The megawatt mini
If the catwalks of AW19 taught us one thing, it’s that the minidress is back. At Alexander McQueen, creative director Sarah Burton showcased vivid scarlet dresses in structured silk with barely there hemlines, while at the Saint Laurent show in Paris, 40 of the 103 looks shown were minis.
London-based designer Richard Quinn is synonymous with vibrant floral prints, and he firmly believes that minidresses suit all. “They are sexy but easy to wear. They can be dressed up or down and you can make it as dramatic as you want . . . there is a style for everyone.”
His top styling tip? “Always pair with heels.”
In terms of bags, go simple and minimalist and let the dress do all the talking.
The evening suit
Sometimes a full-on frock can seem like a daunting prospect, but the cocktail suit is here to stay as a chic but easy partywear option. Carolyn Franks, co-founder and partnerships director of modern eveningwear label Galvan, praises the flexibility of the two-piece, saying: “when it comes to dress codes, the cocktail suit can work equally well for black tie and red carpet, or for after-work dinner. It’s such a versatile piece in your wardrobe, which can be equally business-like or sexy depending on how you style and accessorise it.” Wear with a 1990s-style strappy sandal for a dash of glamour.
The Victoriana gown
In rich velvets or metallics, with puffed sleeves and ankle-skimming hemlines, the Victoriana dress is an antidote to predictable slinky styles. The silhouette has connotations of “prudishness and respectability . . . but that’s definitely not something I endorse,” says Susie Cave, founder of The Vampire’s Wife — the British label that kickstarted its comeback. She says her dresses, which take their hues from “tins of Quality Street”, are designed to have fun in. “My dresses exaggerate the female form,” she says. “You walk into a party and time stands still.” Pair with a simple mule and a pearly bag.
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