Ready To Wear: The 'Fatal' dress acts like plastic surgery – but without the mess

Interactive fashion – that genre rare for its democracy in a world of diktats – comes in many shapes and forms. For those old enough to remember Bodymap, it might once have entailed buying a skirt that could be worn long or short, a sartorial miracle achieved merely by folding over a super-stretchy waistband more or fewer times. Rocket scientists need not apply.

Somewhat more challenging was Issey Miyake's highly inspiring A-POC (A Piece Of Cloth), introduced by the visionary designer at the turn of the millennium and encouraging the consumer to cut out their outfit – a dress, a skirt and a top, leggings and a T-shirt, whatever – from a single Crayola-coloured piece of cloth (hence the name) and all with handy, dot-to-dot type guidelines built in.

From the very same stable as the Bodymap formula at least is the Wolford Fatal dress, a seamless tube of techno-stretch fabric that can be worn mid-calf, knee or thigh-length as either a dress or skirt, and may even double up as a strapless top. Marvellous, particularly for holidays as a space-saving invention par excellence and, given its extreme versatility, not far off a bargain at £89.

Ah, but isn't this the most unforgiving of wardrobe solutions, I hear the cling-a-phobic among you cry. But no! Wolford, it almost goes without saying, knows a thing or two about such things. The company's unparalleled body-sculpting hosiery and bodies in particular are a fashion staple from which those in the know have benefited for years, and even decades, by now. And the Fatal dress is no exception: the more you fold it, the more supportive it becomes, acting not unlike plastic surgery but, thankfully, with none of the associated mess.

Mine's a black one – well, it would be, wouldn't it? – although it comes in myriad hues. Whatever... chez Frankel hours of fun were to be had trying and testing out the many ways that this light-as-a-feather and entirely minimal garment may – or indeed may certainly not – be worn. Think fashion in the realms of a Seventies game show – The Generation Game meets It's A Knock Out, if you will.

It's only drawback? As with fine stockings, any jewellery may snag the Fatal dress, so handle with the greatest of care.

s.frankel@independent.co.uk

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