You've got holiday party problems and we've got answers from your favorite designers! So far, we've supplied you with no-fail tips from Cynthia Rowley and Nicole Miller. Today, we're featuring swimwear and dress designer Shoshanna Gruss.
Gruss started her eponymous fashion line when she was just 22 years old. Now, she's celebrating 15 successful years and a post as the first-ever Style Director at Elizabeth Arden. Gruss shot to fashion stardom when her iconic cherry-print bikini was worn on Sex and the City, and now she focuses her creative energy on designing gorgeous, wear-them-forever dresses (the swimwear line is still going strong, too). We got the star designer's tips on holiday dressing to make party season a breeze.
What are the best trends for holiday dressing this season?
"You can’t go wrong with sequins and shine for the holidays. You can also expect to see bold colors, embellished necklines and sexy jumpsuits this season. The little black dress is a classic staple that I always love for the holidays."
Dressing for an office party can be tough since you want to be both festive and appropriate. What is a creative look for a work event during the holidays?
"Start with a simple, classic dress shape that can act as your blank canvas and accessorize with a pair of fabulous high heels and bold earrings. Your accessories will add a touch of festive flair without feeling over the top. This is an easy look to transition from day to night with a change of shoes and accessories. Just keep your look simple with flats and delicate jewelry during the day."
What’s your favorite accessory to add to a holiday outfit?
"I think a statement necklace is the ultimate piece to pair with a dress for the season. It can instantly change an outfit."
It gets really difficult to dress for warmth and look stylish, too. It seems as though it’s either one or the other! What’s a stylish way to layer while staying festive?
"A festive scarf can really bring an outfit together while keeping you warm. Also, don’t count your leather jacket out just yet—a great fitted leather jacket can keep you warm and looking chic, while still fitting under your coat for when you have to go outside."
I think most girls feel they have to wear black or metallic heels with a sequin dress or other statement dresses. What’s a stylish alternative?
"I love a bright, bold heel—especially for the holidays. Try a jewel tone such as emerald green or Marsala, this year’s Pantone Color of the Year. Just be careful not to overdo it with too many sparkles. If you’re wearing a sequin or metallic dress, go with a matte finish on your shoe to balance the look."
Speaking of sequin dresses, are they all played out—especially on New Year’s Eve? What’s a chic alternative that still feels special for the holidays?
"Sequins always have a place in your wardrobe around the holidays. Look for an updated version to keep your look fresh. For my holiday collection this year, I created an emerald green sequin dress and pencil skirt which look incredibly chic. I also used a black-and-gray polka dot sequin pattern for a few of the looks that add a fun, unexpected twist. A great alternative to sequins is lace. Lace always feels special and is available in so many colors and silhouettes for the holiday season."
If you’re not into dresses, which separates make great holiday outfits? If you want to wear pants, what is a great style to try and what do you pair it with?
"I’m loving a great jumpsuit this season. It's a fun, sexy alternative to a holiday dress. A metallic skirt is another festive alternative. If you are more comfortable in pants, look for a chic black trouser and pair it with an embellished blouse and strappy high heels to balance the look."
What is your personal, go-to holiday look?
"I think the perfect dress for any occasion is a simple shift—you can wear it so many ways and make it look like a different dress with a change of accessories. It’s my go-to dress for every holiday party this season."
What are your favorite accessories to pair with a classic LBD?
"Accessories are the best way to add a touch of glam to your classic LBD. Try adding a colorful statement necklace or metallic clutch to finish your look. A bright bold lip is another great way to spice up an outfit."
Please share three of your favorite holiday dresses for this season.
"The emerald green sequins on our Anna dress are so festive and the flattering shape provides the perfect canvas for the bold fabrication. Very chic! The Alec dress is such a fun twist on the classic LBD. The embellished neckline adds a special touch and takes the place of a statement necklace so you can keep your accessories simple. Don’t be afraid to have fun with prints and color for the holidays. The Randi rose-print chiffon is one of my favorites and the crisscross neckline is flattering on so many body types."