It was exciting to be back in London and soak up some of the pre-Christmas
festivities recently. The clocks have changed back, it is dark, and all the Christmas lights and decorations just sparkle – it is a million miles away from our usual sunny BBQ weather in Australia.
One of the things I really love about the festive season in the UK is all the sparkly party dresses popping up in the shop windows. That's just not something that happens in Australia. It's way too hot to think about wearing a super-glitzy number to the office Christmas party, or on the big day itself.
Dannii recommends: (Left) Project D Claudia and (right) Project D Elle are "top-to-bottom sequined crackers!" Photos courtesy of Project D.
That's not to say we don't dress up for the festive season, but cool floaty maxi dresses, thongs and a big floppy hat (for the poolside barbeque) are the order of the day. So I couldn't help but feel in a festive frame of mind at the sight of all those glitzy frocks on the high street.
Embellishment is the way to go when it comes to party dressing. Sequins, embroidery, beading, brocade and even feathers are fabulous ways to individualise your look.
I think Project D
'Cindy', from our Autumn/Winter 11 'Supermodels' collection (image below) would be perfect if you're just easing yourself into the world of adornment, while 'Claudia', and 'Elle' are top-to-bottom sequined crackers (images above). Our 'Naomi' jacket, from the same collection, is perfect to pop over your shoulders when you're kicking on to an after-party, and we have a dress called 'Party' from our pre-SS12 collection which features just a dusting of sequins which would be a superb option for Christmas Day.
Project D's 'Cindy' is "perfect for easing your way into the world of adornment". Photo courtesy of Project D.
Or, if you're looking for something a bit more edgy, check out the Aje sequined leggings I wore for ModelCo Fibre Lash Brush on False Lashes recently (image below). Putting the rockin' in Rocking Robin – tweet tweet!
If you don't want to go all the way with embellishment you can still tap into the trend by dressing up a LBD with a statement neck piece. Aussie designer Chelsea De Luca is one of my favourite jewellery designers. I've worn her pieces for a number of events recently, her website ships internationally, and she's offering free gift wrapping and shipping up until December 31 so if you're quick you've still have time to make like a magpie and feather your nest with some fabulous Christmas baubles.
"If you're looking for something a bit more edgy, check out these Aje sequined leggins!" Photo courtesy of ModelCo.
Of course, a successful Christmas ensemble isn't just about finding the right outfit. There are a number of party essentials I stock up on before the festive season like 'party feet' foot pads and Hollywood tape to prevent unwanted wardrobe malfunctions!
I recommend choosing clutch bags with a strap for Christmas festivities, then you can manage canapés, a glass of champagne and any hand-shaking you need to do without having to juggle your bag.
I stock each of my clutches with a little emergency kit containing a couple of band aids (plasters), safety pins for running repairs, skin blotting paper to deal with post-dance shine, and a nail file. Pop these essentials into a little zip lock bag in each of your bags and be confident that you're covered for most eventualities.
What not to do style-wise over the Festive season? My endorsement of embellishment does not run to knitwear bearing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a la Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones!!! Such items belong in the 'donate' pile of your end-of-year wardrobe clear out!!!
Check out the complete Project D Autumn/Winter 2011 collection here:
Named in honour of Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson, this floor-length maxi comes in silver sequins or a fabulous bold floral printed silk. Everything from the simple, loosely fitted shape, to the long sleeves, simple neckline and waist tie screams poise and elegance.</p>
The sequined version of this dress drew a grasp from the audience when we showed it at a lunch during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.</p>
This classic navy shift is super-structured with peplums at the hip and shoulder and an exposed zipper at the back for contrast. One of Project D’s signature shapes, this little number is perfect for power dressing and will easily carry you from a work meeting to after hours drinks.</p>
I can just see its namesake Tyra Banks wearing it as she utters those immortal words: “two beautiful young ladies stand before me today, but I only have one photo in my hand…”</p>
Named after Ukrainian model and Lancome spokeswoman Daria Werbowy, this is a classic little black dress with almost Grecian overtones.</p>
Made from pleated silk georgette, Daria has a beaded waistband, ruffled shoulder straps and a graduated hem shape, creating a curvy silhouette that finishes flatteringly at the knee.</p>
We weren’t sure whether to name this cheeky little dress after face of Burberry Lilly Donaldson or exotic model-actress Lily Cole, so we named her after both of them!</p>
The black jacquard version has a textured – almost embroidered – effect and the floral-printed version is gloriously girly. This dress is all about emphasising the hourglass, from the halterneck with its little ruffle, to the nipped in waist. The double underskirt adds volume, creating our favourite ‘prom’ silhouette.</p>
This is a very special dress for Project D because the fabric was digitally printed to create our own, unique design. Another of our signature shapes, the asymmetric neckline elongates the body, the waist tie and a chunky bronze zipper adding detail.</p>
Named after Danish cover girl Mia Rosing, this animal print is feminine and elegant with a twist. The perfect little number for a night out on the prowl!</p>
Named after Czech Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova, this black maxi has a less-is-more sexiness. The silk-satin fabric and sheer inserts are reminiscent of lingerie while at the same time projecting an aura of demure elegance.</p>
The waist tie and the way the fabric clings at the hip helps create a fabulous hourglass shape. A true va-va-voom dress. </p>
Just like uber-waif Kate Moss after whom she is named, this pretty little georgette number is super-versatile. Petite frames are perfect for rocking polka dots and prints. Everything about this dress is designed to bring out the best of your assets from the deep V neckline, to the centre front hoop that gathers the fabric at the bustline, and the gently flaring layered skirt.</p>
The polka dot version of this dress is just perfect for a busy work wardrobe and I can see the floral version going down a storm at a Spring wedding.</p>
Named after achingly angular and elegant Irish supermodel Erin O’Connor, our Erin LBD is designed to show off your fabulous pins. The satin waist tie draws the eye in at the waist, the ruffled sweetheart neckline emphasises your curves and the spaghetti straps make the most of slim shoulders and toned arms.</p>
Kelly Brook rocked this Erin dress to the launch of the spring/summer 2012 collection at Mortons in London.</p>
Named after the world’s highest-paid plus-sized model, we’d love to see this shapely maxi on curvy catwalk star Crystal Renn. Another floor-skimmer, this gown comes in a choice of red georgette or this season’s signature digital animal print and is designed to work your curves to the max.</p>
The crossover bodice emphasises the waist and bustline and the diagonal and horizontal pleating elongates and balances out the body.</p>