Gently does it. Lovely lace continues to inspire a romantic mood for summer

There's something dignified about lace as a fabric, even if it's on a crop top and figure-hugging miniskirt. It's the type of fabric that nods to the prim and proper - not surprising, given its popularity with virginal wedding dresses and the romance of Edwardian fashion that continues to re-invent itself, even in 2015.

Not only associated with dreamy dresses (if recent fashion weeks are to go by) lace has even experienced more psychedelic transformations, such as Christopher Kane's signature lace separates in acid green and fuchsia and bright green lace dresses and shirts at Gucci, with creative director Alessandro Michele's much talked-about overhaul of the Italian luxury brand and its return to a more romantic take on vintage-inspired dressing.

But rather than restrict lace to delicate tunics and twee dresses, several designers have explored its sex appeal with laser-cut lace work strategically providing the right amount of coverage and lace-up details - such as Yvonne Bennetti's eye-catching "Valentina" blouse (#4). Stolen Girlfriends Club have also reinterpreted a classic lace dress, the "Monstera Ball" dress (#3), featuring lace-up details at the collar and cut on a classic pencil silhouette that works just as well on the weekend with sandals as it does with a pair of heels for more formal summer occasions.

For the perfect layering item, you can't look past Eugenie's delicate lace turtleneck (#1). It's the perfect investment, working well under this season's myriad slip dresses, providing that perfect balance of prim and sexy that lace fabrics can provide.

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How to take care of lace garments

1.

Invest in good-quality lace.

2. If drycleaning isn't an option, handwashing in cold to mild water is your next safest bet, with a mild detergent.

3. Avoid scrubbing as it can distort fibres.

4. Air-dry lace, preferably flat on a towel in the sun.

1. Queen of the Foxes camisole, $35, from Lana Boutique. Eugenie turtleneck, $195. Camilla & Marc culottes, $460. Miss Wilson heel, $289, from Lana Boutique.

2. Ruby top, $199. Kate Sylvester skirt, $445. Sol Sana sandals, $190. Mimco earrings, $59.90 a pair.

3. Stolen Girlfriends Club dress, $529. Stella McCartney Lingerie camisole, $230, and shorts, $100. Mi Piaci sandals, $260. Preen sunglasses, $280.

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4. Yvonne Bennetti top, $550. Lonely Hearts skirt, $240. Witchery sandals, $149.90. Mimco hoop earrings, $100.

5. Stella McCartney Lingerie lace camisole, $230. Ingrid Starnes top, $359. Taylor shorts, $327. Mimco mules, $229, and Mimco clutch.

Stockists

Camilla & Marc
• Eugenie (09) 557 8608
• Ingrid Starnes (09) 555 9452
Lana Boutique
• Lonely Hearts (09) 376 1566
• Mimco (09) 523 2412
Mi Piaci
• Ruby (09) 522 6658
Sol Sana
Stella McCartney Lingerie
• Stolen Girlfriends Club (09) 524 0431
• Taylor (09) 376 6554
• Witchery (09) 523 1335
• Yvonne Bennetti (09) 361 2388
• Preen Eyewear 0508 EYEWEAR