There's no reason to scrimp on glitz and glamour simply because it's January.
Katie Trotter: On staying stylish all-year round
Fashion editors don't like January. For us, the first month of the year is a sorry old no-man's land stuck somewhere between party season and the need to cut back, a time for austerity. This January, however, is a little different. It is, and I say this with a skip in my step, time to upscale - to break the normal January taboos that surround the dress code at this time and continue full throttle ahead with the glitz and the glamour we normally leave behind as the party season draws to an end.
Think something a bit Joan Collins, although leaning more towards Joan in business class if we are to be precise. All teetering on the edge of bad taste, no doubt, but that's part of the fun when it comes to sparkles, high shine and decadent detailing.
The runways were bursting with metallic, gold and silver shades, so there will be no shortage on the high street. Look for deep velvets and rich suede, gold threading, silver zipper details and quilted fabric manipulation for inspiration. Molten colour is at the forefront, especially silver, which will carry through to your summer wardrobe. But if top to toe is a little too much, then play around with accessories instead. Chanel's silver ankle boots will be seen on every celebrity going, while Fendi's gold eyeshadow caused such a storm it almost took away from the show itself. For something more suitable for daytime, silver looks fantastic when paired with nude shades, although be careful to avoid accessories in cheap, foil-like materials. Fluid silks dotted with sequins add a softer face to the trend, as will simple cuts and symmetric shapes.
While I am normally terribly happy in encouraging all ages to play around and experiment, the bottom line is that there are boundaries when it comes to high-octane dressing. Not perhaps as strict as we often think, but use your common sense - a 40-something in an off the shoulder gold lamé number will perhaps appear a little daft. As I have explained many times, there is a fine line between opulence and vulgarity; learning when we are able to cross it is when fashion gets really interesting. Like most things in life, confidence is everything. My general rule of thumb is if you stop more than once in the mirror before leaving the house to readjust an item of clothing - be it pulling it down or shuffling it around to find a more comfortable position - it is never going to work.
We must look like we believe in what we are doing indefinitely, or run the risk of failing catastrophically. There is nothing worse than appearing like an Eighties soap star when we aren't quite feeling like one.
This week's high and lows
WONDERFUL WU Jason Wu is to receive the Future of Fashion Award in January from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.
SHADED LADIES Visors cannot be S/S 2012's new trend. We refuse to accept it.
TWO-TONE POUT Models at Prabal Gurung donned bright pink lips with a smudge of a dark shade in the centre.
PYTHON OVERDOSE Don't even think about pairing your (already horrid) bum bag with a matching printed dress. Not good on just anyone.
SUI GENERIS The San Francisco high-end designer store that stocks new and vintage pieces just launched its online shop, stocking brands such as Alaïa, Chanel and Balenciaga.