Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Fashion notes: Dispense your razzle-dazzle in small doses

So forget anything gaudy, branded or visibly jarring; think soft, molten metallic, gold and silver shades. Look for sequins, gold threading, silver details and metallic fabric manipulation for inspiration – the runways are bursting at the seams with it.

The first month of the year, in terms of fashion, is a sorry old place, stuck somewhere between the razzle-dazzle of party season and the need to cut back and downscale. This season, however, the glitz and glamour hasn’t quite had enough airtime. It’s good news then, for the high-octane “more is more” dressers of the Middle East.

The problem with sequins is how easy they are to ridicule. And then there’s the bad press – normally hinting towards the age-old “mutton-dressed-as-lamb” connotations. Think Joan Collins et al – women with a little too much oomph and pizzazz (yes, it’s possible).

Your greatest risk is ending up trussed-up in something very non-“you”. So forget anything gaudy, branded or visibly jarring; think soft, molten metallic, gold and silver shades. Look for sequins, gold threading, silver details and metallic fabric manipulation for inspiration – the runways are bursting at the seams with it.

Weightless and delicate transparent pieces will be your first stop thanks to the timeless metallic shades and materials used at Tom Ford and Mary ­Katrantzou. Saint Laurent’s shiny pieces in varying shades and patterns, as well as some more outlandish materials spotted at Giles and Markus Lupfer are there for the taking for those who like to ­experiment.

Look to brands such as ­Alexander Wang and Preen if you’re not too concerned about budget, as they offer beautiful cuts that hint at the trend, without hollering from the rafters.

For the high street, stick to Zara or Reiss, and try to look for the more unusual pieces ­hidden away, to avoid being the one in the traditional sparkly party frock.

If head-to-toe glamour is a little too much, opt for muted colours, such as coral and soft pink, which will carry through to your summer wardrobe. Muted doesn’t have to mean bland, though, just a delicacy in overall tone. ­Colour-wise, taupe, grey and off-white will also work well when it comes to pairing.

A sequinned dress can certainly be done, just make sure to stay away from anything upholstered or corseted. Your dress (like you, for this particular trend) should be nothing more than a wisp of a thing. Bare legs are best, as it will soften the overall look and break up the lines.

For something more suitable for daytime, silver works beautifully when paired with nude tones, but make sure to stay clear of the cheap, foil-like materials seen on the high street when it comes to accessorising. A muted silk shirt tucked into sequinned dark maroon pencil skirt can be an interesting addition to a sea of frocks – so, again, don’t be afraid to ­experiment.

With high-octane dressing, simply use some basic common sense – the less-is-more rule has never been so ­pertinent. Remember that flashes of razzle-dazzle are always better than going all-out and running the risk of a catastrophic fail. There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as appearing like a statement when you aren’t quite feeling like one.

There’s a fine line between opulence and vulgarity; learning when we are able to cross it is when things get interesting.

Updated: January 8, 2015 04:00 AM

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