Lorraine’s Blog: Summer black



This summer dress by Cos is a new addition to my wardrobe. I bought it without trying it on because I know a quick and easy wear when I see one. This is the ‘time-saving’ dress – it’s effortless and good for days when you haven’t had time to prepare your outfit the night before. It’s also smart and works well for the office. As Coco Chanel once said: ‘Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.’


I wore it for a meeting with Biba founder and designer Barbara Hulanicki, who I have enormous respect for. Barbara always wears black and I knew she’d like something like this. She recently received an OBE for her services to fashion, so I took her out for a congratulatory afternoon tea in Soho.

Barbara was one of the original businesswomen who helped start the great British high street as we know it today. She produced a very affordable gingham dress that was sold through the Daily Mirror newspaper in the first mail-order project of its kind, before opening Biba, a boutique in Kensington, which became a Mecca for the celebrities and models of the time. Her clothes were great modern designs at reasonable prices, which was rare in the 1960s.

Barbara has an amazing sense of humour. I first met her when she collaborated with Topshop on a collection three years ago. She has a real enthusiasm for fashion that hasn’t dimmed over the years and a very spirited outlook on life, which I love. You cannot fail to leave a meeting with Barbara feeling anything but optimistic and lucky to work in this industry.

(Shoes by Mango)

These are very comfortable and would easily go with today’s black dress, although I prefer a boot like my Tabitha Simmons pair for more height.

(Ring and bracelet by Mawi)

If you wear all black, you could pick something colourful like Mawi’s jewellery range. I kept it simple with my Cartier charm bracelet as I’m not prone to colourful jewellery, but if you were this works.

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