The weather’s bleak and the news even bleaker, and yet party season shimmers temptingly on the horizon, its promise of glamorous nights and outlandish outfits getting us through the autumn of discontent.
“Women want to dress up and go out again,” says Heather Gramston, Head of Womenswear at Browns Fashion. “We expect it to be a huge party season.”
Wondering what to wear? More this season is most definitely more: “Our customer is gravitating towards special occasion dressing, choosing emotional, fashion-forward pieces to make them feel good,” says Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear at Matches Fashion, which has grown its eveningwear section 113 per cent for winter.
So whether you’re outfit planning for a big office bash, a drinks party at home or a night on the tiles, these are six of the top trends to know.
From Beyoncé’s house and disco-inspired album Renaissance, with its giant disco ball and seventies silver lame dress-infused imagery, to Kim Kardashian’s recently launched Skims disco line (yep, she brought the iconic American Apparel disco pants back), high-shine Studio 54 fashion is back in a big way; as evidenced by the 2.4 million views for “disco fashion” on TikTok.
Google search for disco pants alone has soared by 145 per cent over the past three months and the season’s party edits are choc-full of glittery and paillette-peppered pieces. “Expect over the top sparkles, feather detailing, sheer materials and crystal-galore for party dressing this season,” says Gramston. Wallflowers need not apply.
“The standout shoe trend of the season for me is exaggerated mega platforms,” says Gramston, who rates the vertiginous styles on offer at Browns from Valentino, MACH & MACH, Amina Muaddi and Prada. And Wiggins agrees: “For AW22 we’ve grown our selection by + 416 per cent, with options for every occasion – including metallic, patent and velvet.
We’ve recently launched exclusive festive velvet heels with Mach & Mach and D’Accori continues to be a bestseller offering great colour pop and embellished styles.” For more economical elevation, try seventies platform OG Terry de Havviland, a London label whose multi-coloured glitter ‘Non Stop Disco’ style (£295) Carrie rocked in the recent “And Just Like That,” Aussie brand Loeffler Randall’s new knotted velvet numbers (£390), or Kurt Geiger, which stocks many a party platform for under £100. If platforms are not your bag, then opt for a pair of twinkling crystal-covered party boots, which make for a dancefloor stomp-friendly upgrade on the stiletto.
Mini to the Maxi
Once the preserve of partygoers in-the-know, playsuits and jumpsuits are set to become the ghosts of Christmas past this season, as the good old-fashioned party dress enjoys a right and proper renaissance. The shelves will burst with absolutely fabulous frocks – Matches for example has upped its offering of “standout dresses” 56 per cent – and the best of the bunch come floor sweeping or well above the knee.
“We are championing glamourous silhouettes, sequins, velvet and crystal-shine embellishments to cater to our customers wanting to make a statement this holiday season,” says Wiggins.
If you’re sticking to your trusty LBD, why not jazz it up with some shimmering arm candy? Whether a delicious diamante bedecked design, something silvery or Paco Rabanne’s iconic chainmail, this winter’s coolest clutches are high-shine and so very happy-making.
Beneditta Bruzziches, Marina Raphael and Cult Gaia are the names to know for haute rhinestone holdalls, but dazzling diamante high street finds abound.
Nothing ruins a glam outfit quite like a scruffy raincoat chucked over the top, and with the temperatures having finally dropped, dashing from bar-to-bar sans jacket is no longer an option. Faux fur remains a cosy and cool choice, but for anyone looking to expand their evening outerwear wardrobe this winter, a feathery bolero is without doubt the way to go.
Influencer Camille Charriere’s collaboration with Mango, which dropped online today, features a cropped one that comes in apple green or peach, while Coast and Karen Millen both do a (almost identical) longer-line jacket shape that comes in a whole range of colours, from understated dusty blue through to popping fuchsia.
Magpie dressing might be having a moment but sequins, which are mostly made from microplastics, are planet polluting. Luckily, there’s a burgeoning movement towards sustainable sparkle.
Central St Martin’s alum Kevin Germanier uses only upcycled sequins (and crystals and beads) for his OTT party pieces, sourced from leftover fabrics in factories in China, while other top names Conner Ives and Matty Bovan rely on the Sustainable Sequin Company, which sells sequins made from upcycled plastic. Even Phase Eight has added several recycled sequin dresses this season, and intends for all its sequins to be recycled by next year.