National Post: The Ampersand Blog

The Shopper: Party outfit decided, but waiting on invite and
Elegant party wear with an edge: Rock & Republic wrap sandals, Shumaq sparkle mini-dress.
  December 14, 2010 – 1:36 pm
Michelle Mawby, a Toronto interior designer, has an eye for finding on-trend items for her clients, her home and her wardrobe. She has a shoe habit, some might say, with about 400 shoes, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In this occasional series, Mawby shops — online, in her neighbourhood and around the world — and shares her top picks.
Michelle Mawby for Retail Therapy
I may not have even started my Christmas gift shopping yet, but I’ve already got my party outfit ready and waiting for an invite.
I always seem to find something perfect and at a great price at This year I’m all about sequins — I love anything sparkle and I found exactly what I was looking for. A silver sequined mini-dress by Shumaq has everything I need.  The sequins will sparkle in the candlelight and the dramatic v-back adds a little sexiness while the three-quarter sleeves help to keep me from getting chilly. I also love this dress for its versatility.  I’ll be able to pull it out year round when I want a little sparkle. At $179.10 with super-fast shipping, I’ll be able to splurge on the more important things in life like the shoes and accessories to complete the outfit.
I’m going to wear the mini-dress with a pair of tights from Wolford, the best truly opaque black tights ($52). Not only is it the look of the season paired with a great pair of black heels, but it will also keep me warm dashing from the cab to the party. There’s nothing wrong with fashion being practical.
I scored these beautiful Paulina Ankle wrap shoes from Rock & Republic on Neiman Marcus’ website (US$325). They’re a smart buy as I’ll be able to wear them with bare legs into the spring and summer. The strappy sandal accented with leather and lace is pretty and edgy at the same time. Pair these with the opaque black tight for a sleek line with a little bit of a rock and roll feel.
To finish off the outfit, I’m adding a black feather clutch from Coach ($300). Accessories can add to the outfit, but can also ruin it, too.  This black clutch is subtle and doesn’t fight with the dress but the feather adds texture, sheen and glamour. Also at Coach, I found the perfect earrings ($78) in black pave crystal and striped poppy-hued bracelet ($138) to complete the look.
Looking just like the black diamonds I would love to own, these pieces add a little sparkle but don’t detract from the dress.
So invite, arm candy and taxi, please!

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