She is the undisputed leader of fashion’s antenatal
pack. Whatever happened to maternity jeans, wonders Harriet Walker
Fashion likes nothing more than an opportunity to make us feel bad, and now even pregnant women aren’t immune. Step forward fashionista and Russian girl about town Miroslava Duma, proud flaunter of the best-dressed bump in history. Thanks to her, it is no longer OK to stumble through those 40 weeks, doughnut in hand, wearing a shapeless tunic. Instead Duma, 29, established herself at the recent collections in Paris, Milan and London as the patron saint of the trendy trimester.
Currently pregnant with her second child with her husband Aleksey Mikheev, the fashion blogger shunned clothes with helpful, stretchy panels and forgiving silhouettes – not for her the warm embrace of Gap maternity jeans. Instead, she wears clothes designed for only one person as opposed to two. Her Fashion Week ante-natal arsenal included tops and matching culottes, knitted dresses with cropped leather jackets, and statement coats that fastened above the bump, to better show it off.
“I don’t try to hide my belly,” she says. “It’s 100 per cent feminine.”
But, as those of you struggling to sleep under its weight might point out, there’s a difference between being comfortable with your bump, and being comfortable in your clothes. (There is also the small matter that dressing a bump this well takes vast amounts of money.)
Duma modelled almost a month’s worth of tube-dresses that clung to every contour of her stomach. Any midwife could have told you where the head was.
“Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you lose your style,” Duma says. “You just need to make some corrections. I like loose coats – and, of course, stretch is your friend.” You’ll need some other friends, too, to help you cross cobbled streets in your stilettos.
While Duma spent some days in box-fresh white and navy Converse (trainers are officially fashionable, so this isn’t a cop-out), she remained for the most part in four or five-inch heels. They weren’t even the “cheating” kind with a bit of cushioning, either. One favourite was the nearly naked Givenchy sandals that seem to stay on the foot by force of will alone; another, lace-front booties that looked like murder on swollen ankles.
Eva Chen, editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine and also expecting, was in spindly nail-heeled courts and miniskirts too. But fellow pregnant street stylers consultant Yasmin Sewell and Russian comrade Natasha Goldenberg compromised in silver wedge sandals from Prada and Stella McCartney’s stacked flatform brogues. They too stuck to “ordinary” clothes, rather than opting for maternitywear.
And they made it seem a doddle. But before you bid sayonara to your Birkenstocks and those pyjama trousers you’ve developed a love/hate relationship with, remember this: the antenatal fashionistas also take a lot of taxis.
The new pregnancy rules
1. Get a great coat You need one that you can unfasten in degrees to display the bump as it grows (and disguise the fact that you’re wearing the same T-shirt again. And again).
2. Buy a stretchy black mid-length dress Find one with long sleeves – a wardrobe staple throughout any fashionable pregnancy.
3. Hoick up your skirt A tube-skirt worn empire line with a T-shirt is the look to aim for.
4. It’s all about the shoes Stilettos are for die-hards – try flatforms if you feel you need a boost, otherwise trainers are very in.
5. Great sunglasses and a serious handbag Proof that you haven’t entirely given up on style.
6. If all else fails… Buy a poncho.
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