Spring/Summer 2016 Mary Katrantzou

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In what was surely one of Mary Katrantzou’s most directly wearable collections yet, the designer returned to cosmology and the world as a starting point – we saw elements of it two seasons ago to spectacular couture-like effect, before last season’s beef-up when it came to size, texture, proportion and play. But the designer has been drilling down into the MK DNA, what makes both her and her customer tick and finding the common ground between the two, especially of late when it comes to her pre-collections – and you could see all of this had been learnt from, instigated and translated into this collection.

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The word she kept saying backstage was “light” and “desirable” – she’s always had the product, but now she’s refining it. “I wanted it to be enchanting and beautiful,” she said. There’s no doubting it was – who can say no to a shimmering little dress, a series of which she paraded out with to begin. They were microscopic in their sparkle and tied at the back or fluted in the sleeve. They were the ultimate sort of party dress with no potential pitfalls to put any shopper off.

She followed up with jewel tones for frilled and flounced numbers whose hips bloomed rose-shaped peplums. Tailoring too made an appearance – again here the emphasis was on being sharp and light. She noted that it had been about building upon structure in the past – here she seemed to be deconstructing it to just as beneficial effect.

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Sequins, Sequins, Sequins!

Heading to a holiday shindigs? Dashing off to a fancy dinner? Finding any excuse to celebrate?

Christmas is here.

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 Sequins bring a festive spark to any outfit. Even the simplest of little black dresses, like those worn by Olivia Palermo and Abigail Breslin, look party-ready when covered in glitter. Just remember to keep the rest of your accessories to a minimum; a pair of pretty pumps and a classic clutch is all you need to shine all night long.

Get this season’s shimmer and shine trend just right and you’ll look oh-so awesome. Get it wrong and, well, you’ll look like Tinkerbell from the local panto. Never has it been so important to master the art of balancing muted clothing with accents of statement-making. Ladies, get your note pads and pens out. It’s time for a trend masterclass.

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The new way to shine goes like this: your outfit needs to be a base of understated, well-tailored pieces and then turn on the fashion charm with one magic accessory, or key-piece that turns heads. An understated LBD will be set alight with a glitterball clutch and dazzling heels. Alternately, a dress that shimmers head-to-toe requires easy-going accessories in complimentary colours. It’s a balancing act between sophistication and sheer devil-may-care dressing.

The main ingredient for success with this trend? Confidence and a glass of Champagne. Sante, sweetie!

Issa London and Rodarte

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Loewe and Altuzarra

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Christopher Kane and Lucas Nascimento

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Michael Kors and Balmain

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Spring/Summer 2015 Versace

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Knowing Donatella Versace’s love of balls-out rock, thinking back to the Versus show in New York and St. Vincent’s storming performance at the after-party, it’s easy to assume that what Donatella was a direct reflection of her recent experiences. Straightforward silhouettes, bold color, and no embellishment added up to her strongest collection in a long time. She didn’t need to fanny around with eveningwear. That’s what couture is for. Instead, she offered a starkly modernist, color-blocked, crystal mesh take on cocktail dresses (the kind of cocktail that will carry you through till dawn—and a lifetime of regret).

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True, the crystal mesh was a slam dunk in the vein of vintage Versace, but the real achievements of this collection lay elsewhere: in the comparatively quiet sophistication of the prints, the Warholian reconceptualization of the house’s Medusa signature, the motif of rings artfully dissected with real metal. And in the hyper-athleticism of pared-back pieces bifurcated by angular graphic sashes. Or in the peculiar, naive energy of sharp black tailoring defined by oversize white stitching. It was like there had been some kind of overlay on Versace, a sensibility that was slightly to the left of the label’s tradition. Slinky sexy, yes, but also fiercely don’t-give-a-damn physical.

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