Remember that holiday dress every mom owned in the ‘90s? Lace collar, heavy-duty velvet, maybe puffy, certainly unflattering sleeves? It was a staple at every office Christmas party, neighborhood menorah lighting, and the occasional forced town caroling. My mom had one—chances are yours did too.
Since then, the psychology of holiday dressing hasn’t evolved much. Nearly every woman I know owns an iteration of mom’s wear-everywhere Christmas dress, updated for 2018 in a stretchy, metallic fabric complete with embellishments. But, wouldn’t it be nice to NOT wear the same outfit you’ve worn to your past five holiday parties for once? Skip the sequins and invest in a piece that you can wear all year round—and that no one else will have. Allow the four new designers below to refresh your holiday style.
ROTATE is the latest influencer-turned-designer label to come onto our radar. The Copenhagen-based brand, founded by Danish stylists and influencers Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimars, has a tight edit of candy-colored, embellished dresses and jumpsuits ideal for your next cocktail hour. We love the pink ruched jacquard mini dress with over-the-top earrings and an ‘80s-inspired stiletto.
For the unexpected, one-of-a-kind, where did you get that piece, look no further than New York label Retrofête Exactly as the name suggests, the vintage-inspired range is full of disco dresses and flirty separates reminiscent of long-lost looks from the best of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Flirty separates are constructed in throwback materials like lamé and lace, made fresh with modern silhouettes. The pieces give off Halston-era glam, perfect for a grand entrance.
Not so new to the scene, but certainly blowing up, is Brooklyn-based label Orseund Iris. It’s founded, designed, and run by 28-year-old Alana Johnson and combines simple, feminine silhouettes with brassy details like cut-outs, tie straps, and exaggerated ruching. Replete with slinky silk dresses and tops, OI works best when juxtaposed with subdued separates like a masculine trouser or oversized blazer. Pair the ‘Night Out’ ruched satin blouse with a wide-leg suit pant and statement earrings for your next fancy dinner party.
On the hunt for a one-hit-wonder? Meet Amina Muaddi, the Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer giving party shoes a new life. Her glittered, gilded, and signature notched heels come in an array of styles, from mules to slingbacks and thigh-high boots. The lemon yellow ‘Gilda’ mule, complete with crystal trim, might be the most surprisingly versatile piece in your holiday lineup. Don’t shy from going bold with additional accessories, either. ‘Tis the season to treat yourself.