Ravishing on the red carpet
"Glam up for London’s awards season"
If you’re attending one of London’s upcoming business awards shows or other red carpet events, it can be challenging to dress with just the right degree of style, polish and professional flair.
"If you’re invited to an event but aren’t sure how formal it is or what level of dress is appropriate, scoping out the (event’s) webpage or checking on social media to view what’s been worn by past attendees can help you to gauge what to wear,” says Jen Bibbings, owner of Juniper Dress Boutique.
Cues regarding the event’s formality also appear in dress codes such as business dress, business semiformal, business formal and black tie, which are frequently noted on invitations.
“Men often ask our advice about what to wear to various types of events. A well-fitted custom- made suit elevates your look for any occasion, although a sports jacket is an acceptable bare minimum at casual events,” says David E. White, owner of David E. White Clothier.
Black and grey suits with pinstripes and subtle chalk stripes are on point, while celebrity-inspired cobalt blue suiting strikes a stylish contemporary note.
Suits and dress shirts can be worn with or without ties to semiformal business events; however ties are mandatory if the event is dressy or designated black tie.
“Tuxedos are no longer a must except for truly formal events, but streamlined styles in modern hues of blue stand out favourably,” says White.
Along with ties, furnishings like pocket squares, cufflinks and tie bars all serve to sharpen one’s sartorial style.
“Wearing a pocket square and a colourful shirt are expressions of personal style for many men. Wearing a tie further enhances one’s professional appearance,” says White.
"Red carpet fashions"
Women may have a little more latitude when it comes to dressing for red carpet events, as dresses and fancy separates jazzed up with dressy accessories suit all but the most formal occasions.
“A nicely fitted dress layered with a shrug and accessorized with a dressy bag, some glittering jewellery and high heels will stand you in good stead at most red carpet occasions,” says Sharon Lehman, owner of Lifestyles Women’s Wear.
Fashionably dressy details include high collars, illusion panels, bateau necklines and three-quarter sleeves, along with beaded, metallic and fringed trim.
Black cocktail dresses remain stylish along with fashionable hues like red, burgundy, indigo, plum, emerald, blush and stone.
“Have fun with a cocktail style that shows off your figure but keep the cut tasteful and not overly revealing to maintain a professional presence,” recommends Bibbings.
Other styles that strut stylishly along London’s red carpet include flowing knit jumpsuits and wide-legged palazzo pants.
“For less formal awards ceremonies and other events, dressy sweaters, slim tunics, dusters and blouson jackets paired with coordinating leggings and high-heeled shoes or boots make strong style statements,” says Lehman.
Long dresses retain their position of elegant sophistication for formal events and galas.
“Don’t be afraid to stand out at events of distinction in an elegantly beaded fulllength gown,” says Bibbings.
"Glam on the go"
Julie Vriesinga, an award-winning hairstylist at Salon Entrenous, says you don’t have to go to great lengths to polish up your hair style for your next evening out. “Fancying things up is such a minor thing, which is wonderful, because it’s something people can do at home,” she says.
Short And Sweet Take the short cut to chic – throw on a sparkly headband or sweep your hair to the side and pin it in place with black or silver bobby pins.
Julie’s Tip: Slick your hair back for super-trendy style. “For fall and winter, the wet look is back.” She recommends a light holding gel by Kerastase to achieve it.
Chin Up A deep side part can completely change up your style.
Julie’s Tip: “For something a little softer, brush your hair off your face; tilt (your head) to the side and let it fall naturally.” If you are after a more dramatic ’do, use a comb to draw a razor-straight side part.
Smoulder At Shoulder-Length For a touch of vintage glamour, thin romantic retro waves.
Julie’s Tip: Using a one-inch curling iron, wrap each section of your hair around the barrel for a few seconds, then let it drop. “Take a big bristle brush and after (your hair) has cooled down brush through it; you’ll get that really soft ’20s-style wave.”
Long and Luscious From a fishtail braid pushed to the side to a braid pulled into a soft bun to funky crown braids, ’tis the season to plait up your look. “Pull some pieces out to make it a little bit messy and softer, a little more romantic.”
Julie’s Tip: “Step away from the mirror, braid, and go back and check it. When you’re looking in a mirror and braiding your hair, it’s very, very tricky and you can get very confused.”