Photo courtesy Jason Wu

While this column’s title clearly indicates that my goal is to let you know what the latest trends in fashion are, it’s really been designed to do more than that: to illustrate that in fashion, what goes around comes around. While I do write about what’s happening on the runways, I always pick a trend that can be termed an “instant classic”—something that will always return, like nautical stripes for spring/summer and pinstripes for fall/winter. Some trends remain constant no matter what the season. My point is, fashion is fluid. Great trends never die; they live forever—and become a classic.

That said, this issue I’ve chosen a particularly classic trend to showcase—lace. Lace will never die: from the prim Victorian era where lace was neck-high, to the ’80s where it was florescent and tattered a la Madonna, to the present, where the Duchess of Cambridge incorporates it into many a red carpet look, lace is a constant. It can be ladylike, it can be risque, it can be virginal, it can be fun; it all depends on how you use it.

Photo courtesy Jason Wu

Some designers use lace in their collections regularly; you can almost always expect lace from Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier. It was a big trend on the Fall 2012 runways where, besides the usual suspects, designers like Lanvin, Givenchy and Jason Wu incorporated it into their shows as well.

What’s best about lace is that while it definitely represents a particular look, how you use it can vary. It can be an entire dress, or just a top or a skirt, or even part of an accessory (lace stilettos, anyone?). It can be part of an undergarment peeking out from behind something (let’s keep this to the top portion of our bodies please, ladies) or an accent piece of some kind (keep the fingerless lace gloves for Halloween and ’80s costume parties, though).

However you wear it, lace can send many different messages. It’s up to you to choose how to interpret it, which is part of what makes it such a fun thing to wear. Just make sure it doesn’t end up wearing you.