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6:00am Saturday 7th December 2013 in Lifestyle
Dazzle on the dance floor this Christmas. Lisa Haynes unwraps the season's party pieces.
Minimalism is perfectly acceptable for the majority of the year, but December is undoubtedly the month of overstated glamour and glitz.
It's time to outshine the fairy lights with jewel tone brights, overshadow the tinsel in the sparkliest of frocks and give the tree angel a run for her money in shimmering winter whites.
The party season is all about decadence, dancing and serious dressing-up. Glamour comes in many guises, so pick your favourite Christmas fashion theme and deck yourself out with all the trimmings. 'Tis the season to sparkle and shine.
You don't need a snowy forecast to channel the ice maiden look. Look to opulent winter whites with a dusting of silver frosting.
Work an all-white look using layers of contrasting fabrics and textures to create interest - try delicate, floaty cobwebs of chiffon topped off with a fuzzy fur or a marabou feather cover-up. If you prefer a stark silhouette, work a plain, structured dress with a strong shape.
If you feel white is too harsh, look to the palest tones of champagne or dove grey for a softer look.
The major drawback of a white party outfit? Steer clear of the mulled wine, or risk a festive fashion disaster.
It's every style magpie's favourite time of year. There are no limits to your sparkly capabilities, whether you want to glisten in top-to-toe sequins or work a subtle dusting of glitter with accessories.
The key to a seductive shimmer takeover is keeping your outfit in the same tone.
For a statement spin on traditional sequins, look to oversized paillettes that have a hypnotic, pearlescent quality.
If sequins are too obvious, go for Great Gatsby decadence with intricate, shimmering beadwork. Ornate flapper dresses are the obvious option for couture sparkle but the same theory applies to heavily embellished tops and statement jackets for a vintage feel.
Make an impression on the dance floor with dramatic colour that resembles precious jewels. Pick out your best colour and amplify it with a shimmering jewel tone. For instance, if you adore green, choose rich emerald. Fan of red? Opt for ruby.
These powerful precious gem hues require no fuss or adornments, so keep extra bling and accessories to a bare minimum.
To really embrace the Christmas spirit, riffle through the trusty Quality Street tin. This season you'll find jewel brights in shimmering metallic tones that resemble The Purple One, Coconut Eclair blue or Toffee Finger yellow.
Disco-inspired coloured metallics need no flounce or fuss, so strip back the bouncy blow dries and sparkly make-up.
Liquid-look metallics, in bronze, silver and gold, exude luxury and drama. For pure statement, experiment with structured shape and a fit-and-flare skirt for the modern-day fairy effect. If you're more of a tomboy, metallic tones lend themselves well to tailored separates, for a look that means business on the dance floor.
The darker the metallic, the more flattering on the body. For extra party dress slimming power, look to blackened silvers and golds rather than pale champagne or icy shades.
If you don't fancy full-on gold, silver or bronze, reach for brocade. Set against a black background, lavish gold brocade will look show-stopping for after dark.
There will always be understated black dresses but there are also head-turning statement makers with cut-out details, dazzling necklines and opulent fabrics where the silhouette alone steals the scene.
Black is the perfect blank canvas for going all-out glamazon with the rest of your look. Think sparkly bauble earrings, bejewelled box clutches or gem-encrusted necklaces that have 'conversation starter' written all over them.
A simple styling tweak like a bright belt or party heels can instantly amp up a black dress or separates.
If you want to think outside the LBD box, try a playsuit that's been spruced up for party season with a subtle black shimmer.
Get the look
Myleene Klass isn't afraid to clash her raspberry dress with the red carpet. Brave the strapless look (or throw a glam coat over shoulders) with her Myleene Klass Tulip Skirt Bandeau Dress, £49, at Littlewoods (www.littlewoods.com).
Buy it now
Architectural shapes and sculpture are the inspirations behind designer Georgia Hardinge's latest collection for River Island. Expect digital prints, origami folds and a monochrome palette from the fashion-forward 13-piece collection, available now, priced from £30 in stores and online (www.riverisland.com).
:: Wardrobe wars
When it comes to wardrobes, women wear the trousers. Females in co-habiting relationships dominate the clothing storage space in their household, with three-quarters admitting to hogging 80% of it, according to a recent poll by online wardrobe retailer slidewardrobesdirect.co.uk. An outrageous 22% confessed to secretly throwing away clothing items belonging to their partners to make room for their own. None of the female respondents said that their partner took up more space than they did with their clothes. Closet case closed.
:: Recessionista alert
Forget the advent calendar. IKRUSH.com is counting down with a '12 Days of Christmas' fashion sale. From December 1, an exclusive piece of clothing or accessory will be available each day, starting at £12 and going down £1 with each date, until the final £1 dress day on December 12. Be quick, offers are limited. Visit www.ikrush.com.
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