Grunge it up!

At this year’s Women In Business Awards, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast, I saw more full length, formal gowns than I have seen in a very long time! It was fantastic to see so many women embrace the “black tie” theme properly and don a dress to the floor. I appreciate that in recent years, black tie events have been more flexible with the dress code and some women have preferred to wear cocktail dresses or indeed even jumpsuits due to tight finances, no time to shop, weight gain etc

Hopefully, this post will show you how you can take any dress from your wardrobe and give it a completely new look for very little cost. This blush, floaty, ruffled, spring/summer, bridesmaid/garden party dress with matching bolero has been hanging in Belle Dress Hire for quite awhile now. It is constantly overlooked because ladies have thought it wasn’t “formal” enough in style.

I was determined to show this dress off, because it really is beautiful and best of all, super flattering because of the boned, corset top going into a ruffle, layered skirt. All this gown needed was a bit of “edge” so, I went onto Google images and searched for red carpet, blush gowns. What I found was that the celebrities had either used strong Grunge make up looks to accompany the soft pink colour of the dress or hardcore accessories. I decided to do both!

I had a studded, black, leather, wide belt in my drawers, a few ear cuffs and some skeleton ear rings I had bought for Halloween one year, out they all came! I then raided my mum’s costume jewellery box for any heavy and silver bracelets as most of my stuff is yellow gold.

The brief I gave to the make up artist, Lauren’s Beauty Room, was a dark smoky, pink eye and nude lip. I appreciate pink eyeshadow is not common so she did an absolutely fantastic job and I thought the make up just perfected the overall look I was going for.

I guess what I’m saying is, try using accessories you already have to change a look. If the dress you have in the wardrobe is very structured for example and heavy in fabric, look for “soft” accessories such as a feather boa to accompany the outfit. If the gown is pale in colour, try to toughen things up with a contrasting texture such as metal or leather. So study the outfit first and figure out what the style is, then all you have to do is put a few “opposite” look accessories to really pull it all together and make the outfit interesting and more fashion forward.

Forget being matchy matchy, this is all about contrast, however, it does need to be complimentary at the same time. Just have fun, that’s really what it’s all about! I would love to see some of your looks ladies!

Don’t forget to check out belle dress hire.co.uk for more blog posts and some customer photos as well.

Blush, ruffle, layered gown with matching bolero available in size 8/10 and size 12.
Fabulous make up which didn’t budge all night with Lauren’s Beauty Room in Lisburn.