Michelle L with Helen Lee – April 18 2005

Kate MossKate Moss

Bows are big. Literally so at Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2005 fashion show, where one dress was festooned with gorgeous bows from top to bottom.

Last year, the zany Dutch duo also designed the charming wedding dress for Princess Mabel of the Netherlands. The dress – decorated all over with bows, starting with small ones at the top and gradually larger ones as the dress extended – was hardly traditional, but it displayed a whimsical humour not usually associated with stuffy European royalty.

But how to wear bows if one is not marrying a prince or strutting on a catwalk? Some might sneeringly suggest bows are not to be worn at all past the age of five, but that’s because they don’t know how to wear them. And there’s no better time to learn than now.

Bows have been embraced by the coolest designers… Phoebe Philo casually cinched the waists of her Chloe girls with lovely bow belts, Marc Jacobs made pretty blouses even prettier with bows, and Gwyneth Paltrow showed off her Stella McCartney bow ring backstage at her best bud’s show. Bows are also loved by one of Marc Jacobs’ muses, Sofia Coppola, who wore them casually at a party for her film Lost in Translation, and more formally at the Cannes Film Festival where she chose to wear Chloe.

A tip for wearing bows, remember less is more! Unless, of course, Christmas-present-chic is your thing, in which case… go mad! Viktor & Rolf would approve.

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So when did this trend kick off?

I don’t think there is a starting period, for decades little girls have been wearing pretty bows in their hair that matched perfectly with their prety party dress. But with return of 1950’s lady like chic, bows came back with an avengance. Plus you can add bows and ribbions to just about anything!

When will it end?

Whenever lady like chic is over. So maybe in a couple of years?