The party dress

Needless to say that we’re probably all running around like a headless chicken trying to find the dress for the Christmas office party (or in some case for the several Christmas parties we’ve been invited to).

Whenever I’m looking for the dress I feel this reasoning voice inside my head which tells me the dress needs to be a statement piece, an investment, yet a dress which will last me for many occasions to come. It’s all too easy to buy yet another little black dress (when in fact you only need one or maximum two – I own at least six or seven) and ignore that there is an array of wonderful colours and flattering shapes out there for me to try, but I am determined not to let this happen.

Here are a few of my favourite dresses for this season and why I think you should get yours:

French Connection £144

Feel like a goddess in this dress, which would especially suit a pear shaped body, to enhance those beautiful shoulders and hide a larger bottom.

Mango £59.90

A dress which is not only gorgeous and a little bit different, but will suit almost any body shape. If you don’t want to show off your legs, wear opaque tights and killer heels.

Oasis £40
Oasis £40
This dress is perfect for showing off those legs and ideal if you are petite. Definitely go for it if you’re a red head.  Teal is my new obsession!
Mango £99.90
Apple shaped? here’s your perfect dress! Rock those legs and hide that tummy into a dress which will make you feel like a Glamazon!
Mango £134.90
Flaunt that flawless body in this glittery number from Mango. you’ll see heads turning!
Mango £49.90
Bring some summer into winter with this orange dress. The draped fabric will hide away those bumps and make you look like a star!
Oasis £65
Little black dress with a yellow twist! Flattering especially if you’re hourglass shaped.
Oasis £75
Classic shape, perfect tailoring, lovely colour alternative to the omnipresent black. A dress you simply can’t go wrong with!
Phase Eight £65
Bring the flapper in you to live with this daring fucsia number from Phase Eight. Flattering if you’re tall and have legs to show off, but you worry that your cleveage might not be that generous.
Phase Eight £69
Time to bring out that geisha in you with this flattering dress which will not only complement your curves but will also make you stand out from the crowd. Especially if you put your hair up instead of letting it down for the Christmas party.
 Reiss £175
Flattering and elegant. This dress will attend many parties with you! Understated enough not to be remembered and flattering enough to get you noticed.
Zara £89.99
Feel like a 50′s diva with this classic number from Zara. Feminine and elegant!
River Island £35
And for those of you who are still looking for the LBD, here’s one you can’t go wrong with: classic flattering shape with fun polka dots!
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Clashing prints – the new colour block?

Now that everyone seems to have warmed up to the colour block trend, looks like the world is quite ready for the next step: the print clash. It’s been on the catwalks this year and most probably will be a strong trend in the spring/summer of 2012.

Prints and textures clash is, in my opinion, an expression of confidence and when it’s right it can be really right, and when it’s wrong, it can be really wrong. It takes a bit of practice at first but don’t be afraid to experiment and soon you’ll be an artist at print clashing. The secret is to mix different prints but within the same colour range (see picture below from Graziadaily.co.uk) or similar patterns in different colours as seen on Jonathan Saunders’ collections (below). PS: Did I mention I have a huge crush on Jonathan Saunders? :)

Source: Graziadaily.co.uk

Jonathan Saunders 2011

Jonathan Saunders spring/summer 2012

Sometimes little details such as colour accents can bring different patterns together and create a harmonious result. Notice the beige that unifies this Paul Smith dress and the accents of yellow in the flowers and the polka dots, which makes it a total print clash success.

Paul Smith dress

A practical and cost efffective example of pattern clash would be this lovely aztec print River Island skirt (a complete bargain for £20) matched with this Warehouse sequined stripy tee (£40), in a black and white winter symphony. Totally financially achievable too.I would even go so far and add a colourful necklace – yellow for instance if your complexion allows it, as the one below from craftsinindia.com:

And if you’re wondering if I practice what I preach, here’s what I’ve been wearing today: leopard print dress from Dorothy Perkins with autumnal flowers and leafs scarf from Primark. It’s up to you to judge if it works :)

Thanks for reading and because I am off to India for two weeks from tomorrow I may not be blogging too much, but will definitely try to report on the trends in the subcontinent. Have a good week-end! I. x

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