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Celebrating half a century of prodigious fashion design, this year the CFDAs marked their 50th anniversary. Fittingly, the CFDAs also honored the work of Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme Des Garcons, with the International award. The designer, known to test the boundaries of art and fashion, was quintessentially absent for her award. In the ceremony’s most inspiring sound bite, she remarked  ’I think the world and its values are too often lukewarm. I’d like to make them hotter.’ 

The CFDAs, grossly dubbed as ‘the Oscars of fashion’, spotlighted some of the year’s most influential designers, not solely by awarding them, but by providing designers and their muses a photo-op to showcase their more inventive designs. Sure, celebrities and their countless red carpets do the same, but this event allows designers an opportune moment to present designs that only Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett dare to wear on those lukewarm evenings when being risky in fashion could literally break your career - Rose Mcgowan, anyone? 

Similar to the Met Ball, many of the looks fell flat. Perhaps because many designers whose sole story to tell was that of gaudy prints, ethnic textiles and overtly-feminine frocks, didn’t have an appropriate garment to present. In the year’s most prominent fashion event, one would presume that being overly dressed would be celebrated and underly-dressed, just indolent. It’s the CFDAs people!

Anyways, this is all slightly irrelevant to us, because how many of you were actually invited? But, it does give us some insight into garments and styling that are appropriate for a black-tie event - graduation, wedding, company celebration. In most cases I usually suggest staying away from a few celebratory faux-pas -  prints, above-the-knee dresses, and any typical gown silhouette. Prints are normally difficult to accessorize and in most cases end up looking more beach-ready than red carpet. Anything above the knee will never come off as formal enough, and is more appropriate for junior styling. Typical gown silhouettes have become stock designs for the high-street that will come off as unimaginative and unoriginal. 

Here are a few red-carpet ready styles to put you on your own do’s list. Take some inspiration from vintage silhouettes and styling, art-deco being the most forward, and look for interesting fabrications like reveal-conceal panelling and intriguing cutouts.

Always keep jewellery to a minimum. If you want to wear both a necklace and a bracelet, as seen in the first look, then pair with minimal pieces such as a collar necklace or brushed-gold cuff. There is already such beautiful design in the Giulietta dress, for the second look, with its transparent detailing, and in the shape of the ladylike purse and Brian Atwood shoes, that anything else would distract from the overall styling, A pair of vintage-inspired earrings is all you need. The third dress, with its caped-collar detailing, is the focal point of the style. A deco cuff and t-strap shoes is all you need to bring the retro esthetic of this look together. New Markdowns