x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Mimi Spencer

Life&Style How fashion works in mysterious ways and why you should wear sequins during the day.

How fashion works in mysterious ways and why you should wear sequins during the day. I had one of those fashion epiphanies the other day - a real moment of revelation when long-cherished beliefs about the rights and wrongs of dressing are overturned. There I was, readying myself to take the children to school. On went the jeans (yawn), the vest (snore), the Converse baseball boots which I wear with such monogamous monotony that they have almost become part of my body, like lace-up feet? Anyhow, there I was, getting dressed in the same-old-same-old, when my hand reached out across the ocean of hangers and came to rest upon a sequinned cardigan. Not a knitted cardie, but a chiffon one, heavy with midnight-blue, flat sequins, the kind of cardigan built for karaoke or an evening wedding reception when the lights go down and the volume goes up. And here I was, wearing it to the school gates.

Aye aye, I thought. Something's afoot. This is sometimes how a shift in style happens. Almost imperceptibly. You'll be cruising along, quite happy in your uniform kit of this and that, when suddenly, inexplicably, you develop a taste for - ooh, I don't know - a poppy-print pencil skirt or a deerstalker hat. Items that would never have crossed your mind a fortnight before, suddenly become the absolute gotta-have-it dish of the day. Things which you may have scooted over for months in favour of clothes more pleasing to the eye or the moment creep up on you unawares, until you find yourself popping out to the post office wearing your ancient tuxedo (it somehow looks great again!) or your dad's old corduroy gardening jacket tied with a piece of string (hey, Prada did something almost identical! It just feels so now!).

This is how fashion works. It is moving and mysterious, a Chinese whisper that starts in the mind of a designer or stylist as a nugget of the new, and then dances across the ether to settle, unannounced, in your head. When you least expect it - when you're thinking about what to have for breakfast or wondering whether to have the patio relaid - bam! New fashion. It's got you in its grasp. So it was with my daytime sequins. As it turns out, this is a major trend that has drifted very subtly into the way we're dressing this summer, like a star slipping in via the tradesman's entrance. You'll find them all over the UK high street (look online at River Island and Topshop), and at design houses such as Ralph Lauren and Isabel Marant (where I have my eye on a very luxe pair of sequin palazzo pants). These days, even the most routine event is reason enough to pull on the sequins - or, indeed, the lamé and the lurex. Where once they seemed excessive for daytime dressing, where once they looked too Bollywood, too Shirley Bassey, now they're simply spot on. It's all part of the age-old evening-into-day switch, one of fashion's established methods of keeping things fresh and unexpected. Personally, I pulled on my sequinned cardigan and knew that I had summer dressing in the bag. It may not be the same come October; it wasn't this way last month. But for now? Perfection.