Let’s Go Out: Cocktail Dresses


It’s that time of year – festivities galore – what’s a social lass to do? Get dressed to dazzle to mingle and party with friends, loved ones and co-workers! We’ve done our research on an array of beautiful frocks so our dear readers will be outfitted to the nines to celebrate until dawn. Here are some stunning choices sure to satisfy one’s style and budget for those special evening occasions.

Enchanting Deep Tones:
Everyone in the room will be mesmerized as you walk in wearing a dress boasting superbly rich jewel-like color and unique construction. To enchant, check out splendid collections such as Carlisle, Per Se, and London Times. The designers know how to handle color and work with the finest of fabrics to create beautiful clothes that are visually intriguing and flattering. Spellbound, from Carlisle, is a Florentine green, silk taffeta sleeveless dress with to-die-for, all-over appliqué. Pair it with peacock shoes, and you’re ready for the holidays. Blossom, from Per Se, is a chocolate, amber and silk floral Jacquard beaded one-shoulder sleeveless dress. It comes with a separate double face copper velvet ribbon sash with matte gold, raw brass, and metallic bronze beading. Simply mouth-watering! London Times offers an adorable dark purple-tiered sleeveless dress with a lovely embellished-stone neckline. Those layers will look wonderful in movement. London Times dresses are a division of Maggy London, whom I’ve always loved.

To shop for both the Carlisle and Per Se Collections, call 212.751.6490 to make an appointment to visit the glorious Carlisle penthouse showroom in midtown Manhattan (www.carlislecollection.com/showrooms/nyc).
Both brands can also be viewed and purchased online at http://www.carlisleboutique.com.

London Times dresses are sold at Daffy’s stores nationwide. Daffy’s is a great place to find high fashion for less. Visit http://www.daffys.com to locate a nearby shop. Also through http://www.Dillards.com.

Flirty and Colorful:
Don’t be shy about wearing sharp bright colors when the cut is divine. For example, consider gowns by Halston Heritage and Foley + Corinna that drape so beautifully you’ll feel like a modern Grecian goddess in Manhattan. Halston Heritage’s pink one-shoulder pleated dress is simple in design but show-stopping in silhouette. This writer would so wear this – it’s flirty and beguiling – and proves that sexy leaves more to the imagination. Foley + Corinna’s hunter green cowl back dress is another example of master draping – flows beautifully (silk) and hugs (touch of spandex) in all the right places. It is chic with exquisite detailing such as an asymmetrical gathered front, split sleeves, gathered shoulder detail, and cowl back.

These dresses can be purchased at http://www.ISAAY.com, a fashion website that offers top brands and savvy styling suggestions.

Ladylike Elegance:
Carmen Marc Valvo and Carolina Herrera are trusted designers in this category. They are superb in creating timeless elegant clothes with modern youthful twists perfect for those special events. You can also wear some dresses from day through night, depending on how you accessorize with jewelry, shoes and bag. Valvo’s royal ombre Jacquard dress updates the basic sleeveless sheath with special details including a creased fitted black bodice that cascades into a blue mosaic tile inspired bottom. Herrera’s taupe dress revamps the sultry secretary and recalls a Hitchcock mystery. The designers have a tasteful handle on female curves.

Carmen Marc Valvo’s collection can be purchased online at http://www.carmenmarcvalvo.com and at stores such as Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor. Carolina Herrera’s collection is available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and other prestige stores.

Glamorous LBDs:
LBDs must be a staple in smart fashionistas’ closets. Make sure to have a unique style with va va voom star power for holiday fêtes. For example, Shabby Apple’s black Premier dress, from the vintage-inspired Tinsel Town Collection, is opulent in fabric and cut. It is made of stretch taffeta with a hint of sheen to hug the body in all the right places. It builds upon the sheath shape, but adds drama with slim ¾ sleeves and a broad collar that can be draped over shoulders or positioned up. (www.shabbyapple.com.) La Femme’s black jersey dress is amazing with intricate neckline and criss-cross back. It has an intriguing and seductive fall on the figure. Visit http://www.lafemmefashion.com to shop online or find a store near you.

These black dresses recall the sensuality of older times – but so wearable for today’s women.

Sexy Siren:
Shine and sequins are so appropriate for year-end revelry. Designers such as Mark + James by Badgley Mischka and La Femme again, handle this expertly without going overboard. You’ll look and feel very sexy, not exposed or pageantry. Mark + James red-multi sequined long sleeve mini dress is such a joy to behold! It is chic, classic and the glimmery color-combination is so pleasing. I want this dress, period. (www.ISAAY.com). La Femme’s sequined short dress with keyhole front and low back is a stunner. No need to focus on jewelry or big accessories, as this hot number features crystals on the straps and waistband. It is available in exciting shimmery eggplant and gold. http://www.lafemmefashion.com.

Now go get the right shoes and clutches as you head out the door for tonight’s spectacular celebrations.

Marvelous, darlings!

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