The Mood

Party Dressing Minus The Sparkle

The end of the year sometimes seems to mean a free-for-all in terms of embellishment and glitter – not to mention ugly Christmas sweaters – all in the name of good cheer and festivity. What if this time around, glitter and sparkle make way for a muted mix of subtle shimmers?

by Siska Lyssens

Seen on the runway

For an elegant and restrained sense of celebration, black is a classic, fail-safe option. It’s also a fashion pack favourite and a collection without it is almost inconceivable. Even Cedric Charlier, a Paris-based Belgian designer known for his great talent as a colourist, snuck in black leather separates and velvet dresses with just the right amount of severity and soft shine. Saint Laurent, with a sexiness injection by Anthony Vaccarello, was a parade of black dresses, mostly asymmetrical. Haider Ackermann suggested dramatic tailoring for evenings with details like pointed shoulder seams and feathers, while at Valentino, the usual long, romantic silhouettes took a dark, almost ecclesiastical turn.
From left: Cédric Charlier, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Haider Ackermann

Translated to the street

Pretty and easy to emulate, the black party outfit still requires meticulous planning. One wouldn’t want to underwhelm by being too underdressed, so texture and interesting details are key. Choose leathers, velvet, satin or silk – any material that intensifies the colourless hue and gives it a bit of shine without veering into sparkle territory. Look for an asymmetry or an unfinished hem to the silhouette for an unusual edge to a classic concept, and you're set to shine from the inside out. 
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