Jazz it up in this season's retro evening wear. Lisa Haynes reveals how to dazzle with the roaring Twenties trend.
The summer season isn't known for its evening-wear looks. Flip-flops, beachwear and shorts, yes, but glitz, tassels and sequins are usually confined to the party season.
Until now, that is. Inspired by upcoming movie blockbuster The Great Gatsby, Twenties-style looks are the razzle dazzle trend of 2012.
From Gucci to Marchesa and Roberto Cavalli, catwalk designers went crazy for divine deco.
Flapper girl style has become the retro reference of choice - think intricate beading, drop waists and even a dusting of fur and feathers (scorching weather forecasts should be ignored in this instance).
Jazz hands at the ready for the high street. This show-stopping trend is set to Charleston well into next year.
Slinky silhouette The Twenties-esque shape is easy to master if you want to cast yourself as a modern-day Daisy Buchanan.
Saying goodbye to corsetry and structure, women of the Twenties turned to less exaggerated silhouettes with shorter dresses that skimmed the hips and flattened the chest.
"The look was a sleek and slender silhouette, quite flat and boyish," explains Naomi Thompson, author of new book Style Me Vintage.
"Drop waists were the main feature of the Twenties that created a longer, less feminine frame. The big revolution, however, was that a visible ankle was now not only socially acceptable but fashionable."
Opt for a straight knee-length shape to stay true to the decade.
Costume drama Keep your look dramatically retro rather than fancy dress.
For a modern take, some retailers like River Island and Marks & Spencer have taken the Gucci homage black, gold and cream fringed dresses in a tribal direction.
Look for exaggerated fringing that looks more festival high summer than deco dancefloor.
To go classic Gatsby, think flirty glamour with swinging tasselled trims, shimmering lavish beading or sequins in art deco formations. Look for a daring side split if you prefer a slinky long dress.
To go all out with Twenties-inspired glitzy dresses, aim for a blank canvas and stay jewellery free. Prefer to be dripping in vintage-look accessories? Opt for a plain, fuss-free dress to offset the bling.
Art deco-rate The Twenties was a period of excess on the accessories front, but pieces still looked dainty and streamlined to fit with the new fashion mood.
This season, you can go to town on dazzling headpieces, statement drop earrings or rows of beads - just ensure you keep the rest of your look pared down.
"Avoid the cliched look of long gloves and a hair feather and instead go for a simple gold head band draped around the forehead and metres of looped glass beads," Thompson suggests.
Think Twenties starlet for your outerwear too; forget the jacket and add extra drama with a frothy ostrich feather cover-up.
Hunt out Egyptian-inspired accessories for authenticity. Thompson says: "Handbags, shoes and cigarette cases were all adorned with hieroglyphics."
Twenties wish list If you've fallen head over heels with the Gatsby girl trend, Naomi Thompson reveals the typical evening look shopping list of the decade: :: Sheer, often sequinned dresses.
:: Handkerchief hemlines - shorter linings and longer sheer overskirts.
:: Velvet devore evening coat, trimmed with luxurious fur such as mink or sable.
:: Long ropes of pearls or glass beads.
:: Enamelled or gilded chainmail bags.
:: Seed pearl clutches.
:: Ornate shoes with Louis curved heels.
:: Exotic headdresses and headbands.
Get the look Socialite Olivia Palermo glams up her denim with a dazzling jacket. Get her sequinned Pearl Queen jacket in French Connection's Premium Collection now, £300 (0844 557 3285 or www.frenchconnection.com).
Buy it now Shoe designer Kat Maconie has collaborated with Dune for a Miami-influenced collection. Think Art Deco embellishment with gold pyramid studs and pleated fan detailing. Prices range from £75-£165, available early May (0116 284 7800 or www.dune.co.uk).
Fashion flash :: Sustainable style H&M is taking care of the planet as well as our fashion needs. The global brand has recently published its 2011 Conscious Actions Sustainability Report, marking 10 years of eco efforts. It reveals that H&M is the number one user of organic cotton in the world and the brand saved 300 million litres of water in denim production last year compared to 2010. The Conscious Collection, priced from £9.99, has also been released as part of H&M's more sustainable fashion future.
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