Summer fashion might make you think of bare skin and a casual carelessness, but one summer trend is all about elegance, softness and a refined sensibility. The trend in mind is the airy, white lace dresses we’ve seen lately on Elle Fanning, Audrey Tautou, Naomi Watts and other stars. Cocktail length or long and flowing, semi-translucent or prim and buttoned-up, the effect is pure summer romance.
Katie Holmes rode the white lace dress wave all the way to ASP’s World Surf League Cocktail Party, where she wore a short Nina Ricci number with sheer sleeves and a fluttery skirt. The look was spot-on for the summery rooftop setting. In a sweeter take on the trend, Princess Beatrice looked like true royalty at the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party. Her white Nicholas Oakwell Couture confection featured a retro-inspired full skirt embellished with frothy flowers and a mesh yoke. Her lavender sandals were a fun touch, as was the gold box clutch she carried. Cate Blanchett was luminous in white lace at a promotional event for Asian skincare brand SK-II in China. The actress played up her fair coloring with a delicate, tea-length dress with kimono sleeves by Elie Saab. At the amfAR Gala during the Cannes International Film Festival, Marion Cotillard arrived in an empire-waist dress with a high neck and maxi skirt by Alexander McQueen. The bohemian look was made red carpet-ready with layered necklaces and glamorous waves.
Marion isn’t the only French fashionista to have worn this season’s white lace look. Audrey’s refined dress at the Magic in the Moonlight premiere couldn’t have been more fitting for the title. The Dolce & Gabbana frock would be right at home at a candlelit garden party. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looked typically elegant in the stands at Wimbledon, wearing a tailored Zimmermann eyelet sundress. Though she’s been spotted in the dress before, this was an occasion where outfit recycling was welcome because the garment was so tennis-appropriate. Naomi was a dream at the Charles Finch Filmmakers Dinner in her effervescent Marchesa dress with intricate pleating and full sleeves. We fell for Elle at the Japan premiere of Maleficent, where she looked utterly ethereal in a gossamer gown by Alexander McQueen. The flowing dress’ details, like a sun and moon design in the lace, the princessy sleeves and feathered hem, combined with the young actress’ flaxen hair and shimmering makeup, created an otherworldly effect.