Printed dresses are always a guaranteed winner in the style stakes especially when it comes in the form of this Isabel Marant number. The motif is a little bit abstract which makes it interesting—I like unexpected details as they can really lift an outfit. If you want a universally flattering fit I highly recommend getting on board with ruching. I love the overall ruched effect of the dress which is quite whimsical and romantic but the structured shoulders help offset this by giving it a touch of dramatic edge. Also take note: any wrap style neckline works well with virtually any figure and shape.
When it comes to prints it’s always worth considering how far you want to push your accessories — I think it’s great to either take a step back and keep it quite simple or go up a notch with pieces that have statement finishes. These Jimmy Choo heels and the bag fall into the latter camp, and whilst they’re standout pieces on their own, I think they still work well with a printed dress. Anything in black will work well with almost any piece you match with it, whilst the crystal embellishments provide a glam touch but aren’t competing for attention with the dress. Also, they’re the kind of accoutrements that are perfect for any party look so take note this festive season!
When it comes to evening attire I think one of the chicest colours to wear would have to be white. There’s something quite fresh whilst still being elegant about the hue, and it’s a definite go-to when I’m looking for a look that’s chic and impactful. This beautiful gown by Philosophy Di Lorenzo has a textured satin finish which gives the look a little extra depth, whilst the subtle lace trim on the thigh high split adds a demure touch. The silhouette of this dress is quite understated and simple but I think the colour really lifts it and gives it an overall luxe feel.
When it comes to accessories, you can do myriad things with a white dress, such is the versatility of the colour. In this instance I opted for something monochromatic, with few subtle embellishments to add a little extra glamour to my overall look. The black Jimmy Choo suede sandals with crystal detail and the elegant shoulder bag echoing a similar feel to the heels, help bring the look to life by providing strong accents with a statement feel. A sleek up-do and simple drop earrings help complete the look and have me ready to tackle any after dark soiree this party season.
Photography by Sophia Athas, Hatrik
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Dress: Lace-Trimmed Hammered-Satin Gown, Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini | Net-A-Porter
There are pieces that I have in my wardrobe that are definitely more evening appropriate but that doesn’t mean that that should be their only purpose. Often looks that are for night events tend to be a little more expensive due to their style and construction, so to ensure that I’m able to make every fashion dollar stretch further I’ve taken to reworking them to be suitable for daywear. And it’s not at all hard or expensive to do.
One way I’ve been doing the night to day transformation recently is with the below Zimmermann top which is too pretty to relegate just for the evening so recently I’ve been teaming it with jeans to make it more suitable for casual wear. This is something that you can easily do with other pieces in your wardrobe. Often teaming something that’s a bit dressier with something more relaxed such as jeans can tone it down and make it appropriate for off duty style. I teamed this particular look back with a pair of slingback flats which are polished yet not too over the top for day and a mini crossbody bag. The end result was a laidback look but with just the right amount of polish.
If I were to wear the top at night though it’s a different story. In the evenings I tend to favour a look that’s a bit more feminine and formal. So in this instance I swapped the denim over for a midi skirt in a similar colour palette as the top. And switched out the casual crossbody bag for a structured clutch with a chain strap handle which definitely adds to the nighttime vibe. I’d also go for dressy heels and leave the flats at home. Overall what I was going for with this particular look was something that’s a little more sophisticated and dressed up, lifted up by chic accessories that have a modern feel.
I did the below transformations with just one top but you can do this with pretty much anything you’ve designated as ‘nighttime only’. All it takes is a few key choices that dial down it’s dressy feel for day, then swap it for elevated pairings at night and you’ve instantly got double the wear out of your wardrobe.
His name is synonymous with one of the most renowned designer shoe brands in the world so it should come as no surprise that for Jimmy Choo, creating footwear runs in the blood. As the son of a shoe maker he learned the craft from his father in Malaysia, before moving to England in the 1980s to undertake formal study at the London College of Fashion. He opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986 and eventually co-founded the Jimmy Choo shoe label with British Vogue’s Tamara Mellon who had worked with Choo on the magazine.
After a successful career at the label that included being appointed official shoemaker to Princess Diana and opening stores in New York, Milan and Paris he stepped down from the brand in 2001. Today he is an Ambassador for Footwear Education at the London College of Fashion, is the recipient of an OBE for services to the British fashion industry and is preparing to launch a capsule shoe collection under his Chinese name Zhou Yang Jie. I caught up with Choo during his inaugural visit to Sydney with American Express to chat about the secret to his success, what he does for fun and if he ever finds himself visiting a Jimmy Choo store…
Where did your love of shoes come from?
I was born in Malaysia and my father is a shoe designer. So, when I was young I saw my father making shoes. After I finished school, I would finish my homework, then help my dad learning the skill.
So many celebrities have worn your shoes over the years. Is there a person who stands out in your mind?
I have to say thanks to the late Princess Diana. Because I had been working with her for seven years, and now this year is the 20th-year anniversary of her passing and all over the world people still remember her and what she did for the legacy. She did a lot of charity events. Not many people do that.
What was it like to create shoes for the late Princess Diana?
She would call me to Kensington Palace to show me all the garments and everything that she was going to wear as she traveled all over the world. So we would look at all the garments and we would match the shoes for her. She was a very nice, very kind person.
What do you believe is the secret to your success?
When people say to me, “You are [a] successful person”, to me it’s not yet. I’m not successful yet. Because growing up my father always said, “One day you still alive, you don’t know what happened yourself”. People can seem [successful] and suddenly disappear, you know… we must, continue to learn all the time. So I’m not [successful] because I’m still learning.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I think, patience is very important. If you have no patience, you’ve lost everything. Because you need to talk to people. Communication is very important.
And what advice do you give to up-and-coming designers?
They still have to have patience. Every time [you] see something new, you mustn’t lose [your] temper and keep your mind open. Also always [ask yourself] what’s the next fashion? If you don’t sell, you must find out why it isn’t selling.
Why are you so passionate about the art of making shoes?
I love designing shoes, I love shoes. Sometimes when I go to factories, or one of my students comes [to me] with some idea [for] shoes, I would start to tear. True, true. You know, some of them are very beautiful and they take a lot of time, the detail and the design.
Although you are not involved in the company anymore. You must feel very proud that the Jimmy Choo brand you created is doing so well all these years later.
Yes I feel very proud. They’re all doing very well. I congratulate them, I wish them doing better and better.
Do you ever go into the stores?
No, I don’t do that. I don’t go in the shop. I never went into the shop. Because I think soul is soul, you wish them the best; you do what you want to do.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
For the people, who surround me and take care of me [day to day], I like [to] say thanks to them, I like to organise a holiday for them. I think it’s very important, you know, they are working with me day and night, traveling with me, they haven’t got time for their children and family. So I like to organise so they can go on holiday together. Or I like to invite them to my house. We cook and I love music so I listen to music… Elvis is my favourite.
If you had never gone down this career path of making shoes, what would you be doing?
I would like to be a healer and heal people. You know in London, they have a healing school. You can learn how to heal people with your hands. If you feel pain. They lay a hand on you and you heal them with your energy.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
I would say I’m very grateful to my country. A nine-year-old student, they can see my history in the textbook. Money cannot buy [that]. [Influential] people pass away, and then they talk about them. But I’m still alive. Thanks to my country and the education minister, the leader allowed my history in a textbook for all the young children to learn as part of their education.
WE WENT TO American Express events at Café del Mar, Cockle Bay Wharf.