Airy fairy lace makes a comeback on the runways and streets

With the New Year, fashion gurus suggest you opt for something in lace as the fabric is among the haute picks for Fall/Winter 2012.

According to Bangalore based stylist, Rachana Satish, “Lace is an eternal favourite although it has been featured on the international haute list off and on. However, being the kind of trend that has transcended time lace never fails to grab eyeballs. We’re seeing lace not just in apparel but in accessories too.”

Fashion designer Sanchita Ajjampur suggests: “Use embroidered lace such as guipure or corded lace for fancy tees and dresses as well as for trapeze-style coats. One could also combine floral and geometric lace fabrics with organza sheers, high-shine technical polyesters or graphic embroideries for directional tops and dresses in contemporary and sporty silhouettes for that smart casual look. For directional formalwear, block small panels of floral Chantilly lace into the cuffs of cotton shirting.”

Lace can be part of a formal or casual outfit. According to Sanchita, some of the innovative things that can be done with lace this season include “pairing crisp chambray or lightweight hickory stripes with lace or broderie anglaise for vintage folk-inspired shirts, dresses or all-in-ones. Intricate lacework channels give a ladylike feel for classic dresses. With wide jackets and crop tops balancing the bottom half that is all about legs, using tattered hems in coated lace in ruffled skirts or miniskirts to create an exaggerated hi-lo hems is a fun concept.”

Talking about office wear, designer Karuna Rampal says: “Lace must be paired with more structured pieces like a blazer or a pair of well-tailored trousers. For a casual day out, a short lace dress or a feminine lace top worn over a pair of cropped leggings, jeggings or skinny jeans is suggested. Remember to use bright coloured accessories like a belt, a tote or ballet flats to complete the look.”

What has caught the fashionistas’ eyes this season is the versatile lace shorts that can be paired with a neutral coloured tops and either lace up sandals or a pair of boots. If the word ‘lace’ makes you conjure up images of a white/off white fabric, Sanchita says: “One-shoulder looks, wide angular sleeves in the bold monochrome palette and a bright sun baked palette of saturated oranges, red, bright cobalt, turquoise, mimosa yellow, avocado and solid and sheer fabric mixes, which gives a fresh and modern appeal are very hip.” As far as styles, cuts and silhouettes go, she adds: “Strappy sundresses, wide boxy sleeves, longer-length skirts and solid/sheer fabric play all with lace trims are part of the trend. Boxy boyfriend silhouettes are balanced against feminine sheer layers for a boy-meets-girl twist. The floor-sweeping cape with layered over full-sleeved lace blouses, maxi dresses and skinny pants, all topped with face-concealing wide-brimmed hats investigates the masculine and feminine aesthetic.”

Lace-and-tulle slip dresses are a favourite pick for brides this winter. And despite tulle and organza being popular choices for gowns and veils, lace will provide stiff competition. This fabric has made its way onto accessories in the form of detailing on boots and ballerina shoes as well as on clutches. Given that the wintry air calls for some protection, many women are opting for slick sheer lace stoles, shrugs and shawls along with an evening dress or gown.