The Party Planner: BCBG Max Azria

At this time of year, Blog Reader, I start to get excited about the party season.  Yep, with my birthday in November* then Christmas it’s time to think (hmm, dream?) of dresses for cocktails with the girls, longer gowns for dinners out and the right styles to comfortably dance the night away in.

I bought this BCBG Max Azria dress in New York City during one of their super sales.  I think BCBG is a great brand to turn to for cocktail dresses and evening gowns; I like the search functions of the website (type, length, colour) and the price bands are often reasonable for special occasion wear.

Some of my favourites from the current collection, clockwise from left: Claudine Straples Evening Gown; Raya Pleated Lace Cocktail Dress; Nagdalina Side Peat Printed Dress;  Carine Asymmetric Draped Evening Gown; Mercedes Cocktail Dress.

Purple is an unusual colour choice for me.  Symbolic of royalty and opulence (the shade here is a royal purple hue) this dress is a grand choice for a night out – I’ve mentioned before I am a sucker for splits but the cut-out back detail is also interesting and unusual.

I’m even accessorizing here, Blog Reader! A little sparkle over the holiday season feels essential.

I’m busy putting together some other dress / gown suggestions for the party season so if you’ve seen any killer styles leave me a comment below, as I might include it in the feature. Have a great weekend!

Wearing: Dress, BCBG Max Azria;  Clutch, Debenhams.  Gold bracelet, IN PINK.  Heels, Zara Basic Sandal.
Photos by Lydia Hudgens.

*Hint, hint.

Chain Me Up: IN PINK Necklace, ASOS Dress & Reiss Clutch

You may recall, Blog Reader, that 2012 was THE year for me to accessorize.  Here in September I am still on the case, this time with the help of IN PINK whose website I adore.  The multiple search functions on the site allow me to hone in on my style of jewelry quickly.  This silver tone chain necklace with leather strap (quite possibly inspired by the amount of metal and leather around me in Austin currently) is a nice bold design.  The length of the necklace appeals to me for wearing with my longer, simple black dresses as a bit of a statement piece.

Some of my favourite styles on the IN PINK site currently are below:

From left to right: Silvertone Rhinestone Spikes Stretch Bracelet; Black and Rhinestone Bar Wrap BraceletMixed Metal Rhinestone Bars Necklace Set ‘Skyline’ Collection and the Turquoise Rhinestone Swirl Stretch Ring.

I think I will always remain faithful to simple, minimal styles and shapes Blog Reader, yet this year my eyes have been opened to the transformative power of something like a necklace, a bag, some killer heels… (I thank you, Nicholas Kirkwood and Rodarte).  What do you turn to first to ‘add’ to an outfit, Blog Reader?

Wearing: Dress from ASOS (closest matches here).  McDougal sandals (just seen) ALDO.  Clutch, Reiss. Necklace, IN PINK.  Photos by Lydia Hudgens.

Summer Dressing: Arden B. Maxi, Freddie & Cinnamon Bracelet and Lancelot Knight Leather Barrel Bag

This outfit post pretty much sums up all my current obsessions; the things I have been wearing to death this summer.  This Arden B maxi dress is such a pretty style… for starters it seems to make me look 5ft 10 tall (ten points below if anyone knows about optical illusions and can tell me why – is it the way the stripes sit?!) and the back detail with little cascading frills is super cute.

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

When it comes to handbags, my favourites are classic, structured forms.  My biscuit coloured barrel bag gave up the ghost recently so I was incredibly happy when the lovely folks at Lancelot Knight contacted me about their collection of barrel shapes in pastel and neon shades.  They gifted me this leather baby pink Avon Barrel bag which is a perfect match for my lighter summer outfits.  It also has a longer shoulder strap, detachable and adjustable (not seen here).

I think one of the reasons I love this bag so much is a question of size as well as shape.  I need to fit my life in a bag and whilst my ‘summer life’ is considerably lighter on ‘stuff’ than my winter life – this fits my diary, iPhone and retro headphones, make-up for touching up, wallet / keys, camera and umbrella (yes I carry one everywhere I am well and truly English in this respect) whilst still looking that little bit on the dainty side….

I’m still working on my accessories too, Blog Reader. I came across the delightful contemporary jewelry brand Freddie & Cinnamon not long ago and their styles appealed to me because they are classic pieces at great value.  I’ll be featuring their collection on the blog very soon along with a Q&A with their founder / designer.  Here I am wearing their Chain Gold Plated Bracelet, a delicate and graceful strand of interconnected circles, on my wrist.  It’s one of those pieces I’ve worn over and over.

A summer outfit for a summer’s day, Blog Reader. Hope you are well, I’m currently taking a break back in England and enjoying being in the countryside for a while.  You can see some of my pictures on instagram: @StyleOnTheCouch. Have a lovely weekend, StyleOnTheCouch xo

Wearing: Maxi dress, Arden B.  Chain gold plated bracelet, Freddie & Cinnamon.  Avon Barrel bag, Lancelot Knight. Sandals (just seen), Nine West.