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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

From the runway: Belts become new style staple

Even in haute couture, designers are turning to that age-old fail-safe, the belt

Viktor & Rolf Spring Summer Couture 2018 show. Francois Durand
Viktor & Rolf Spring Summer Couture 2018 show. Francois Durand

We all own a belt – invariably leather and, no doubt, worn to hold up ill-fitting jeans. This winter saw the fashion pack donning slightly more interesting belts over blazers and coats, and since its streetwear craze, the belt has now made a beeline for the runway. In the Paris haute couture shows, belts can now be worn with eveningwear.

This season, Chanel – which rarely defines the waist – threw caution to the wind and nipped in waists with a jaunty raspberry-pink ribbon. Unexpectedly eye-catching, it drew attention to a tiny waistline amid billowing silk.

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At Armani/Privw, a sheath of midnight blue silk was interrupted by a faux sash around the waist and hips. Actually a band of contrasting colour and part of the dress, it pulled the eye to a flouncy demi-bow on the hip.

Givenchy toughened up a beaded gown with a thick black belt, while at Dior, a confection of ostrich and tulle was grounded by a thin black band. Barely the width of a finger, it allowed the creamy feathers to flow away from it, creating structure. Viktor & Rolf, meanwhile, turned to a masculine tie for inspiration, pairing a pale yellow dress with a striped ribbon reminiscent of schooldays.

With the waistline trend, we may not be able to afford the couture, but we can afford to buy a new belt and breathe life into our evening wardrobe.