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I feel obliged to warn you of forthcoming fashion faux pas


Frances Burscough

Frances Burscough

Frances Burscough

As the Belfast Telegraph's catwalk correspondent I have spent most of this week in pride of place on the front row seats at Belfast Fashionweek so I'm uniquely well-placed to give you some tips on the advantages and disadvantages of certain new perplexing trends of the season.

Here's my top five, in no particular order, because they're all equally bonkers.

1. Disco pants

Remember Olivia Newton-John aka Neutron Bomb, in the final scene of Grease and those high-waisted, super-skinny, spray-on style pants in super-shine satin Lycra? Yes those: so tight you couldn't even wear a thong underneath in case it would have to be surgically removed afterwards ... Well the good news for tarty stick-thin teenagers who resemble Olivia Newton-John 40 years ago (and terrible news for the rest of humanity) is that they are going to be everywhere.

2. Spiky studs

There was a time when you had to be a punk, a biker or an S&M fetishist to get away with or, frankly, want to be seen wearing pointy, spiky metal studs. This new trend, however, is sweeping across the accessory forecourts with sky-high stilettos with lethal-looking studded heels or toes featuring in some of the upmarket designer womenswear collections.

Kinky? You betcha. But they are guaranteed to strike fear and dread into the souls (and backsides) of errant boyfriends and arrogant male bosses everywhere, and that can only be a good thing.

3. Peplums

(Or should the plural be Pepla? Or Pepli? Answers on a postcard please.) I hold Victoria Beckham personally responsible for the return of the peplum. Her VB range has featured them for the past two years, and I'm sure it was just to give the illusion of curves on her bony frame.

This is great for the straight up-and-down beanpole types but once again, can look ridiculous on anyone with a bit more junk in their trunk.

4. Cut-out heeled wedges

Those bizarre, verging on freaky, heel-less shoe-boots that were first created by Alexander McQueen and favoured by Lady Gaga may be über trendy but to me they just look daft. Paparazzi love them because they look so weird and consequently they are catching on quickly across the fashion capitals, but they remind me of a Mafia hitman's concrete shoes. Ideal for a fashion victim and a crime against style, in my humble opinion.

5. Multi-storey hemlines

This is the current fashion phenomenon where you have a mini-length skirt at the front and a maxi length at the back, usually in a flowing fabric to give a wedding-train effect. Also amusingly known as a ‘mullet dress’, my objection is simply based on the fact it looks daft ... almost like you got part of your skirt accidentally tucked in to your knickers by mistake. And, once again, only the very lithe-of-leg or young-of-heart could carry this off with aplomb.

That's my post-collection pontificating over. Now, please feel free to ignore me, but I can assure you that if you were to go out tonight wearing a be-peplummed mullet dress/disco-pant combo over cut out-heeled, spiky-toed, shoe-boots you'll be the very height of fashion — but you'll look like the lowest common denominator.

Belfast Telegraph