Fashion: Victoria's closet

Victorian. Big look this summer. Will be dreadfully old hat by autumn so if you do want to indulge in frilly stuff don't spend too much on it (unless you are Meg Mathews - in which case please go right ahead, since you provide us all with so much sport!).

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.

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