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Glitter, shimmer and shine: Get the party started in these sparkly frocks

Deirdre McQuillan: Party fashion is back with a bang this Christmas

Christmas fashion 2022 is all glitter, shimmer and shine. Metallics that glint in the light, sequins that flash, rich brocades, sumptuous silks and velvets are fabrics that put party wear on steroids after a three-year hiatus when the usual social festivities were curtailed. It’s a time to set loungewear aside and reignite lost opportunities to gather with friends and family and celebrate. It’s clear that people want to dress up, go out and make the most of the festive season, given the uncertainties that may lie ahead in the new year.

It shows in the clothes; and there’s sparkle everywhere. At Mango, there are glitter leggings and semi-transparent rhinestone bodies, J W Anderson’s silver tent dresses have wavy wired hems, M&S’s tea dresses come in silver, while at Cos, mini dresses are made from recycled sequins, and those at Zara come with asymmetric shoulders.

There is serious glare from accessories too, with sparkling heels and platforms in abundance in Aldo with its “glass” slippers worthy of Cinderella, Russell & Bromley’s green glitter “extreme” sandals with matching bags, and Nicky Hoyne’s gold glitter pumps.

“People are really ready to let go this Christmas more than ever,” says Aisling Kilduff of Curated by Design, whose boutique at Kildare Village boasts 33 Irish brands under one roof “and growing all the time”. Customers come from all over the country.


Paul Costelloe’s runway creations, not available anywhere else in Ireland, are proving particularly popular this year, as well as Róisín Linnane’s luxury layered pieces, and others from sustainable Cobblers Lane and newcomer SookYoungSong. “It is clear that people want colour – it is so important at the moment that the little black dress is taking a back seat,” says Kilduff.

She stresses that the shop does not stock end of lines from brands, but often specially made investment pieces designed for longevity.

“Trouser suits have made a big comeback,” she adds, with a dramatic pair in red duchesse satin from Catriona Hanley, and another in lush mulberry velvet from Helen McAlinden along with other glamorous items photographed in a suitably festive Carton House in Co Kildare, the Palladian mansion that would have seen many a stylish gathering in its long history and continues its tradition of hospitality to this day.

All clothes and accessories from Curated by Design at Kildare Village

Photographs by Evan Doherty; model Hannah Leslie @ Assets; styling by Roxanne Parker; hair by Michael Doyle @Peter Mark, Grafton Street; make-up by Kirstie Murphy for Charlotte Tilbury at Kildare Village. Location: The Gold Salon & The Whiskey Library at Fairmount Carton House; festive interior design by Sarah Baxter of SBD Events.

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan is Irish Times Fashion Editor, a freelance feature writer and an author