How To Complete Your Look For The Tatler Ball With The Right Accessories
An ensemble is a visual story, and when telling a story—the message has to be clear. Is it modern? Vintage? Whimsical? Classic? The list goes on. This is where styling comes to play: your dress is the plot, your accessories are the climaxes and ending—don’t leave the audience dumbfounded! Sure, some of the old styling rules have long been broken, and matching everything 'to a T' is seen as outdated. However, there’s a thin line between fashion-forward and fashion faux pas; the key to knowing the difference, is to first know the rules.
Make it Match
Tale as old as time, the little black dress is as classic as they go. Chiffon and sequins might sound very 80's (it is), but Alexander Vauthier gives this vintage-inspired dress an update by incorporating modern elements, like gathered sleeves and draped sides giving it a structured silhouette. Take a cue from the dress' edgy vibe and go for a sharp and polished look. Pick out accessories that are understated yet extremely elegant, make sure it packs a punch! Like the Jimmy Choo cloud clutch made of black satin and tiny sparkly crystals which goes well with the sequin details of this dress. Pair it with Giuseppe Zanotti's towering three-strap harmony sandals in patent leather, also accented with crystals and matches with the rest of this ensemble perfectly.
Keep it Classy
What's wrong with old school anyway? It's a ball, not the VMA's (for those who didn't live through Britney Spears era, that's short for Video Music Awards). Yes, be trendy, but keep it classy! The rule is, to have a good balance. High slit? Opt for a higher neckline, I'm sure you've heard of this—in this occasion, it still applies. Take this Maticevski's supernova gown for example, it's appropriate and classy but still with interesting details. The silk draping and form-fitting silhouette is meant to show your every curve, the bronze colour is neutral and timeless. This look calls for equally timeless accessories, like Bottega Veneta's signature chain-knot intrecciato satin clutch, which is a mainstay at any formal event. Slip on a classic pair of thin stilettos to elongate those legs (another old formula). Then, live a little—go wild with your hair and make-up, again, balance.
Add an Element of Surprise
Yes, trends can be tricky. Take the feather trend for example: one wrong turn and you can easily go from trendy to costumey (try to stay away from feather boas, or any of its robe assortment reminiscent of a 50's pin-up girl). Say you've set your eyes on a satin, feather-trimmed astair gown from 16Arlington and you are bent on making a statement, since consistency is important here, why not keep with the theme of trendy and fun when picking the rest of your accessories? Tone-on-tone is another hot trend for instance, and it doesn't hurt that it's also one of the oldest rules in styling. Coloured dresses, specifically in light hues should always be paired with a neutral-coloured shoe—never black. In this case, Sophia Webster's rosalind sandals in metallic rose gold with crystal-beaded heel goes well with your glammed, monochromatic look. As a finishing touch, pin your tresses with Rosantica's hair slides adorned with wispy plumes and crystals.
Age is Just a Number
While we are at the subject of fun (read: borderline appropriate), let's talk numbers shall we? Will you ever be too old to wear a ball gown, you ask? When attending a ball, never. If there are any rules in this case, it would be in length and proportion. Cinderella was in her teens, and there's about a certain age when your calf and ankles should still be showing. However, there's always an exception to the rule: we live in J.Lo's era, and if you can manage to look like you are eternally in your 30's, then by all means—(show the) ankles away! You can't go wrong with the right elements like colour and fabric choice, Monique Lhuillier's version in crisp black tulle speckled with gold glitter, gives this otherwise princess dress a more mature vibe. Complement it with Dries Van Noten's clutch sewn with a kaleidoscope of matching sequins, and again with the right colour, Gianvito Rossi's lamé sandals trimmed with ruffles is elegant and not at all juvenile.
You're more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, or perhaps, you're a free-spirited, yoga-loving boheme and formal events is really not your thing. The idea of a ball gown is unthinkable to you, you'd like to be able to move and dance freely, but without looking frumpy or underdressed. Rule of thumb: you need to look and feel comfortable in what you wear. This is where styling and the right accessories becomes your saving grace. The event calls for a hint of glam, and when wearing something much simpler for the occasion, an ultra-luxe bejewelled bag and blinged-out shoes will do the trick. So be the cool, casual gal that you are and rock your silk-satin wrap dress by Ong-Oaj, wear it with something a tad bit extra like designer Mae Cassidy's embellished velvet clutch, plus a pair of crystal-studded Aquazzuras and you're good to go!