Chanel spring/summer 2011. Photo by Giovanni Giannoni on wwd.com
For winter – and beyond into next spring, according to Chanel's (madly beautiful) s/s 2011 catwalk – the jersey dress gives way to the knitted dress. Yes, the classic 1980s jumper dress is well and truly back, bringing with it (for many of us) memories of burgundy Topshop numbers paired with matching suede pixie boots. Looking back at photos, you'd never guess that the rather frumpy, itchy, woolly dresses would become a fashion statement here in 2010. But these modern versions are somewhat more sophisticated, in fine cashmere blends to make them more elegant and easy to wear. Everywhere from Net-a-porter to Warehouse has stripey, chunky, ribbed or woolly jumper dresses on their rails right now. Get the length right and they look great with boots or pumps. Here's a round-up of some of the best:
At the top end, there's APC's cute navy and white striped version, Sonia Rykiel's school uniform-style jumper with skirt (£270) and Stella McCartney's stripey jumper dress in wool/cashmere (£475). Vanessa Bruno’s sweater dress is reduced at theoutnet.com (£138 down from £230); or you could wear a black jersey top underneath Bella Freud's Last Poets top, reduced from £215 to £88, for a jumper-dress effect. French brand American Vintage (stocked in Fenwick, Selfridges and online) does a great round-neck sweater dress, £85.
On the high street, Warehouse is doing knitted dresses in maxi, mini and midi lengths, from £45, in greys and black, while Topshop has a more jazzy cotton Love Heart sweater dress at £35. I also really like Hush’s Amy dress (£40), and Toast/Hush-inspired catalogue Wrap has an embroidered merino-wool version for £99 in elegant colours such as washed blue and – oh yes – deep burgundy.