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Style Voyeur: Holidays bring out festive attire

By Dennise Smith
Dennise Smith
Lace and glitter: What is more festive than lace and glitter? Stephanie Ojeda's stretch lace sheath with a red flower broach at the shoulder is boudoir glamour at its finest (think Brigitte Bardot does Christmas). The enchanting Alexandra Macia shows off how to do maximum diva: lots of sparkle and a pretty smile.
Dennise Smith Lace slip dress: Allyson Hedges' look is 1960s glam! It's tricky doing the classic slip dress, especially in black, as it is easy to veer toward the underwear rather than outerwear look. However, this dress hits the target with the quarter-length sleeve, boat neckline, and slightly A-line silhouette. The mini length makes the exposure on the legs rather than the décolleté. It's the perfect combination of demure and sexy.
Dennise Smith "Rubik's Cube" skirt: Amy Vance's skirt shows off one of the hottest trends right now -- geometric prints. Amy cheekily pairs this whimsical skirt with a classic fitted velvet blazer and ruby-colored scarf. It's a brilliant combination of two typically separate worlds: artsy wild-child and preppy.
Dennise Smith Art deco print dress: More graphic prints! Yea! I love the emerald green color and art deco graphics of Jennifer Workman's dress. She perfectly accessorizes her look by loading strands of jet beads, which mimic the black print of her dress. Very French!
Dennise Smith Winter-white tunic: The unique neckline of Charlotte Nielan's mod-style tunic and graceful bell sleeves make this dress a knockout in the style department. What better choice of a shoe than this champagne-colored sandal with a single silky ankle strap? The total look is chic minimalist elegance.
Dennise Smith Printed wrap dress: One thing I learned in fashion school is to strive for the holy trinity of style: fabric, cut and detail. Holly Bailey's frock honors every element superbly: a delicious cabernet-colored silk shantung, flattering wrap style and eye-catching floral graphics in the skirt. Everything about this outfit is class and elegance.
Dennise Smith Fur collar cardigan: Fur and faux-fur accents remain hotter than ever right now. Erica Mani keeps it sleek and elegant by pairing this faux-fur-collared knit cardigan with tights, strappy heels and a glittery clutch purse. Madison Avenue vogue!
Dennise Smith Liquid garnet: The sumptuous garnet color and the pebbled silk fabric of this dress are Old World luxurious. Lesly Messina's entire look, however, has a totally modern feel because of the dolman sleeve and tie waist detail. What's also great about this outfit is that before you get too soothed by this soft, flowing look of the dress, Lesly throws in a dash of rebel with tights and suede boots. Styling genius.
Dennise Smith Baby doll dress: In terms of holiday season attire, the forest and emerald hues have dominated the green choices, which is why this lovely spearmint color on Mary Jane Burdette stood out to me. The feminine puff sleeve is a great contrast to the fitted bodice of the dress. This romantic look is face-framing and flattering to most all body types. Very Emily Brontë!

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As a style voyeur, I think sitting in a café to people-watch is just about the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Virtually every fashion historian will tell you that fashion trends are not started by models, stylists and magazine publishers. They are inspired by looks from the street and everyday people who follow their inner sense of style. Indeed, the great Coco Chanel, whose first iconic designs were inspired by the bohemian artists of Paris, famously proclaimed: "Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."

For this monthly column, I will be taking snapshots of fashion-forward citizens I encounter in the streets, at bistros and at private parties. This month features Charleston's fashionistas in their holiday finest. Themes I noticed: all shades of red, graphic prints and -- a perennial favorite -- lots of sparkle!

Dennise Smith is a Charleston lawyer, fashion designer and co-founder of the local arts group Nomadic Tribes Collective.

 

 

 

 

 


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