As the holiday gala season kicks off, I know that many of us are fretting about what to wear to this chic cocktail party or that black tie gala. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time hotel hopping (yes, dear reader, that’s a thing again) and my path has crossed many a Marine Corp Ball. What I have encountered along the way would frighten many a fashion editor to death. However, instead of going into a long discourse about the physical perils of wearing a train too long for your height, wearing retina searing colors best suited for automotive paint, or the psychological damage that underlies dressing like Cinderella in real life, I am opting instead to “stay positive.” I decided to look to the Resort collections of some favorite designers for winter black tie inspiration. What I found is this season both men and women can look handsome and beautiful, respectively, in black-and-white.
My travels through the resort collections began with Dior. I must admit I was prepping myself for some sportif fashion a la Stella McCartney from Raf Simons, but I was pleasantly surprised by this black-and-white guipure lace dress. The strict bodice harkens back to the 1960s, but the high waist and knee length skirt are thoroughly modern. Even in still photos you can sense the motion of the design. No one makes a skirt that flirts like the French!
My fashion stream of consciousness then led me to Maria Cornejo who is known worldwide for her conceptual designs in all black (or all white). Imagine my surprise to find her Resort 2015 collection features the very color combo I had decided to report to my readers. The trapezoid bodice and trompe l’oeil insets highlight the geometric brilliance of her design. This is the way to stand out from the traditionally “pretty” crowd at any event.
Perhaps the California lifestyle is rotting my brain, but I couldn’t help but seek out a more casual holiday party option. After poring through the collections of numerous designers, I finally settled on this palm tree print dress from Tomas Meier. Something about this simple design to me appealed on so many different levels. Whether your fashion point of reference is Schiaparelli’s 1937 Lobster dress or Stella McCartney’s 2001 Pineapple swimsuit, you’ll appreciate the surrealism of this design and the strategic placement of the design elements.
As I pondered a “long dress” option for holiday parties, my tour of the Resort collections brought me right back to France – and Lanvin. This stunningly simply black-and-white evening gown features elements you’ve heard me hawking for the past few years: long sleeves, an asymmetrical waist and a full skirt whose volume is manageable.
Even if you don’t rush out and get these exact items, I hope that you’ll find inspiration in these designs for your own holiday dressing. I hope that you’ll courageously break from the crowd of fashion drones at any events – even your boring old office party – that you attend this season. Happy Holidays!
Photos: Resort 2015 Collections, Style.com
Image Layout: Second City Style