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Holiday Wear

story Maureen Scott 

YOU can be the brightest ornament in the room this season!

“The biggest trends for the holiday season are magenta and shades of green from celery to deep, rich emerald”, says Enza Talarico, Owner of Enza Unique in Sherwood Forest Village in Mississauga.

“The new shade is called magenta. This is not your old burgundy, but a beautiful rich-looking deep wine colour that will be seen in dresses, sweaters, casual knits and even lace. Lace is huge this season from black to cream and even coloured lace.”

Enza travels frequently to Europe to buy the latest trends in top quality Italian fashions. “For evening wear we are seeing lots of malibu, faux fur and exotic trim,” says Enza. “We are also seeing lots of beautiful knitwear that fits a little looser and looks elegant and polished, but is very comfortable. In Italy they are showing knitwear that can be worn on many occasions and is great for travel and entertaining.”

If you want a statement piece for the annual Christmas party, choose a one-shoulder dress, advises Enza. “It’s not new. Cleopatra wore it!” she laughs. “The look has been updated in beautiful colours and fabrics that flatter the figure.”

The one-shoulder look that has ruled the runway this year can also be found at David’s Bridal in Mississauga. Although they are known for bridal wear, David’s carries a wide selection of party dresses just right for dancing the night away.

“Popularized by the Hollywood red carpet set, the classic asymmetrical one-shoulder cocktail dress is getting a new spin for 2012,” says Georgina Kourakos, PR Spokesperson for David’s Bridal. “One-shoulder dresses are now boasting soft layers and tiered detailing. Other updates include 3D embellishments like floral appliqués, lace details and a hint of sparkle.”

Speaking of sparkle, this season is all about sequins, metallic effects, colour and shine. “Whether you add a wonderful accessory to your little black dress or your entire outfit sparkles, gold and silver sequins are found this season in dresses, jackets, tops, pants, shoes and bags,” says Georgina.

“Lace continues to be a favourite fabric, both in classic black and in Grenadine red,” says Anna Mattiuzzo, Public relations fashion specialist for Melanie Lyne. “This season, black and velvet are staples, but we also see gorgeous green sharing the spotlight. The winter palette offers a range of darker, glamourous options from green to ruby red to sapphire blue. Any one of these rich colours pair beautifully with black or can be worn on their own.”

"Along with the sequins, we are embracing luxurious fabrics like velvet and lace. The Holidays are special," says Anna, so why not celebrate in a new outfit that says Hollywood glam?

Whether the invitation reads “semi-formal” or “business attire,” brunch or dinner, a classic sheath dress is a chic versatile option that fits almost any occasion. “Dress it up by adding a fabulous clutch, dramatic earrings, a show-stopping cocktail ring or a dramatic cuff bracelet,” says Anna. “The sheath dress has such a linear, flattering silhouette, it flatters the figure while being endlessly versatile. It can look fierce, elegant, glamourous or demure—all depending on how you choose to personalize your look.

Now imagine a sheath dress in ruby red or emerald green lace…all of the holiday trends in one perfect, any-occasion look to outshine the Christmas tree!


When the latest James Bond film is released it affects more than just box office sales. It influences what you’ll be wearing to the office Christmas party!

“Our experience at Harry Rosen is that movies like Skyfall and TV shows like Mad Men have an enormous affect on our menswear buying habits, especially since designer Tom Ford did the costuming for Daniel Craig,” says Ed Listin, manager of Designer Collections for Harry Rosen.

“Iconic movie figures like James Bond resonate with a certain age group who want to be a bit more adventurous with fashion choices. The highlight of this Bond film is Tom Ford’s Parisian blue tux with contrasting black shawl lapel.” he said.

Ed explains the difference between “black tie” and “formal.” “Formal means you can break away from a classic tux by showcasing a cool velvet jacket. We are seeing velvet jackets or cocktail jackets as we call them, in black, blues, deeper burgundy and black grey pattern, which, when worn with black trousers and a white shirt, is a great way to update a formal look. It’s a leaner silhouette, but we also have a classic fit which works on any body type and any age. A younger guy might accessorize it a little differently, but velvet transcends the ages.”

Todd Ladner, owner of Ladner’s Clothiers in Streetsville, says, “We are moving away from basic black. Suits are muted and tonal in shades of charcoal grey and navy with boldly patterned lining.”

“To be on trend, the silhouette is slimmer, cut closer in the body, sleeves and pant legs. Wear your suit with an open neck patterned shirt like the Robert Graham shirts from California and forget the tie.

“If you do want to wear a tie, choose a narrower one that’s two and a half to three inches wide. Have some fun with your tie by choosing bold colour like a pop of red or burnt orange, lilac or purple, but please, no holiday theme ties!”

“Sports coats are getting bolder and more colourful. Think Herb Tarlek from WKRP in Cincinnati!” says Todd. “The difference being today’s jackets are slimmer in cut and about two inches shorter in length. The check jacket is coming out of Europe where fashion-forward men are also wearing bright, funky jackets with elbow patches and brightly coloured pants. This is not your father’s blazer! To make a statement with this look – put on a bow tie!”


“Wine colours like Merlot are huge this season for lingerie!” says Lida Lisney, owner of Inside Story in Sherwood Forest Village in Mississauga (and downtown Oakville). “I don’t like to call it burgundy. It’s much richer and more modern than that. You’ll also see beautiful shades of raspberry, red, purple and of course black, cream and white. It’s nice to have lots of variation this year to choose from. Even shapewear comes in great colours like Merlot. Shapewear is sexy! It’s a modern take on the old-fashioned girdle that’s now sexy enough to walk around in and let your boyfriend see it!”

“Getting sized properly is key,” says Lida. “Shapewear is about creating smooth lines. Some pieces go down the leg while others go up to the bra and when paired with the matching bra. It looks like a great bodysuit.”

Comfort is also key when it comes to relaxing at home during the holidays and lingerie or sleepwear makes a perfect gift idea. Lida recommends her line of super cozy “modal” sleepwear (natural fibre made from woodchips) and PJ Savage sleepwear she says “doesn’t shrink, looks fun and you can sleep in it too!”

Susan Longley, owner of Susan’s Fine Lingerie and Swimwear says she saw more colourful bras than ever on a recent buying trip to Paris. “There are always lots of black, but we’re seeing black with blue treatments and gorgeous blue colours like cobalt, azure and denim—plus lipstick pink with orange. But the big trend is the return of red. Red is the only bra you can wear under almost anything including white!”

Susan laughs when she says: “Don’t wear an ugly old $30 bra under your new $400 dress. I’m a firm believer that you should dress up under your dress. Your bra and foundation should be the prettiest thing you put on. Already you are feeling pretty and once you put on your outfit, you will look stunning!”

“For knits or form-fitting dresses, tall shapewear panties are a good way to smooth a midriff,” explains Susan. “Go with a panty with a higher waist which goes up to your bra. Or the new kind of slip with straps. Picture a slip with the bra portion cut out. The problem with shapewear with the bra built in is that when you bend down the Lycra starts to move and you end up pulling up your bra. You don’t want your shapewear to do what your bra should do or your bra to do what your body suit should do. Make each piece do its own work!

“Some women buy the next size down thinking they will look ten pounds lighter, but if you are squeezed in the middle you are going to pop out somewhere else!”

Regardless of what you wear this season, Happy Holidays and “Cheers!” GL
1 Golden Globe, golden mocha V-neck gown with fringe paillette beading,
2 Hunter green shirred strapless gown in floral printed silk Organza,
3 Amethyst 100% silk chiffon gown with hand-beaded and sequined inset.
by THEIA, U.S.A., Available at Enza Unique.

David's Bridal
Teal one shoulder stretch satin dress, Ivory Dress, Black sequin batwing dress
all available from David’s Bridal.

Harry Rosen
LEFT Formal one button velvet tux with contrasting satin shawl lapel from Harry Rosen.
RIGHT Tailored suit with slimmer, leaner silhouette also from Harry Rosen.

PrimaDonna Intrigue
Symphony (purple) European lingerie by PrimaDonna Intrigue
available from Inside Story

PrimaDonna Twist
Blue control slip with shoulder straps from PrimaDonna Twist
A La Folie denim available from Susan’s Fine Lingerie and Swimwear
David's Bridal

Stretch satin “apple” one shoulder dress (LEFT) and dark green charmeuse dress (RIGHT) both from David’s Bridal