THE BEST PIECES TO BUY NOW
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 (stories.com)