainly gathering in force. Ganni’s AW16 collection is full of them; as my ladypal Lucy shows, Ghost has got a strong selection, and there is always vintage M&S. I’ve got masses of vintage finds, harking back to the St Michael glory days.

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So: not new. What is more interesting, in any of these reduxed trends, is to look at the evolving nuances. For example, is it a coincidence that both myself and aforementioned ladypal, Lucy, are both wearing pink? No. There’s masses of it around. Look at the cult Champion sweater, re-issued in bubblegum pink. And then there’s the distinctly lingerie feel, newly present in many of the most covetable slip dresses. I wear Olivia Von Halle’s slip nighties as party dresses and when I saw this NK iMode one on Alexa Chung I didn’t think, “ooooh! Bed time!” I thought, day time. In fact, any time.

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Wearing a t-shirt under a slip dress is often touted by fashion cognoscenti – those that write the rules – as the easiest way to make a slip dress doable for daywear. But, breaking down walls of fashion, here – it’s often pretty difficult. Silk is famously unforgiving; which is why slip dresses are fairly elitist, in terms of what body shapes they well suit. A Wardrobe Mistress column featuring slip dresses, about 6 months ago, garnered the most negative commentary of any column I’ve ever produced for The Sunday Times Style (noted: there will be no more slips on my Style column.) The only t-shirt I could find coming half-way to doable when work with this dress was one by Tenfold Los Angeles. I’ve never been one for an expensive t-shirt (or, particularly, t-shirts full stop) but this ‘cut and sew’ (no me neither) line makes me my new favourite t-shirt – although annoyingly, as it is brought to you by the inconceivably chic Vanessa Traina of US-based concept store, The Line, I have to pay import charges anytime I want to get my hands on one, with its long tubular sleeves.

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Then again, does it really much matter? (I don’t need someone to point out that Brexit matters, but the silhouette of your slip dress does not.) Part of the beauty of the slip dress is that it’s not a polished look. Sure, this one’s chic as fuck with lace trimmings and lace a plenty, but lest not forget that for all it’s knowing prettiness, it’s not about unbroken lines. If a slip dress is silk, you’re going to see a VPL; a t-shirt hem. That’s why it’s a look that belongs firmly in the grunge-rimmed (yes, rimmed) nineties. Just ask Behati Prinsloo, Abbey Lee, or any of those resolutely vintage-hued supermodels. Would this dress look better without a t-shirt underneath? Sure. But then when would I get to wear it? Fuck the lines. Long live the boudoir slip – worn sober, somewhere distinctly unglamorous.

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I’m wearing a vintage suede jacket, Tenfold Los Angeles t-shirt, NK iMode silk slip and Gucci loafers.

Ph. by Eva K. Salvi

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