Though we generally find fashion's finest taking the sartorial plunge with daring metallic dresses, a touch of this opulent material can look just as stunning and noteworthy, as demonstrated by top stylesetters Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo. We first spotted Chung addressing this trend back in September at the GQ 2010 Men of the Year Awards in London, when she gave her outfit--a cream Valentino S/S 11 embroidered top and skirt--an unexpected shimmery accent with Chanel's S/S 11 pearl-embellished silver shoes. Three months later at the Footwear News 24th Annual Achievement Awards, Palermo was also snapped adding a dash of shine to her more utilitarian essentials. She used a gold metallic Rebecca Taylor skirt to liven up her Dolce & Gabbana black lace top, Ports 1961 sweater (which is sadly no longer available), and Charlotte Olympia Minerva Booties ($1383,323.930.8951) for a perfectly polished, festive look.
If you're still not quite sure about this bold clothing trend, we suggest following the ladies' lead because even just a hint of sheen makes for an exceptional ensemble. You can always start small like Chung did with a pair of metallic shoes. We think Elizabeth and James' Metallic Leather Ankle Boots ($550) and Sam Edelman's Metallic Ankle Boots ($200) are both super cool options that are sure to give your outfit the perfect shimmering finish. If you're looking to dive a little deeper into this trend you can always emulate Palermo's chic look by trying Diane von Furstenberg's Bolo Metallic Tweed Skirt ($385) or J. Crew's Hammered Silk Skirt ($70); either option can be used to create a buzz-worthy holiday ensemble.
Metallic pieces certainly stand out on their own, but styling your glittery picks with unusual or interesting accents can really make an outfit pop. Not sure how this can be done? We suggest taking a page from the lookbooks of Heidi Klum and Lou Doillon, as both will surely give you some stellar inspiration. We were particularly fond of Heidi Klum's vibrant pairing at City magazine's September issue celebration in New York three months ago. The model/TV mogul wore 3.1 Phillip Lim's Colorblock Sequin Dress ($1100, 310.358.1988) with electric green heels, resulting in an intriguing, flashbulb-worthy combo. And, although Doillon's noir pick at the Tommy Hilfiger Champs Elysee flagship store opening in Paris last month isn't ultra-flashy, we appreciate the way she accessorized her vintage-collection Tommy Hilfiger dress with a long, layered, silver chain necklace for an extra bit of panache.
For those of you who are interested in accessorizing your metallic picks like Klum and Doillon, you're in luck! We've found some A+ alternatives that are sure to make you really shine this holiday season. If you're fond of Klum's unlikely pairing, then you'll want to pick up a gray three-quarter sleeve dress, like BCBGMAXAZRIA's Asymmetrical Sequined Top ($408), and style it with a pair of bright shoes. Now the neon hue is up to you, but we like Melissa's Strappy Sandals ($182) in Green for a true Klum interpretation. Of course, color isn't the only way to add interest to your metallic clothing! Like Doillon, you can use a strong piece of jewelry to accent your frock. Marc New York's Draped Metallic Jacquard Dress ($168) is a good foundation piece; simply be sure to finish it with Madewell's Crystal Castles Necklace ($118).
While you generally find metallic pieces in the standard triad of hues (bronze, silver, and gold), we find that this material is even more captivating in luxe jewel tones, as Blake Lively and Dree Hemingway show us with their high-impact green frocks. Lively definitely caught our attention in a shimmering bottle green, hand-draped Prabal Gurung Dress ($2750, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christian Louboutin for Marchesa booties at the Footwear News 24th Annual Achievement Awards, but we also adore Dree Hemingway's interpretation of this trend. The model attended the Associates Committee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's fall party last month wearing a one-of-a-kind emerald green python strapless Gucci dress and green velvet and gold sandals, and the resulting look made us truly believe in the glamorous appeal of metallics!
While both Hemingway and Lively's metallic pieces are obsession-worthy to say the least, we've compiled some amazing finds of our own. If you're fond of our subjects' color choice, you might want to pick up Nicole Miller's Techno Metal Dress ($420) or Surface to Air's Bottle Green Drape Dress ($255). But if green is not your color, you can always try BCBGMAXAZRIA's Taffeta Bustier Dress ($128) or Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent's Corset Dress ($295); either way, you're bound to make a lasting impression at your next fete. And just because there are so many great options out there, we also must include two final options: Thread Social's Jacquard Sleeveless Trench Dress ($650) and Foley + Corinna's Metallic Lace Strapless Dress ($475). Both dresses are worth checking out, in fact, we promise they won't disappoint!--Jessica Baker
Photo of Blake Lively, courtesy of Splash; Photos of Lou Doillon, Olivia Palermo, and Heidi Klum, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Alexa Chung, courtesy of INF