PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 March, 2009, 12:00am

During tough economic times, it's all about investing in quality items that are timeless and will look stylish five years on. While fashion editors continually extol the virtues of the little black dress, one of my personal favourites is a flowing silk dress. It's versatile and sexy, making it a must-have for any wardrobe.

This year the silk dress is updated on the catwalk in bold and unusual prints. Alexander McQueen featured wood prints and multi-coloured animal prints on silk dresses, while Dries Van Noten went for some cool geometry prints with checks. Miu Miu opted for Roman painting-inspired prints on strapless silk dresses.

As soon as I saw Susan (right) on the street, I was immediately drawn to the red and white strokes scattered across her midnight blue silk dress. The dress could be hand-painted and the asymmetrical drape at the front adds a high fashion touch to what could be a simple silhouette.

The brushstrokes add dimension and remind me of the artist strokes that appeared on Van Noten's last spring collection. To complete her chic ensemble, she has accessorised with a pair of chandelier earrings and sexy peep toe sandals.

In contrast, Leanne (below left) has gone for a bolder look and opted for a bright lemon yellow silk dress with multicoloured geometric prints. Her dress has a cute ruffle bib around the neck and lace details on the sleeves. She has chosen a simple crystal bangle and black patent leather heels. I like the way she has kept everything simple and let her dress do the talking.

Finding the perfect silk dress can be difficult, but once you have one, you can wear it in a multitude of ways. For a young, funky look, wear it with a panama hat, knee-high socks and oxford shoes; a silk maxi dress and gladiator flats is perfect for the Boho look.

I've seen a floral print blue sleeveless style at French boutique Isabel Marant (58 Paterson St, Causeway Bay, tel: 2808 4698). Tsumori Chisato (Shop LG01 & LG 16-17, Basement, Silvercord, 30 Canton Rd, TST, tel: 2730 7681) has a more feminine version in baby pink silk with abstract strokes. Get your gladiators at Pedder Red (Shop B1-18, Langham Place, Mong Kok, tel: 2118 2315) where I saw a black leather style with gold buckles.


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