The Ups and Downs of the Hemline

Monday 17 September 2012


Report by Julia Robson

Hemlines. They’ve been up and down during LFW like Facebook shares. Many designers narrowed it down to two lengths – very short or floor-skimming, notably Marios Schwab and Matthew Williamson. Nicole Farhi narrowed it down to just below the knee or caressing the calf. Clements Ribeiro, Lucas Nascimento and Paul Smith settled on a hemline formerly being solely championed by Jonathan Saunders – let’s call it the librarian length. Even when this came in crêpe de chine, its natural bedfellow fabric, at Paul Smith it managed to look fresh. At Jonathan Saunders the lengths felt just right, hovering just below or on the knee, with a slight Seventies-style flare.

“What we’ve been seeing overall is volume, with a fuller sleeve and hemlines falling,” says Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers. “Before, librarian-length skirts were womanly, now they’ve toughened up. Although they are a difficult length for many women, I love them.  Also, historically, they’ve been new and have spelt change. What’s more, I would think that women with money who buy designer clothes like to cover their knees.”

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