As the festive season approaches, it’s time for the party collections to launch. Stephanie Smith has advice on how to put together some fashion-savvy looks, collections to look out for and best dresses and outfits for all your Christmas events.
In just over a month, we will find ourselves well and truly doused in party fever – party political, thanks to the General Election, and party party, thanks to those annual festive big office and charity bashes we pretend to hate but actually spend hours preparing for.
The big Christmas party wear drop time is happening right now, so there’s no time to hang about. The high street is having to work hard to entice fashion shoppers, and that’s good news for those in search of something rather special.
For a show-stopping look, it is possible to bag a big name designer number without paying thousands, although you will have to be really, really quick. Newly launched is H&M’s second collection with Italian designer Giambattista Valli, including a standout party dress showcased on the catwalk last month by Kendall Jenner. In keeping with the Giambattista Valli aesthetic, the collection is feminine, featuring tulle, voluptuous skirts and plenty of pink. Fantasy-fulfilling party and ballgown numbers sit alongside more autumnal designs including a fake fur leopard print coat, a black and green floral maxi dress and a men’s sequinned suit.
This second collection (the first drop launched at the Cannes Film Festival in May) sees prices range from £12.99 to £299.99 for an evening gown. The decadent campaign was shot by acclaimed fashion photography duo Mert and Marcus in a range of Roman settings in keeping with Valli’s Italian heritage. “He’s a master of beauty, he does that timeless couture thing so well,” said H&M’s creative advisor, Ann-Sofie Johanssen. “He wanted to explain his world, he had an idea that he wanted to show his iconic, timeless pieces. He’s kind of old-fashioned in that sense – he’s a true dressmaker.”
The line is available at H&M online. By the way, H&M will open a new store at the The Moor in Sheffield on Thursday, so look out for that.
Meanwhile, John Lewis & Partners has come up with a rather helpful concept for those in search of an outfit for every Christmas occasion, with its newly launched 12 Days of Christmas Dresses capsule collection (not entirely accurate as there is a jumpsuit and a separates combo in the mix, for those who don’t do dresses). It features 12 British brands – Ghost, Finery, AllSaints, Jaeger, Warehouse, Jigsaw, Toast, Whistles, Hush, Harrogate-based Pure Collection, Reiss and Mint Velvet. Each design has been chosen for different festive events and John Lewis worked with each brand to create this ultimate party piece edit.
Hosting a dinner party? Try a velvet 90s-style slip. Hitting the town on New Year’s Eve? You need an LGOD (a little going out dress). Many of the styles go up to a size 18.
John Lewis & Partners buyer Perushka De Zoysa said: “We know that the festive period can be tricky with so many different events, dress codes and occasions. This has been the first time we’ve worked with 12 of our coveted brands to create one collection and we’re excited to launch it to customers.”
So, if you don’t want a dress, a jumpsuit is the answer. Check out this black velour one from Harrogate-based Pure Collection – flattering as well as offering a bit of drama.
You shall go to the ball (or the office party).