Fashion: Subtlety - forget it] - We've had the softly, softly. Here comes something more old-fashioned - the knock 'em sideways, leave 'em breathless is back, says Alison Veness

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The look is as camp as Christmas, yet glorious for hot summer nights. Fashion's latest obsession with glamour means a couple of very good things, girls - the return of over-the-top evening wear and of men fawning at our feet. And, believe me, they will since you are shod in sky-high heels.

Now that G force is at the forefront of fashion, we can luxuriate once again in the glorious excesses of dressing up. Witness then, the strike-back to full-on, after-dark glam in place of drippy dippy dresses. Pass the champagne.

Witness, too, the return of an oh-so-useful accessory: man-as-prop. Essential in Seventies fashion shoots, and so handy today while you re-learn to balance in heels, welcome back 'man as suave companion', man as Roger Moore.

And, in a truth that is stranger than fashion fiction, Moore is back, in the shape of new 007 Pierce Brosnan, the only celluloid star since Moore's Bond who has understood how to look amused but not embarrassed by being all got up in black tie.

But will the new Nineties glamour also dredge up the dark side of the Seventies version, encapsulated by Studio 54 - the most infamous night-club ever - which was fuelled by the joint forces of celebrity and cocaine?

It seems unlikely that today's celebs can outdo those Seventies superstar sirens. For today's glamour pusses just aren't that glamorous. Ask yourself, who would you rather shimmy-shake next to, Bianca circa 1976 or Liz Hurley? Halston and Liza Minnelli or today's Elle Macpherson and Tim Jeffries?

What is certainly coming back is club-door policy, strictly enforced in Studio 54 days, in spite of mere mortals queueing round the block. Now it's no entry to Billion Dollar Babes, no strappy shoes and no way in to Stringfellows, which is coming out of its wilderness years. Even at glitzy, ritzy Kudos in Watford, you won't get in if you are not wearing lipstick.

What you get now is what you got back then; beefy bouncers and unfairness, discrimination, prejudice against those who don't dress like divas. So give in, whip on that thick lash mascara plus an outfit with oomph. Or bypass the aggro, darling, party at home, by the pool.

A slither of something by Frank Usher might fit the bill. This year is the label's 50th, and happily that Usher signature of spangly kitch is perfect for playing the game of getting into night-clubs.

Of course, the one outfit most associated with Seventies glamour was the Saint Laurent smoking suit, also still available today. The padded shoulders, the razor-sharp revers, the slim cigarette pants spelt daring, discordant sexuality and aggression then. Twenty years on, in a changed world, somehow they still do.

Evening wear is a licence for extreme behaviour. 'It's like the end of the Roman empire,' they said after Studio 54's first anniversary party. But glamour didn't end there. It came back. So pull on that dress, those heels (and that wig) and indulge in your first Bacchanalian night out in years.

(Photographs omitted)

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