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Style Dilemma: What is black-tie these days?



I was made a director at my company early this year and have been invited to the directors' Christmas ball at the Four Seasons.

This will be the first time I've attended such a function. From what I've been told it's essentially black tie, and therein lays the problem. During the week I mainly wear formal suits and at weekends I tend to dress very casually, as I enjoy hill walking. Where would you suggest I look for a suitable gown? Rosemary (37), Dublin.

The latest designer to collaborate with Debenhams was Serbian-born, London-based Roksanda Ilincic. If it's effortless elegance at a reasonable price you're after, look no further than her capsule collection, RI.

Renowned for her glamorous draped gowns, delicate pleating and soft tailoring, the collection includes the jewel-coloured 'Astrae' dress (€240). If you'd rather texture over colour, then the all-over lace 'Vega' dress (€450) is demure with a slightly more daring quality.

If budget isn't an issue, the David Szeto collection exclusive to Smock on Dublin's Drury Street is a must-see. The aesthetic is soft, focusing on intricate cuts and draping. His red crepe, 1940s-style belted dress is breathtaking and incredibly flattering (€960).

ElseEwhere, the black and gold sequinned 'Florissa' maxi dress at Coast (€225), with full-length sheer chiffon layer, is quite the dramatic party number.

Weekend Magazine