Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 10: The cocktail dresses for party season

As promised, here's the story of my Lanvin for H&M dress (above), which featured in Saturday's blog about Save the Children's Killer Heels appeal; the designer shoe auctions finish today, so get your bids in now.

So, how did I get a Lanvin for H&M dress after failing to buy anything on launch day and without resorting to paying over the odds on eBay? Simple. I stalked the stores for returns. With a seven day return policy, a few pieces made it back instore, including this navy silk dress for £99.95. Not only was it on my wish list, but it was in my size, too. It was meant to be!

I love the gargantuan frills – they're glamorous without being OTT. And I'm impressed with the quality, though less so the gaping armholes which reveal a little more than desired. I like how blogger Susie Bubble has styled hers with a shirt underneath though.

If you're after a piece of Lanvin for H&M, there are a few items remaining. I clocked a handful in the H&M stores around London's Oxford Circus and Regent Street this week, including the yellow one-shouldered dress. And there's some menswear available online, too – although, sadly, not the merino-wool joggers I want so badly.

However, Lanvin for H&M isn't the only designer/high-street collaboration around. Over at Whistles, its third and final collection by London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic is available now.

Choose from 10 cocktail dresses inspired by the 1950s and 1960s, featuring Ilincic's trademark drapes in soft, fluid silks – many adorned with a froth of ruffles or a leather obi belt. They're a little more expensive than the Lanvin for H&M pieces, but a fraction of what Roksanda Ilincic designs go for.

'I wanted to continue the story Whistles and I started three seasons ago, with dresses that can be shared between mothers and daughters and which are desirable to many different ages,' explains Roksanda Ilincic. 'This time, they celebrate autumn in all its rich and beautiful colours.'

And my, what colours. From emerald green and teal to gold and dove grey, it's like a jewel-coloured dressing-up box. To echo the words of Whistles chief executive, Jane Shepherdson, 'Roksanda Ilincic has created a collection that is elegant, sophisticated, luxurious and extremely wearable, yet still retains an edge that makes it modern.'

With each dress named after a poisonous flower, what's your poison? I think mine would be Conium or Hellebore.

Hellebore dress, £325

Opium dress, £395

Laburnum dress, £295

Henbane dress, £350

Laceflower dress, £395

 Adenium dress, £325

Conium dress, £325

Nettle dress, £325

Lantana dress, £325

 Calia dress, £295. All by Roksanda Ilincic for Whistles


  1. Love the Lanvin dress - good on you for waiting it out (and avoiding all the ebay sheisters). I think this Roksanda collection is stunning - hoping there will still be some around come sale-time. Best wishes.

  2. That Lanvin dress is soooo pretty! I was really tempted when I saw it online a couple of days ago (they still have a few of the dresses online!!), xx

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments Sarah and Shopgirl!

    The Whistles sale starts today and the Roksanda Ilincic dresses are it in! Just in time to get a party dress for Christmas/NYE. Yay!

    Happy sale shopping,
    Bargainista Fashionista x x x



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