Defy the gloom - embellish!

You do not need to take a peek outside right now to know that winter is nearly upon us. There is a damp chill in the air that seeps into your coat sleeves and gets under your skin. By 5.00pm this evening the inky darkness will surround you. Winter - a season to hibernate; to cocoon yourself in numerous layers and disappear into the duskiness.

Or not. Ladies, it is time to grab winter by both arms, give it a very firm shake and say NO, I refuse to fade into the background and defy the gloom with a bold, beautiful dress.

Take a big step out of your comfort zone and experiment with texture, embellishment and colour to beat the winter blues. Key trends are feathers, texture, baroque, metallic sequins and bead adornments to name but a few. Feather dresses are a strong sign of the Twenties influence which is permeating the fashion world ahead of the release of the Baz Luhrmann directed The Great Gatsby in December 2012. Beads and sequins are the perfect items to make a striking statement and shine in the gloom.

How do the designers do it?

How do the stylish people wear it?

What is the vintage inspiration?

Lucien Lelong

Lucien Lelong was the son of two nineteenth-century couturiers and from 1937 to 1947 he was President of the Chamber Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne, haute couture's governing body. His style and design included tightly waisted, full-skirted dresses that preempted Christian Dior's famed 1947 New Look.

Norman Norell

Norman Norell was one of the first American designers to have his name on the label of a dress. He designed empire-line and chemise dresses and pavé sequined capes and dresses under the Traina-Norell label.

OK, but where can we get it?

Try out something adventurous. Let your personality sparkle and shine through.

Go turn heads.