Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

Each season there is a graphic that feels right for now, even though it is a variation on a classic- think stars, stripes and spots. For FW11, you are going to find it hard to avoid polka dots, that's if you haven't succumbed already- this trend was a goer pretty much the moment the catwalk shows ended, but more of that later.

Marc Jacobs has been known to look to Yayoi Kusama for inspiration. Read all about the polka loving artist here, including her long-time residence in a mental institution
It is a joint effort from Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney which brings the humble spot print into hot fashion territory this season.  The polka might not be something new but the way we wear it for FW11 is different and perhaps initially surprising for those of us who first think of Minnie Mouse when we conjure the quintessential dotty dresser. Basically, it's all about sex. You could even see this as a subversive, sub-element of the fetish trend which we will talk about another day. 

Polka dots represent a charming, playful innocence but when are they done in rubber (as at Marc Jacobs and Louise Gray) or artfully placed atop a sheer base (as at Stella) then the effect really can be a bit mind boggling- is this supposed to be fun, or sexy, or (can we take this) BOTH? Sexy fun.

David Koma FW11
The flames of this trend have been fanned by the early celebrity endorsements of Stella McCartney's collection. Kate Winslet caused a stir wearing the black sheer polka cut out dress not long after the catwalk shows, as did Liv Tyler. The ad campaign stars Natalia Vodianova. By having the dress etched in our minds from such an early stage, the high street was bound to follow in order to satiate the predictable need to emulate. If you want to splash out on a less celeb-y, but no less in your face,  polka reference then I am rather in love with Louise Gray's thigh high rubber wellies, a bit fun, a bit kinky, so I would point you in their direction (available at Harvey Nichols)

Louise Gray FW11 (style.com)

Natalia Vodianova for Stella McCartney's campaign (stylerumor.com)
Marc Jacobs' peplums and pencil skirts are made in tweedy wools but then you stick a shiny polka on top and ta da, lady becomes fun. David Koma's furry appendages have a similar effect alongside the be-polkaed body con dresses. Stella also used giant paillettes to take the spot pattern a step further, they have a slight delicacy which means they sort of hover threateningly over their sheer underlayers, as if they might drop to a big reveal at any moment.

Marc Jacobs FW11 (catwalking.com)

Marc Jacobs FW11 (catwalking.com)

Stella McCartney FW11 (catwalking.com)


BARGAIN DESIGNER DOTS: Balenciaga at Matches £272 (from £545)

Wolford at ASOS £33

Marc Jacobs at Net-a-Porter £825

Topshop £38.50

Warehouse £60


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