Thursday, November 22, 2007

And The Winner Is...

At this time of year the glossies are full of features about party dresses and stores are brimming with evening frocks. This makes perfect sense given that the holiday season is upon us and people have more social functions to attend. Nevertheless, something about this once-a-year display saddens me. Pretty, sexy and flirty dresses shouldn't just be for the year's end. We should be glamming ourselves up and stepping out in all seasons! (Plus, if you adopt this mindset you'll always have enough of a stockpile that you can bide your time until the lovelies go on sale.)

Maybe because many people do wait until this time of year to buy an evening dress, the choices seem overwhelming. If you don't know your taste and style in formal evening clothing, then of course it will seem like buying a costume. When fantasies play themselves out at Halloween it's expected, but for real social engagements, the fantasy element looks a lot better when it's tempered to bear some relation to your actual day-to-day fashion sense. If your usual look is sleek and black, now's not the time to go all out with a voluminous shape and a bright print. One or the other if you need a change, I'd say.

So far, amid the abundance of options, my favorite dress is this one:

I've been obsessed with feathers since my trip to Vegas and the Rainbow Feather Company (*the* place for only-in-Vegas souvenirs). The feathers at the dress' neckline are charming and the large-scale lace print at the hem is pretty, but also grown-up. The dress articulates the right kind of fantasy, not because of the whopping $13,000 price tag, but because it's in keeping with my usual style: neutral colors, classic, body-conscious shapes, feminine and, when possible, opulent touches. I imagine it would make me feel the way any good cocktail dress does: like myself only better.

Dress by Yves Saint Laurent. Image from Harper's Bazaar, December '07.

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