This is a look that has been as ripe as a William's pear for a revival since the late Seventies, when tiered petticoats were last in and the poorer amongst us had to make do with sewing a layer of frill to the bottom of our skirts to give the pretence of one. Victorian is also a look that the more simple-minded fashion victims have worn full-on and top-to-toe, which has been a glorious sight. Young girls barely out of their teens all buttoned up in their high-necked Victorian blouses atop their big prairie skirts. No, no, no, no, no. This is not the way to do it. Just swap your normal summer skirt for a cheap but groovy petticoat (River Island does the best one, as featured). And if you have your great-great- grandma's old lacy dress in the wardrobe or a cameo brooch (and if you're not 19) then this is your last chance to wear it before the millennium. Clockwise from main picture
White cotton shirt (sizes 8-12), pounds 145, Scott Henshall, Koh Samui, 65 Monmouth Street, Covent Street, London WC2 (tel: 01429 282744).
White cotton skirt (sizes s-xl), pounds 16.99, River Island, 283 Oxford Street, London W1. The Trafford Centre, Manchester (tel: 0181 991 4759). Black brogues (sizes 3-7), pounds 75.99, Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 6903).
White high-collar shirt (sizes 10-14), pounds 190, and long grey skirt (sizes 8-14), pounds 345 both Veronique Branquinho, Browns, 24 South Molton Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 514 0032). Black brogues (sizes 3-7), pounds 75.99, Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 6903).
Garnet/beige blouse (sizes 8-14), pounds 165, Beige bloomers (sizes 8-12), pounds 130, both Joe Casely-Hayford, The Pineal Eye, Broadwick Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 240 3572).
White cotton beaded dress (sizes 10-14), pounds 515, Philosophy Alberta Ferretti, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 1234).
Cream lace dress (sizes 10-14), pounds 517, Clements Ribeiro, Matches, 34 High Street, Wimbledon, London SW19 (tel: 0171 409 7719).
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BECKY SMALL
STYLED BY ZOE BROWN
Stylist assisted by Natasha Hayman.
Make-up by Sharon Willmore using Clinique.
Hair by Jean Marie for Vidal Sassoon at Marina Jones.
Thanks to the Duke of York public house.