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Holiday Glam

By PAMELA DITTMER MCKUEN

    We should have a party, a holiday soiree—a gala that cheers us, inspires our good will, and restores our faith in sequins. What a dreary year it’s been, with this recession thing 
hanging on. If we did have such a party, what would we wear?
    A lovely dilemma. We unwrap the season’s sartorial possibilities and are relieved to find that bedazzlement hasn’t gone the way of our CD interest rates and property values. The mood is a bit tempered, but nothing that can cancel out a good time.     
    Today’s glitz-and-glam juxtaposes the ladylike silhouettes of the mid-20th Century with the opulence of the 1980s, says Mary Liz Lehman, owner of the Perchance boutique in Lakeview.
    “It’s ‘Mad Men’ meets ‘Dynasty,’” she says. “To us, the look parallels the economy and 
climate in fashion. Designers are staying safe with proven shapes, but the boost in consumer spending is allowing them to loosen the reigns a bit and revisit luxury.”
    More trends of note: Metallics, not only look-at-me silver and gold but also soft-spoken champagne and bronze. Blocks of black interrupted by flashes of white and of hue, perhaps oxblood red and hunter green. Inspirations of military, biker and Victorian chic.  Leather, lace and fur aren’t naughty, they’re nice.
    “What’s amazing about this season is texture,” reports Los Angeles celebrity stylist Sam Saboura, who grew up in the northwest suburbs. “We’re finding it in so many ways—lace, leather, suede, velvet—and in wonderful combinations.”
    If leather and satin bring out your inner Grinch, faux hides are a smart replacement, he adds.
    Some party-goers will translate these trends into the classic sheath. It can be strapless or long-sleeved or somewhere in between, but the length will be just above the knee. Color? You choose. “You can never go wrong with an LBD, Little Black Dress,” says Erica Strama of The Shops at North Bridge. “It’s classic, figure-flattering and appropriate for practically every occasion.”
   Or your taste might run toward separates. Saboura’s favorite look is leggings or cigarette pants—preferably with sheen, teamed with a ruffled blouse, tuxedo jacket and stilettos. “It’s very old Yves Saint Laurent,” he says.
    At Perchance, Lehman recommends an investment piece that swings between high glam and low: a multi-hued, beaded shift. Dress it up with patterned hosiery and a suede booty heel. Dress it down with a wide leather belt, black opaque tights and an over-the-heel boot.
    Another way to wear holiday spirit is by adding glittery accessories such as statement 
jewelry and embellished heels to wardrobe classics you already own, says Strama.
    Got the outfit but need a handbag? Let Laudi Vidni (the name spells “individual” backwards) customize one for you. Choose from 8 silhouettes, 40 leathers and multiple trim options to create a look that is truly unique. Says Laudi Vidni co-founder Laura Kofoid: “We’re loving monochromatic color accented with texture. And no black! Let your bag be the pop that sets you apart.”

Published: December 09, 2010
Issue: 2010 Philanthropy Issue