The 70s maxi-dress is definitively back, according to the Telegraph, which says that the iron rule that economic austerity goes with long skirts cannot be overturned, and this is not even a recession but a Depression.
According to designer Sonia Rykiel, the new longer lengths are there to lift us up above the mundanities of daily life, and on to more ethereal planes. "The thing about the long silhouette is that it is an intelligent way of dressing – light and powerful, hiding what needs to be hidden, and showing what needs to be shown," Rykiel tells me. "But long dresses this autumn and winter should be worn in different, cheery, colours: bright and pale."Excellent. Avsh Alom Gur at Ossie Clark (see following) told me it was fine to wear my Booker dress at a lunchtime event as long as it was styled differently.
The new long dresses are best suited to pear shaped women who will not mourn being unable to show off their knees. But of course only tall pear-shaped women.
For pear-shaped British women the look may be heaven-sent, but there is one body type ill-suited to the drowning pull of drapery. "If you're short, this style will only shorten you further," says celebrity stylist Hannah Bhuiya. "So the best thing to do is wear a very well cut panelled long dress, say by the newly relaunched Ossie Clark label, one that accentuates your waist, Pierre Hardy clunky shoes and a large winter hat which will help you alter your proportions."
Can anyone explain what are the styles which make pear-shaped women's hips look smaller and which simultaneously elongate them? Stylists are strangely silent on this topic. I am 5 feet five inches, which I would describe as average height and always looking to make myself seem taller and slimmer. Perhaps it cannot be done (except, of course, by becoming slimmer, but that's a subject for new year's resolutions.)