Though skyrocketing to popularity during the festive season, there is no reason to stop wearing sequins once the confetti has fallen. Here, style experts share how to take sequins from evening to everyday
The holiday season is perhaps our favourite time for fashion. There, we said it. A time when more is certainly more, it gives us a million different reasons to welcome partywear and, more specifically, glittering paillettes with open arms, be it lamé, shimmer or metallics. Sequins, however, are where our focus lies this season, given the fact they were the stars of several autumn/winter runway shows. After all, synonymous with a good old celebration, the best sequin pieces evoke a festive feel that only a little sparkle and shine can truly elicit. And, although the festive season is over, there is no need to overhaul your wardrobe just yet, as sequins can be made wearable for day by following a few simple style rules. “Sequins are a timeless detail that can always elevate a look even beyond the holidays,” says designer and celebrity stylist Mac Duggal, who counts the likes of Kylie Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Khloé Kardashian among his celebrity client list. “There’s a reason so many women feel the urge to wear sparkles for weddings and black-tie events — sequins make the outfit and the individual feel extra special and are the perfect way to make an entrance.”
It’s a good thing, then, that designers have been tapping into the maximalist approach when it comes to dressing up, proving that this trend will become a modern mainstay and a regular in your closet rotation. If you want to go full throttle into sequin-soaked party mode, the options this season are endless, with countless designers showcasing high-shine looks, many that feature head-to-toe sequins in the ultimate celebration of glitz and glamour. One important thing to note, however, is that autumn/winter hues err on the classic side of silver, gold, champagne and black, although we did see a few splashes of colour here and there including a chic red and pink co-ord at Caroline Herrera and a lavender mini dress at Off-White. “It’s definitely true that for this season sequins feel more understated, with nude, brown and taupe tones coming through,” Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at MATCHESFASHION tells MOJEH. “Especially at 16 Arlington, Tom Ford, Emilia Wickstead, Nensi Dojaka and Rick Owens, where we saw this very subtle shimmer and shine which was a total palate cleanser.” Speaking of Rick Owens, AKA the leader of the dazzle pack, he kicked things off with a full complement of evening dresses, with models on the American designer’s catwalk appearing through a wall of fog dressed in dusty sequin dresses draped with evocative asymmetry from the shoulders and featuring collapsing volumes at the back or around the hips. Whoever said sequins are overrated also definitely didn’t consider Altuzarra’s show, where the likes of Gigi Hadid came dressed in mermaid-inspired dresses fully embroidered in graduated metal sequins with a patina that looked like it had been aged by seawater. These were strictly showpieces, however, and he’s reproduced their effect for production with lighter-weight plastic paillettes.
There is, of course, the other side of sequins, and it’s important we all stop and think about the environmental impact of those tiny little light-capturing discs. The fact is that most are constructed from a plastic sheet that is cut into different sizes and, as with other man-made materials, it is non-biodegradable. They are therefore often described as a microplastic with the potential for lasting environmental damage at the end of their lifecycle. Luckily more and more designers are waking up to this fact, and are creating eco- friendly collections that you can shop now. “There have been so many great developments in sequins over the past few seasons,” explains Wiggins. “Many designers are now using sustainable, recycled alternatives such as Germanier and Marques Almeida. We have just launched their capsule collections which are all crafted from deadstock and repurposed sequins. It’s great to see.”
If you’re looking to go all out with your wardrobe for the season — and we don’t blame you — follow Duggal’s advice: experiment with colours, and let your outfit do all the talking. “A metallic champagne cocktail dress always makes a luxurious statement,” he says. “The minimalist fashion trend is still very much in style, so I would say pare back on the accessories this season so as not to distract from your outfit. If you’re wearing sequins or metallics, they should always be the focal point.” You don’t need to save your sparkle for after hours, either — simply stay away from all-over sequins and pick one statement separate mixed with pared-back basics for a clash that really works. Whether a pair of black sequin leggings with an oversized white shirt or statement skirt with a cosy jumper, it’s all about toning down your look with a textural contrast.
“Don’t be too precious about sequins,” adds Wiggins. “They can easily be worn in a more casual way and look great styled with a sneaker and a quality knit. One of my favourite combinations is silver sequins and a navy sweatshirt — it’s perfect for an evening out but also for the school run.” No matter how fashion evolves, glitter will always be a staple, serving up fantasy and making us feel a million dirhams like nothing else quite can. “The modern-day woman has so much on her plate, and sequins can remind her of her inner power and radiance,” says Duggal. “Sequins are always about the woman and her confidence, and allowing that confidence to shine through.”
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- Words by Naomi Chadderton