Holiday Dressing

Glam up and party like it's 1989 on New Year's, says Neiman Marcus fashion guru

Party like it's 1989 on New Year's, says Neiman Marcus fashion guru

Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Shoulder pads always make a bold statement, and Ken Downing says they are coming on strong for 2018. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ring in the New Year with the Midas touch. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Silk, animal print, and oversized earrings are an attention-grabbing trifecta. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Cold? Doesn't matter. Keep that puffer jacket off your shoulders. Photo by Kim Coffman
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Skirts that move and metallics are holiday musts. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Velvet and a leather moto jacket is the perfect sugar and spice combination. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Bold gold is takes center stage and balances materials like fur. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Grab a bag that adds an extra layer of interest. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus
Ken Downing at Neiman Marcus

It seems fitting that we should head into 2018 with shoulder pads in our jackets and a strong red lip. Fashion’s proverbial time warp is coming back around primarily to the '80s, where shoulders are powerful and paired with slim leggings, catsuit and yes, even the questionable stirrup pant.

This New Year's Eve, go ahead, make an entrance, and take a stand in velvet, tassels, embellished heels, and shoulder-grazing earrings. These are throwback pleasers that will escort you quite nicely into what’s next, says Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing. Here's more of his advice for going into the new year with retro-glam style.

Red hues have certainly never been known for their demure qualities, and that’s all for the better. Start with a red lip, a rosy frock, or earrings that pop. Downing is a proponent of the color and infused it into many of the looks shown at a fall 2017 fashion presentation.

“Red likes red and makes a beautiful story, so go ahead and pair it together,” Downing said. For those who prefer a more low-key holiday look, drink in rich Bordeaux colors, including raspberry, mulberry, and plum. Soft blush pinks play nicely, too.

If you’re pushing the easy button with a LBD but still want some NYE sizzle, then it’s all about the ear. Big, bold, colorful earrings amp up denim or a dress in an instant, as well as give a girl a bit of a boost.

“Big earrings are better than Botox and far less painful,” Downing said. “In fact, it’s time to take out your jewelry and bring it into the light of day. We leave it at home and it's not having any fun.”

Festive feet are another step into the future. Velvet, boots, pearl-encrusted heels, embroidery, and spikes are top picks for shoes that are the ultimate attention-grabbers. Downing sees no reason to leave velvet of any kind tucked away until the evening.

“Shoes that have a lot of personality want to go out during the day," Downing said. "Velvet doesn’t know what time it is.”

For a modern multidecade look, casually slide on a denim jacket with architectural shoulders and reach for denim crops, or even bellbottoms.

And if the '80s conjured up nothing but neon and parachute pants, Downing likes the Studio 54 vibe of a sequin pantsuit or tuxedo.

Note for anyone still clinging to your shoulder wrap. Put. It. Away.

Runway models and street style darlings haven’t wrapped up or slid their arms in a jacket in years, and Downing is equally averse to the dated look. Mixing up and creating the unexpected is the best part of fashion, so why not put a biker jacket over a beaded gown?

As we revel in the new year, celebrating with gold, red, velvet, and tassel accents, let’s keep an eye on spring, where yellow is going to be everywhere. We are planning our bold lip options now.