They don't make 'em like this any more

There are times, no matter how much I harp on about fleece and comfy things, when I wish that women (and men) dressed like they used to. All that palaver, that ceremony, that romance. The Wings of the Dove will make you ever so wistful for the costumes of yesteryear: fabulous coats with fur collars for winter, heavily embroidered and cocoon- shaped (so the hem is curved and dips down at the back) for summer. Layered ankle-length dresses with sumptuous brocade on silk mousseline, dainty dolly shoes with sexy, curvy heels. So, the corsets may have made you faint, goodness knows how they washed them and the weight of such finery may have made you glow like a freshly fried chip, but by golly how fantastic these clothes were. The only way, really, to recreate these looks faithfully is to buy from second-hand shops and arrange themed evenings so you have an excuse to wear them. Verily.

Left: Alison Elliot and Helena Bonham Carter get the look in Iain Softley's adaptation of Henry James's 'The Wings of the Dove'

Above: Burgundy satin mules with buckle (sizes 3-9), pounds 169, Emma Hope, see below

Bottom row from left:

Cream crochet dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 390, silk slip, pounds 91, both by Elspeth Gibson, A la Mode, 36 Hans Crescent, London SW1. Enquiries: 0171 561 0773. Beige paisley scarf, pounds 14.99, Accessorize, 123a Kensington High Sreet, London W8. Enquiries: 0171 313 3000

Plum silk beaded dress (sizes 8-16), pounds 1,000, scarf, pounds 885, and bag, pounds 170, all from Etro, 14 Old Bond Street, London W1, 0171 495 5767

Lilac chiffon dress (sizes 10-16), pounds 55, Warehouse, 96 Kings Road, London SW3. Enquiries: 0171 278 3491. Beige silk jacket (sizes 8-14), pounds 195, Elspeth Gibson, as before. Fringed beaded scarf, pounds 165, Pazuki, Liberty, Regent Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0181 878 8504

Purple devore dress (sizes 10-14), pounds 160, Monsoon, 5 Barkers Arcade, Kensington High Street, London W8. Enquiries: 0171 313 3000. Chiffon beaded scarf, pounds 39.99, and black beaded choker, pounds 4.99, Accessorize, 123a Kensington High Street, London W8. Enquiries: 0171 313 3000. Green leather mules (sizes 3-9), pounds 189, Emma Hope, 12 Symons Street, London SW3. Enquiries: 0171 259 9566

Plum print off-shoulder dress (sizes 8-16), pounds 299, Nicole Farhi, 158 New Bond Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 499 8368

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?