The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - STYLE -

As the fes­tive party sea­son ap­proaches, your wardrobe might be look­ing be look­ing a lit­tle drab. Those clas­sic black dresses that do for most dress codes are ren­dered mousy among all the Christ­mas sparkle – sud­denly, even con­firmed min­i­mal­ists may find them­selves ab­sent-mind­edly stroking se­quinned party frocks in M&S, hav­ing popped in for a navy cash­mere knit.

Sequins are plen­ti­ful on the high street right now, but not ev­ery wo­man en­joys the in­built sound­track of a se­quinned shift; and the speed at which bald patches ap­pear rules them out as a trend to in­vest in.

This sea­son, there’s an­other outré party op­tion on the block: the lamé dress. In gold, sil­ver, or any shade of metal­lic, it packs more fes­tive punch than great-aunt Sylvia’s eggnog.

For some, the Seven­ties disco and Eight­ies shoul­der-pad ref­er­ences it con­jures up are off-putting. But lamé’s fash­ion his­tory goes back far fur­ther. The metal used in Thir­ties it­er­a­tions meant the fab­ric smelt slightly acidic, but that didn’t stop it from be­com­ing a go-to for Hol­ly­wood star­lets look­ing to up the glam­our – and it has drifted in and out of fash­ion ever since.

The 2018 vari­a­tions come with retro ref­er­ences, such as Cate Blanchett’s Ar­mani Privé black vel­vet dress with sin­gle gold lamé sleeve that nod­ded to the Eight­ies at this year’s Venice film fes­ti­val, or The Vam­pire’s Wife’s Vic­to­ri­ana-meets-prairie dresses, which have be­come the dis­cern­ing fashionista’s choice.

If there’s a lamé dress lan­guish­ing at the back of your wardrobe, a few lit­tle tweaks to the sil­hou­ette could make all the dif­fer­ence. Re­move shoul­der pads for an in­stant up­date. A minidress can be lay­ered over black tai­lored trousers if you’re no longer in­clined to bare that much leg. Al­ter­na­tively, prac­ti­cal opaque black tights are, for once, in fash­ion, hav­ing made ap­pear­ances on the spring/sum­mer 2019 cat­walks at Givenchy and Miu Miu.

Fi­nally, layer on a party coat – I love the idea of a vel­vet jacket or ki­mono to add tex­ture and off­set a lit­tle of the bling fac­tor. You can al­ways check it at the cloak­room when you’re ready to un­leash the tiny dancer within.

HIGH STREET GOLD Wrap waist, £85 (sto­

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