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Maxi impact: the return of the luxurious long skirt

Finding fashion inspiration in a Disney cartoon is not something I should readily admit. But goodbye Encanto with my daughter for the umpteenth time recently, I felt that the long red and yellow A-line skirt worn by Dolores, the cousin with superhuman hearing, spoke to me. The film is full of beautifully detailed long skirts inspired by traditional Colombian dress, with any number that I wish I had converted to three-dimensional and added to my wardrobe this summer.

The good news is that beyond Disney+ cosplay, long skirts currently have real cachet. Despite all the talk about the return of the Y2K-inspired mini, its longer sibling is just as relevant. Just watch the Oscars red carpet in March to see it on stylish screen: Uma Thurman in a sleek white satin shirt and long black maxi skirt by Bottega Veneta, or the bolder silver sequin floor-length skirt by Zendaya and her short white shirt cut by Valentino Couture.

For summer events, the long and luxurious skirt is infinitely useful. Not just because it will cover pale or smudged self-tanning legs, but because for all its glamour, it can be a hard-working piece of clothing, designed to look formal or informal depending on how you wear it. .

My ideal is less of a drippy-hippy floor number and more of a fabulous A-line or full style, brushing the ankle in a silky or swooshy fabric. Something that has romance, fun, color and a sense of occasion. Maybe not even color. In Luca Guadagnino’s 2015 film A bigger splashTilda Swinton’s swingy white silk Raf Simons for Dior skirt worn with a black draped bodysuit was surely the epitome of the look I was dreaming of.

Do you feel the same desire for a long skirt? The creators have you covered this season. Valentino’s rainbow-striped crepe de chine skirt is a piece of 1970s-inspired joy to have in your wardrobe forever (£1,800, matchesfashion.com), while Net-a-Porter has a good selection from New York label Khaite, including a ballet pink long tutu style (£1,580, net-a-porter.com) that conjures up images of Carrie Bradshaw but is inexplicably called Samantha; an elegant dark gold satin skirt (£540); and a pleated crepe maxi in ivory that would look stunning with a soft knit in the same color (£860, net-a-porter.com).

Khaite Lise satin maxi skirt, £540, net-a-porter.com

Tom Ford Sequin Tulle Maxi Skirt, £850, net-a-porter.com

Jacquemus Novio Linen Maxi Skirt, £420, net-a-porter.com

Rosie Assoulin Striped Cotton Jacquard Maxi Skirt, £1,138, net-a-porter.com

I also love the graphic print silk jacquard skirts from British brand Lisou (£305, lisou.co.uk), which can be worn with another printed silk shirt for a maximalist clash or with a white cotton shirt immaculate or a knitted polo shirt. shirt tucked in. The slightly shorter trapeze silhouette is perfect with a low heel sandal or Bottega Veneta style mules.

If your tastes are more bohemian, head to La DoubleJ or Emporio Sirenuse. The latter’s Flaminia cotton skirt (£565; matchesfashion.com) is in a tropical pink and red toile de Jouy pattern and, for added intellectual satisfaction, John Steinbeck’s words “Positano bites deep” printed on the waistband.

New British label Hester Bly also has a good range, including the Jodhpur (£825, hesterbly.com), a full-skirted style in embroidered white cotton with gold discs at the hem, and a white eyelet version (£695, hesterbly.com). .com) that can be worn in the height of summer with a matching bandeau top.

But no need to buy new. As Georgina Coulter, Buying Manager at The Outnet, points out, these are classic styles that don’t date. “The joy of building your wardrobe with these timeless pieces means you can shop for clothes from the previous season,” she says. An asymmetric devoré chiffon maxi Marchesa Notte currently on sale (£184, theoutnet.com) is a piece that can be released year after year – as is Ganni’s best-selling classic leopard print maxi (£70, theoutnet.com) .

And you can go back further. When my editor remembered a 1960s black and white striped Oscar de la Renta bubble skirt she wore to pool parties, it sent me into an online vortex of fabulous vintage skirts. On 1stdibs you can find old and rare De la Renta skirts for around £600, as well as an Emilio Pucci pink velvet handkerchief skirt (£776, 1stdibs.com) and a Gianfranco Ferré coral silk ruffled maxi from the 1960s. 1990 with a sexy front slit (£562, 1stdibs.com). Trendy skirts with a timeless sewn look? A surefire way to put on something special in the summer.

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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds