Lift your spirits and let your hair down for Christmas party season

With modern luxury the look of the season, now is the time to think about after dark dressing

The tinsel and trees were out for a fashion shoot for this year's Irish Times Christmas Magazine.

 

Festive punch has never been so rich and opulent and in many cases, more affordable, so there’s no holding back when it comes to laying on the glitz and sparkle and indulging in equally stellar accessories when it comes to night-time decor. Our fashion shoot in Dublin’s Marker Hotel should help stimulate the conversation. Office parties, nights on the town or other city celebrations demand sophistication and more covering up for that Hollywood, devil-may-care sultry insouciance so much in fashion at the moment.

If there’s one time when you can really dress up like a star and rock a great frock, it’s Christmas. You can stand out from the crowd in a red dress, but cut a more dramatic entrance in a full length blonde gown like the one shown here. Menswear, dark and dreamy is a streamlined counterpart to a sweeping floor length ballerina skirt or a sequinned figure hugging dress for romantic evenings or red carpet events.

It’s easy to go wild when there is so much faux fur this season to add that look of downright luxury (which also keeps out the chill) and so much lavish embroidery on dresses, on bags, even on shoes, a trend which can be blamed on the influence of Italian designers like Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. Snowy wraps or shaggy cover ups mean coats in two tone or block coloured faux fur, the lighter shades a new take on the familiar dark tones.

Rich velvets are everywhere this season and so are long metallic pleated skirts that cut a dash flouncing on the dance floor or simply teamed with leather jackets on city streets. Add to that flirty feather shoes and crystal studded clutches and you’re good to go.

The tuxedo becomes an indispensable failsafe piece for night-time marking 50 years this year since it was introduced for women by Yves St Laurent as “Le Smoking”. Wearing it successfully means using its versatility to maximum advantage and keeping proportions in mind - as part of a suit a fitted jacket can look great with flares, ditto a wider jacket is best paired with skinnies. It can be worn with a lace skirt or to great effect or as illustrated here as part of a trouser suit with just a long neckpiece from Stonechat jewellers adorning the cleavage.

Shot on location at the Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.

Stylist: Carmel Ann Daly. Assisted by: Brian Lyng.

Photographer: Anita Sadowska.

All jewellery by Stonechat jewellers, stonechatjewellers.ie.

Hair by Joe Hayes, style director, Toni and Guy, Clarendon street, Dublin 2.

Make up by Kathryn O’Neill using MAC cosmetics, kathrynoneillmakeup.com

With special thanks to Gabriel Byrne of Fantasy lights, fantasylights.com

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