Even if you don't consider yourself a particularly daring dresser, the holiday season is a great time to try out some more adventurous ensembles. But if you're hesitant to ditch your beloved LBD, simply look to today's crop of tastemakers to help you step outside of your comfort zone. These savvy stylephiles have recently donned wonderfully festive fare in the form of textured dresses and we've definitely taken notice, hence today's Trend Report! Emulate their smart styling choices by relegating those plain Jane frocks to the back of your closet and experimenting with anything adorned, gilded, decorated, or ornamented instead! Whether you try something festooned with feathers a la Sienna Miller or a boldly bedecked look per Anna Dello Russo, an anything-but-basic dress will certainly make a striking statement this season.
Since we're talking about an embellished, ornate look, it's no surprise that our runway inspiration comes from Matthew Williamson, who never fails to create fanciful, eye-catching designs. Williamson's F/W 11 collection featured a slew of look-at-me outfits, but our favorite has to be the shimmering Long Sleeve Dress ($12,175, 212.255.9881) shown above. We think its exquisite, tiered feather detailing, metallic sequin accents, and abbreviated hemline definitely make for a head-turning combination.
This trend has been making an equally bold statement off the runways, as demonstrated by today's quintet of style mavens. Model Jacquetta Wheeler, for example, attended the launch of Baku magazine last month wearing Matthew Williamson's Appliquéd Wool-Crepe Dress ($4075). We especially like how the frock's body-skimming, 20s-inspired silhouette balances out the intricate feather-and-bead embellishments, resulting in an undeniably stylish after-dark option. We're also charmed by model Gaia Weiss' take on our spotlighted trend. Snapped at the Emanuel Ungaro S/S 12 show last month, Weiss donned a metallic dress from said label's F/W 11 collection. We think her outfit is an especially wearable option-thanks to its classic, strapless shape-making it a perfect way to test-drive this look if you aren't feeling particularly daring. In addition to Wheeler's and Weiss' textured dresses, we're also smitten with the version Marie Claire's Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi wore to the AnOther magazine party in New York back in September. Rassi went for a high-octane look, which consisted of a Vionnet dress, Prada clutch, Louis Vuitton cuff, and Giuseppe Zanotti strappy heels. Her plunging, paillette-adorned frock is the epitome of evening glamour and definitely a winner in our books.
We've already given you the rundown on three great interpretations of our trend du jour, but if you really want to up the ante at your next holiday party, look to sartorial risk-takers Sienna Miller and Anna Dello Russo for inspiration. Miller attended an AllSaints party supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer in England last month wearing a whimsical Matthew Williamson dress from the S/S 12 collection. Replete with feather and sequin detailing, plus a standout hue, this daring frock is no easy look to pull off, but Miller does so with aplomb. Dello Russo went for a similarly adventurous look at the Donna Karan S/S 12 show in September. For the event, she chose a dress by Fausto Puglisi and Yves Saint Laurent shoes. With its statement shoulders, super short hemline, and ornate detailing, this ensemble is certainly not for the faint of heart, but we wouldn't expect anything less from the fearless trendsetter!
For your next fete, take a cue from today's five tastemakers and forgo the simple LBD in favor of a textured dress. We wholeheartedly approve of AllSaints' Embellished Python Dress ($495), Susana Monaco's Sequined Shift Dress ($286), Alice + Olivia's Vista Beaded Tunic Dress ($495), and Dress Up Topshop's Sequin Bodycon Dress ($118), all of which will surely inject some glitz into your wardrobe this season. If you especially adore Wheeler's flapper-esque frock, we suggest picking up Staring at Stars' Embroidered Clara Dress ($99), French Connection's Winter Bex Beads Sleeveless Dress ($328), or Dress Up Topshop's Multi Bead Fringe Dress ($350), all of which offer a contemporary take on '20s dressing. Smitten with Rassi's glittering number? ASOS' Swing Dress with Embellishment ($135) has a similar futuristic vibe that we love. Finally, if you're crazy about Miller's feathery iteration, consider snagging Aqua's Luxe Feather Tube Dress ($198) or Red Valentino's Embellished Tulle Dress ($750) for a show-stopping look. Whichever one you choose, remember to allow these ornate dresses to take center stage by pairing them unfussy accessories and a down-to-earth beauty look.-Erin Fitzpatrick
Photos of Anna Dello Russo, Gaia Weiss, and Jacquetta Wheeler, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Sienna Miller, courtesy of Wire Image; Photo of Zanna Roberts Rassi, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency.