The red carpet has been alight with metallic looks. Stephanie Smith wonders what the shining stars can teach us about how to get it right for our own special events.
Shiny happy people is what fashion is all about for this summer, as lamé, sequins and foil prints dominate across the season’s catwalk and High Street collections from day to evening wear.
Actually, make that shiny, happy, slightly scary people. Witness the high-gleam looks much in evidence at the Met Gala, which took place in New York earlier this month. Known variously as “a glamorous arena for high fashion”, “the fashion industry’s most pivotally important red carpet event” and, more officially “The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala”, the theme of this year’s event was Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology.
What an invitation that turned out to be. The Met Gala is an event that always dazzles, but this occasion was pretty much outrageous for its bizarre spectacle of the world’s most stylish A-listers (usually), each trying to outdo the other for the accolade of shiniest star in the celebrity firmament.
Balmain silver dresses dominated, with the path forged by Kim Kardashian, who turned up in a silver sequin-encrusted dress with tinfoil panelled bodice. It made Taylor Swift’s silver snake-print ra-ra mini dress look positively low-key. Zayn Malik, meanwhile, took the theme quite literally in a black Versace suit with silver robot arm sleeves, although this paled next to Lady Gaga’s Atelier Versace creation, which is terribly hard to describe but was basically a leotard, a cropped silver jacket and no skirt. Madonna’s outfit defies all description (but was apparently Givenchy Haute Couture).
Alexa Chung, sensibly, played it down in a black sequin-speckled Thakoon suit with cropped trousers, showing us little people a look that we might just about consider copying.
The Baftas too gave us red carpet displays of dazzling silver wear, as have most of the film premieres so far this spring. Light-reflecting metallics in silver, copper and gold are definitely high on the menu for the summer, and will continue for autumn, so there’s little point in shying away. Fluid looks in lamé created drama and glamour on the catwalks, especially on the season’s slip dresses, but if you just fancy just a Midas touch, look out for a silver or gold lamé scarf, pashmina size or long and skinny.
Silver coats and jackets double up for both day and evening wear, to dress down with jeans and skirts, or style up with white, black or even more shiny stuff for a night-time display. Metallic cami tops are a more wearable way of sporting both shine and the slip trend, so well worth investing. And an all-over sequin or lurex dress is certain to come in handy for all sorts of events (they don’t even have to be special ones).
Which leads me to wonder, what are we going to be wearing come Christmas, given that we’ll all be heartily sick of shiny stuff long before then? I suspect many of us will be reaching for the muted tones, if only to give our eyesight a rest.