Life’s too short not to be the center of attention. When fall party season kicks into gear, leave that little black dress on its hanger and reach for a little color, a little texture, and a lot of fun.
Look for unique ways to incorporate patterns and leather, a big trend for autumn, then finish things off with the perfect accessory for cocktail parties: sparkly cocktail rings, of course.
Hard Rock, Soft Edges
Jules Ross, Winnetka
True, leather pants, a giant fur stole and a ring made from granite are not for the faint of heart. But if you’ve got the moxie, show it off and be the talk of the night! Hair stylist and makeup artist Jules Ross, who also works with Gilda’s Club and Look Good, Feel Better patients to refresh and style wigs, loves the edginess of this look. “It’s all about experimenting and breaking your habits,” she says.
Alberta fox stole, $2,400, Cropped motorcycle leather pant, $1,700, Long bustier, $765, VBH python suede origami square pocketbook, $1,750, Chalk; Gastone Lucione black suede lace-up pumps, $323, Shirise; Eve Alfillé Veronica diamond stud earrings, $2,770, Einstein granite ring, $260, Dry Ice ring, $3,950, Anchors Away rubber and pearl bracelets, $305 each, Eve Alfillé Gallery
Ellie Fisher, Glencoe
The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of color. A red cocktail dress is timeless but stands out in a crowd full of fall darks. Image consultant and nutritionist Ellie Fisher, owner of styling firm I Design a New U, inherited a love of fashion from her parents. “I am all about classic clothes, not trendy things,” says Fisher, who still wears some of her mother’s Chanel and Valentino dresses. Here, touches of gold and gems enhance a look that’s refined but eye-catching.
Kevin Hall dress, $1,940, Frances Heffernan; Kotur black patent clutch, $450, Giuseppe Zanotti black suede peep toe pumps, $595, Shirise; Erickson Beamon Zac Posen bangle, $508, Gavin; Eve Alfillé Virginia Woolf earrings, $4,200, If One Hand Claps in the Forest ring, $4,160, Eve Alfillé Gallery
Pair an organic print with other textures and natural materials, in this case, a leather shrug, wooden clutch and jewelry that incorporates stones and minerals. “I like to keep an exacting eye on trends while celebrating classics,” says Ross. “This look makes me feel sexy but not too showy.” Even better, the shrug zips out of a cropped leather jacket with a dramatic collar, giving you two coats in one. Genius!
Yigal Azrouel faded paper leather jacket, $1,490, Cacharel poppy print skirt, $585, Long bustier, $765, Balenciago stiletto high suede boot, $1,195, Nada Milano wooden minaudiere clutch, $1,275, Chalk; Fallon XL chain bracelet, $255, Gavin; Eve Alfillé Distant Echoes necklace, $2,620, black drusy agate earrings, $1,190, Margarita ring, $6,630, Eve Alfillé Gallery
Swathed in Leather
Tough meets feminine in this confection in buttery leather, a new take on the classic wrap dress. “Buy the best and cry once now, or buy cheap and cry a lot more later, when it falls apart or you stop liking it,” says Fisher. “This dress is so soft, it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all.” Lace-up booties and a patterned clutch—this one is printed with tiny skulls—continue the edgy ladylike aesthetic.
Viola G leather wrap dress, $2,100, ICO leather braided obi belt, $350, Pepper antique stone necklace, $500, Davis Miller; Jimmy Choo Fran khaki suede open-toe ankle boots, $1,095, Alexander McQueen brown skull clutch, $1,885, Shirise; Erickson Beamon Plain Strn bangle, $360, Allison Schiller white jade necklace (worn as bracelet), $297, Gavin; Eve Alfillé Tahitian pearl ring, $3,290, Moonstone necklace (worn as bracelet), $120, Eve Alfillé Gallery
Photos by Natalie Hartung, Classic Kids Photography
Hair and makeup by Jules Ross
Shot at Avli Estiatorio, Winnetka