More bang for your buck

By Penny Hunt

Long hemlines are back, but unlike past peasant skirts the trend is a look more bag-lady boho, writes Penny Hunt.

I’ve been trying to
discover when and where maxi-skirt originated and why it’s been so
popular throughout the ages. I was expecting to find ’70s hippie kids or
even Eastern European gypsies responsible for the consistency of long
hemlines in fashion. But hemlines are linked with the economy as much as
they are inspired by flower power. That’s how ’70s fashion progressed.
When the economy was flush, women showed more flesh by wearing minis;
when the Dow was down, maxis made their debut.

Jump ahead 30 years and
the fashion forecast predicts a return of the maxi-skirt. Are we broke
again? Well, I’m in fashion, so yes I am. My assets are held in my
wardrobe; any increase in my share portfolio this season will be in the
form of multiple maxis.

hemlines emerged at the 2010 northern hemisphere fall/winter shows, but
unlike past peasant skirts, the trend is a look more bag-lady boho,
with voluminous maxis paired with chunky knits and layers. Marc Jacobs
hardly strayed from his signature street-sweeper chic but delivered it
with sequins then added a French twist with a powerful print for the
Louis Vuitton collection. Oscar de la Renta went for full volume while
Michael Kors stunned with luxurious fabric.

to home, Aussies’ sunny-side-up approach delivered sexy streamlined
tube skirts in an array of prints that packed a punch with colour and
creation. Manning Cartell’s silhouettes heated up the summer catwalk in
white and graphics, while Ginger & Smart were just going with the
flow offering relaxed versions. But it was Lisa Ho who reignited my
affair with this new hemline, with her show at 2010 Australian Rosemount
Fashion Week.

bringing back the maxi has nothing to do with the country’s money
matters but a more alluring reason: “Maxi skirts are exotic and the
length adds a sense of mystery,” she says.  Her collection found
inspiration from the Icelandic melt. “As the ice melts at the start of a
new season, it reveals a spring collection that is fresh and soft – the
rebirth of cool and a romantic sophistication.

collection has a harder edge, more modern but always glamorous and
relaxed. There are pieces for the woman who is always moving forward, ”
she adds.

have already pre-ordered my Lisa Ho maxi, with original prints in
stunning greens, lilacs and slate blues. When spring arrives, my
motivation after a winter weigh-in won’t just be to hide heavier-looking
legs, it’s to be a seasoned woman of mystery, wearing a maxi and maxing
out my credit!


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