Every season I get excited to see what new pretties will be added to the Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female line, and my, my, my, if the rest of the AW20 line is going to shape up like this first lace drop, I am going to be one broke (but very well dressed) woman!
If this is your first encounter with a Claudia dress let me lay it out for you: the Claudia dress is a one-size-fits-most marvel that looks remarkably like a smock when first put on, then transforms into a slinky, sexy, boudoir-reminiscent beauty once you tie up the belt and adjust the gathers to your liking. The original iteration was a knee length dress with bishop sleeves, of which I own 4 different colours/prints, but it has since been released in a maxi length (which can have the full bishop sleeves or short flutter sleeves,) as well as a flutter sleeve knee length version. I own two of the flutter sleeves and, thanks to this lace beauty, 3 of the maxi lengths, and if that collection alone doesn’t convince you that this design is a wonder I’m really not sure what will.
One of the great things about the Claudia dress is that despite the fact that it is so clearly sexy–the middle split in the skirt! the fact that the bust can be arranged to show a deep, tempting plunge in the cleavage!–it can also be dressed down so easily this time of year with tights, boots, even cardigans. It’s as versatile as it is beautiful, but this lace maxi? Oh this lace maxi isn’t here to hold your hand with versatility and practicality. This lace maxi is here to kill.
I mean, could you wear this in the day? Actually, yeah, especially if you’re one of my LA friends who would totally throw this on with a huge sun hat, a pair of sunglasses and head off about town living your summer slightly-gothic dreams. But the thing it was made for, the thing it is so clearly ready to do at any moment, is steal the fucking show, and as long as you’re comfortable with that then this baby is ready to be That Bitch at a wedding, to steal the heart of your date, to stun at the party, and even to be ridiculously glamorous while lounging around at home. Because, oh yeah, didn’t I mention yet that this motherfucker is super soft? She reaaaaal soft y’all.
The bishop sleeves don’t have a full cuff in this version, unlike the Claudia dresses, but instead an elasticated cuff that means even we thick-wristed plus size lovelies can enjoy this dress comfortably. It comes with a matching-fabric lace belt that has enough stretch to be wrapped around the waist–even mine–several times to cinch you in, but I love a wide, structured belt when I’m in the mood to really enhance my waist to the maximum.
Since this lace is obviously sheer the dress comes with a stretchy black camisole to preserve some of your modesty, should you desire to preserve it. The slip is a-line enough that it does fit me, including over my 46 inch bust, but my ample measurements mean it sits higher on my bust that I’d like, so I prefer to wear a cheap satin slip I bought elsewhere because it has a lower neckline that does the cleavage of this dress greater justice for maximum sex appeal. One of the fabulous foundation points of the Claudias is that they all have pockets. I assumed this one wouldn’t because it’s made from sheer lace, but I was thrilled to find it still does!
As mentioned, this dress is one-size-fits-most, which in practical terms means that the Deadly x AK team anticipated that the dress would work up to a 42 inch bust when they first launched it. Many of their plus size customers are huge fans of this dress in all its lengths, myself included, and Deadly now recommends that it would fit up to 46 inch busts. Mine can fluctuate up to 47 inches (hello hormones!) so I would guess that even up to 48 inches can probably still wear this dress beautifully. If your bust to waist proportion is small you’ll have less fabric to play with to get the drape in the gathers that gives this dress such a unique look, but if you’re happy to have less pleating on show then I’d say this dress is still a great option for you. Through the waist I think you could have a waistline of between 36-40 inches and still find there’s room to adjust the fabric to achieve the pleated look that dress was designed to showcase.
One final note I want to touch on is the dream team that produce this dress, Alexandra King and Deadly is the Female. Both are incredibly small woman-owned businesses located in Somerset, working their cute little butts off constantly to help make their customers feel gorgeous and confident. The pandemic has obviously made their jobs harder, not just because the social distancing measures in place means they have practical restrictions they have to abide by to work safely, but also because financially these are very difficult times for most people, especially small businesses. Each Alexandra King for Deadly is the Female piece is designed jointly by Alex and Claudia, Deadly’s founder, and handmade with love and great skill by Alex in her Somerset studio. Each item is of the highest quality and comes wrapped with hope and care, and if you can afford to support these incredible women by shopping with them in store (Deadly even offer private shop appointments currently!) or online that will make an much appreciated and tangible difference to their businesses and, no doubt, their hearts.
The Lace Claudia Maxi dress is a new release for Deadly and Alexandra King, and will probably sell out quickly so don’t dawdle. It’s also available in the knee-length dress version, and all purchases from Deadly is the Female earn you rewards points that can be redeemed for money off future purchases. Deadly also offer Clearpay, which allows you to spread the cost of your order out over 4 payments.
Disclaimer: The bag used as part of this outfit was previously gifted to me by Lola Von Rose for a past review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.
COVID-19 NOTE: These pictures were taken alone, safely in a secluded area with no other individuals present or passing by, thus abiding by the strict social distancing rules currently in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.