Tis the season for party-dress shopping… and by golly there are loads of dresses out there – but just to let you know, if you don’t like sequins, jewels or embellishment, you’re in trouble! Don’t get me wrong I love a sequin or two, but this season they are everywhere! I dread asking my clients what styles and fashions they dislike as the usual response is that they can’t stand puff sleeves, bows… or sequins! I know some of my clients are naturally drawn to simpler pieces but often I feel it’s not because they really love the styles but rather because they’re scared by pieces that might make them “stand out too much”… although many of us are guilty of shying away from shapes, styles and colours that are different to what we’re used to.
I often pick out styles that have more of a “personality” to show my clients and many are very quick to say, “That won’t suit me!” (When what they actually mean is “I’ve never tried on anything like that before and I’m a bit scared of what it’ll look like!”). However, I think that life is too short to not have fun with fashion and this season you can pretty much get away with anything (within reason obviously!). So when you’re next out shopping for your Christmas/NYE outfit and about to head for the changing-rooms, grab a couple of show stoppers along with your usual LBD and have a play… Really the most important thing to keep in mind is that an outfit has to be right for the occasion and there are several things to think about when deciding on an outfit: time of day, location, who you’re with (will everyone else be in jeans and a “shazzy” top, when you’re wearing a pink buff-ball number and faux fur jacket??). That reminds me… one of my very best friends used to rock up to the pub in stunning dresses, looking like a super-model when the rest of us would be wearing jeans and she’d say “…but my jeans are in the wash!”.
Speaking of dresses, I spent last New Year’s Eve in a bar/club in Liverpool and I remember when I had been trying on my chosen outfit in the shop feeling a little conspicuous – it was a fluorescenty yellow one-shoulder dress (it sounds hideous but it was actually quite flattering… but only with several applications of fake tan!). Anyway, I don’t go out in Liverpool very often these days and I’d forgotten what it’s like. Initially I felt a little “bright” but after a closer inspection of the outfits of my “contemporaries” in the loo queue, I felt quite at home. In fact, I might as well have been in jeans and a t-shirt in comparison to what others were wearing! One girl had on a floor-length bejewelled evening gown and another was in sequined hot pants and a giant puff sleeved top, with her hair back-combed to oblivion (seriously I couldn’t stop staring at her – she’d taken Patsy from Ab-Fab’s bouffant to the next level!).
You had to hand it to them, all the girls looked amazing (in their own inimitable way) and had made such an effort – and why not? When times are hard, it’s freezing outside and we’re feeling a touch under-the-weather, I think a little “bling” can go a long way to cheering ourselves up! So I think that if sequins would normally send you over the edge – why not give them a try and turn up the glamour this A/W 09. It could be as simple as adding an amazing necklace to an otherwise simple dress. I bought this necklace recently from Freedom at Topshop for only £18! I wore it over a plain t-shirt and it looked so effective (www.topshop.com).
Or how about jewellery for your eyelashes! When I was on the 3rd floor in Selfridges (London) last week I came across the Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Bar (located opposite their new jeans wall). I could have stayed there all day… the lashes are AMAZING! The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and with prices starting from £12 (up to £55) I think they’re a fairly guilt-free treat (they also apply them for free)! I fell in love with these gold ones with Swarovski crystals… they’re like a work of art (www.shuuemura.com)!