Glimmering gold and shimmering silver for party season and beyond

Corina Gaffey: Metallics have infiltrated the mainstream and are trending before the party season is upon us

Shimmer and shine may be de rigueur come the festive period, but metallics have infiltrated the mainstream this year and are trending before the party season is upon us. Surges of high-shine styles have emerged systematically across the decades reflecting the cultural landscape, most notably in the 70s, 80s and early 2000s. The space-age, futuristic aesthetic has gone stellar in 2023, crossing all aspects of popular culture, from fashion to music.

Earlier this year, Beyoncé dubbed her viral Renaissance live shows the House of Chrome, encouraging concertgoers to show up in silver outfits. This month, Paco Rabanne is H&M’s guest designer, with a collection that echoes the fashion house’s signature style with dresses and skirts gilded in metal paillettes. Social media is no exception, with trousers decked out in foil-like silver trending on Instagram and TikTok and selling out across the high street.

On the autumn/winter catwalks, dazzling luminous metallics have had a commanding presence, rebelling against the quiet luxury trend. Irish designer Simone Rocha crafted puff-sleeve tops and dresses in crinkled shimmering gold. Proenza Schouler showed how to incorporate metallic trousers for every day, teaming them with a grey crew neck and camel coat. Gucci made the case for cocktail coats with fuzzy, silver tinsel outerwear, while party-o-clock molten draped dresses were teamed with thick black tights at Ferragamo.

While Andy Warhol might have proclaimed silver was the future, designers and high street stores have turned to both glimmering gold and sci-fi silver, reinventing the typically futuristic shades into versatile, approachable silhouettes. Think everything from T-shirts to trainers, coated denim to dresses, heels to handbags. The heavy metal trend may come in its own for the party season, but this year, a fresh versatility allows iridescent hues to be styled for the day or after dark. Playing with contrast, golds and silvers can be mixed with crisp cotton and cosy knits for an unexpected combination.


Opt for one high-shine piece, and stick to neutral, matt fabrics in tonal hues for the rest of your outfit. Greys pair well with silver, while beige or camel is the perfect partner to gold. If you would rather go the subtle route, opt for a mirrored accessory for a lustrous accent. Not just limited to party clutches or heels, everything from totes to knee-high boots and ballet flats have had a metallic makeover this season and will elevate any ensemble.

Corina Gaffey

Corina Gaffey, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about fashion