If you attempt a free association session with the word "lace" you'll likely come up with words like "bridal," "demure," and something in the realm of "priggish." Of course, lace has a much sultrier, audacious alternate personality, and it is this facet of the fabric that Spring 2015 collections looked to exploit. Sure, some designers played with white lace in its most demure and prim form, but most creatives chose to get playful with the material in their spring collections, proving there is more than one way to wear lace. Whether utilized in peekaboo form with large swaths of skin displayed underneath as Clare Waight Keller did at Chloe or to punctuate flowing, bohemian ensembles as the fabric did at Alberta Ferretti, lace has gone from a staid material to one with the ultimate power to transform an ensemble.
And who better than celebrities with their teams of fashion-forward stylists to illustrate the best ways to sport lace this spring? The red carpet is a sartorially experimental space for both actors and their audiences, and lace has been the latest case study to hit the awards circuit. Sit back, relax, and read on for the best non-granny ways to wear lace this spring. You may find yourself falling in love with lace all over again.
1. Find The Lace Lining
Leave it to Emma Stone to rock a pop of lace in an elemental yet eye-catching manner on the red carpet. Lace lining not only teases the eye, but also lends a coquettish romanticism to any ensemble. Try sporting a lace-trimmed slip or camisole underneath a plunging neckline to add interest and mystique to your ensemble.
2. Choose The Cream Of The Crop
Jennifer Lawrence's taste is often an ideal union of avant-garde and elegant, a combination exemplified in this lace crop top. By taking the prim material and crafting it into an ab-baring crop top, lace becomes at once alluring and experimental. Take direction from Lawrence and pair a lace crop top with no-nonsense trousers or a pencil skirt for a look that is sophisticated, not racy.
3. Go For Neon
Admittedly, neon lace isn't a trend for traditionalists or anyone who despises color in their wardrobe. However, as Sarah Jessica Parker demonstrates, neon lace is youthful, unexpected, and anything but boring. To tackle two trends in one go, take Parker's lead and try a neon lace ensemble with athletic-inspired racing stripes and make sure your shade of neon is riveting, not blinding.
4. (Strategically) Embrace Transparency
Charlize Theron provides a perfect exemplification of racy lace gone a step too far, but in principle her instincts are on point. Selecting a top with transparent lace is akin to trouncing the trend's tedious connotations, but less is more when it comes to showcasing skin under lace. Try a midi skirt with opaque lining that ends just above the knee for an insouciant take on the trend, or pop a nude camisole under a transparent lace top to show some skin — but not all.
5. Test Out Mixed Media
What could be more modern than a mixed media approach to lace? Combining lace of different types and shades is both artistic and rooted in tradition. Luckily, lace enthusiasts have a plethora of options to choose from, each with its own unique pattern and feel. However, make sure to keep the rest of your ensemble simple when mixing your Chantilly and Guipure or Venetian and Duchesse lace. The last thing your lace ensemble should be for 2015 is overly fussy.
6. Employ An Updated Bustier
While boudoir wear is strictly off limits at work, sultry accent pieces can be incredibly chic to play with after hours. Take a note from Jennifer Aniston's book and try a lace bustier-style top. Aniston balances out her bustier by pairing it with a more demure black flared skirt. When taking the trend from the red carpet to the street, make sure to refrain from sporting a transparent lace bustier; a hint of skin is always more alluring than placing it all on display.
7. Try Your Hand At Lace Pants
If you truly wish to take lace in a daring new direction, try lace trousers. Both an assertive and sweet look, any ensemble with lace pants is sure to be scene-stealing. Simply make sure that your trousers aren't skin tight and the rest of your ensemble is neutral so as to direct attention towards your lace statement piece, and you'll be ready for your street style close-up.
Images: Tyler Atwood