Trend of the Week: the illusion dress

Drop a dress size, as if by magic says Annmarie O’Connor.


As the party season inches closer, so do thoughts of diets and dresses. Why suffer when there’s a much savvier solution at hand? The illusion dress – as feted by designers like Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham – has made its way into the mainstream, promising to shave inches without moving a muscle. Clever shading, stretch panelling and anatomical stripes allow your wardrobe to do the workout. It’s the clever girl’s nip and tuck!


Create an hourglass with anatomical colour-blocking for insta-curves (see Stella McCartney, opposite) Whittle that waist with diagonal lines that point to the centre of the body; divide and conquer a big bustline with vertical white stripes (see M&S, opposite)

For a well-needed boost, opt for a shadow panel under the bust (see Fran & Jane, Net-a-Porter, opposite) Got a problem area? Shave inches off wobbly thighs or heavier hips with dark contrast side-panelling (see Zara, opposite)

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