Fashion: Edge of darkness

Black has an exciting new edge. Jayne Dawson reports

Colours come and go but, like a moth to a flame, somehow we're all drawn back to black during party season.

But this year everyone's favourite colour has undergone a glamorous makeover.

International designers turned gangly models into strutting glamazons at Gucci, Balmain and MaxMara in lashings of shimmering black on black.

Think luxurious embellishments like brocade, beading, lace, feathers and decorative studs. This opulent trend is teeming with texture and tarnished metallics – and the more materials in the mix the better.

All black? Yes! Boring? No! Because this look is fizzing like a New Year champagne bottle with interesting features, from ladylike lace to rock chick heavy metal. Cue sumptuous silks set against shimmering gold brocade, plumes of feathers on plush velvet and peekaboo lace teamed with faux fur.

If you're addicted to black, this is one of this season's boldest party looks. As Joan Collins recently said: "Christmas is sparkle. Why not? Even if it's just a little bit..."

So bling up your black. We reveal 10 tempting ways to flaunt the opulence trend:

Sequin scatter

Every girl needs a head-turning dress and classic black and gold sequins will deliver every time. Unexpected detailing on sleeves or shoulders will separate you from the sequinned masses.

TRY: Monsoon Roxbury Sequin Dress, 150

Gold rush

For serious opulence, you'll strike gold with brocade. Part military princess, part party goddess, you're sure to have the whole room standing to attention while showing off such bold patterns.

TRY: Oasis embellished cardigan, 45

Love lace

Black lace adds a gothic dimension. Keep your look festively bright by trying gilt-edged metallic fabrics that shimmer as you hit the dance floor.

TRY: New Look metallic lace dress, 32.99

Subtle shimmer

Keep your look light and ethereal by opting for sheer fabrics with a shot of metallic detailing or tiny glitzy buttons. Ensure your underwear is either nude or black so you're not disturbing the silhouette with another colour.

TRY: Mango gold print maxi dress, 99.90 (

Peacock parade

Not convinced about the all black angle? Try a colour hidden underneath black mesh, such as emerald green, for an after-dark effect – and maintain the opulent look with black feathers or beading.

TRY: Forever Unique emerald feather bodice dress, 270

Showtime sequins

Sequins don't have to be all over to cause a stir. Look for strategically placed sparkle on neck and hemlines that show off your best assets.

TRY: Awear scallop hem dress, 55

Halo sparkle

Accessories can add opulent sparkle to any party ensemble and headwear has taken off this season. Try a bling-tastic headband, oversized bow or mini fascinator to add interest.

TRY: H&M embellished headband, 7.99

Flirty feathers

Fly to the top of the Christmas style tree in bird-like feathers. A cape cover-up will give party dresses a sleek and glossy twist.

TRY: Accessorize feather cape, 40

Swing bling

Look for unique embellished detailing like tassels that swing as you move. Think Strictly Come Dancing with a dark, moody edge.

TRY: River Island Sedney embellished skirt, 54.99

Embellish boot

Turn every stride into a gold rush with dazzling embellished booties. This look is too tough for dainty shoes so make a beeline for fierce chunky ones, especially if teaming with girly frills.

TRY: Office Twinkle Twinkle embellished boots, 85

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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