Maxing out

by Katie on April 10, 2010

It’s the photograph that has inspired thousands of fashion collections: Patrick Lichfield’s image caught Talitha Getty on a Marrakech rooftop with her husband, John Paul Getty, at the beginning of 1969, when the couple were the very embodiment of hippie-de-luxe glamour that has inspired every since.

Obviously it still has resonance. It seems that hippie de luxe and the maxi dresses are everywhere for Summer which is great news. It’s taken so long for the sun to burst forth in the UK that suddenly millions of women are only just realising their need of leg waxing, fake tanning and pedicures. Maxi dresses are a catch all as they hide a multitude of sins including stubble (uugh!) and ultra white legs while looking cool to wear, feminine and actually, bar the city, are viable enough for a normal 9-5. They can be dressed up or down with a variety of accessories and are the one fail-safe day and night wear item required for a beach holiday. All in all, maxis have the thumbs up. So, I’m hearing a but…


Well, pregnant C lister, Danielle Lloyd, recently wore a white floral maxi with the hint of a newly acquired real tan from her short break in Dubai, but don’t let that put you off. Even she managed to look good in it. That’s the thing with maxi dresses. They kind of invoke mother earth – Part hippie child, part beach goddess with an air of feminine freedom. They also reek of holidays and lazy days and eccentricity and care free attitude. Short of giving you a personality transplant, these ’70’s inspired glamaxis just about tick all the boxes, unless, that is, you’re a CEO or high flying executive. I wouldn’t try being all Deborah Meaden or Julie Meyer in a maxi. The juxtaposition would just be too much even for a feisty assed female to pull off.

West London is the natural home of the glamaxi and Matches and Diana von Furstenburg (the obvious queen of loouche hippieism), both in Ledbury Road, have exactly the right selection. DVF has rails of brilliantly coloured fuchsia, turquoise and bright green maxis (Zahari maxi £292) and, if you have money to burn, opt for Lanvin’s strapless silk version (£1575).


New label, Chica and it’s sister diffusion line, Ingenue, have a myriad of maxis in vibrant colours to choose from starting from £99.99 (Pictured above). However, if Notting or Primrose Hill isn’t your normal stomping ground or your budget is less than the price of a trustafarian’s hair cut, I urge you to look to the high street.

Oasis and New Look have a fabulous selection. Add a bit of personal style, ramp up the volume and you too can look like you’re au fait with Mustique and St Barts. Add a drop of heavy, enigmatic 1970’s fragrance like Opium by YSL or Estee Lauder’s Cinnabar and you have it down to a tee.


Once the maxi is decided upon, the biggest decision is to pair with flops, flats or glitzy sandals? Now that is the question.

DVF and Lanvin are available from DVF and Matches stores and matchesfashion.com

Chica and Ingenue ranges are available from chicaboutiqueonline.co.uk

New Look and Oasis stores are available through out the UK.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

RedlegsinSoho April 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Hmmm, problem is that if you are not skinny they can make you look a bit ‘earth mother’..and I’m no ones mother! maybe I should give the only one I have ever bought another try. x

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