Amping It UP! A Red Carpet Masterclass on Accessorising for Attention

Glitzy or understated, kitschy or cute, accessories can add the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble. Whether it’s the perfect pair of skyscraper heels or the look-don’t-touch sophistication of serious jewelry, celebs have always tried to glam up their red-carpet looks with accessories.

Those who have followed the golden rules have ended up with winning combinations. Glittery clutches have always worked well with simple shifts; ankle boots have added pizzazz to sweet dresses; and chunky bangles have jangled upon many a famous arm. Even the humble safety pin has had its moment in the spotlight (remember Elizabeth Hurley and that Versace dress?).

Style on the Edge

One of the trendiest ways to bring a pretty, girly dress bang-up-to-date is to pair it with a pair of sexy studded sandals. Dakota Fanning stole the show at the Eclipse premiere in LA with an uber-feminine Elie Saab dress and fabulous peep-toe Louboutins, creating an edgy-chic contrast. She may be young, but this girl knows how to work red-carpet glamor.

This has been a key trend this season. Elegance is in, but with a twist – the sexy, pretty styles that have epitomized glamor for so long are given new life with funky, edgy details: rivets and studs, booties rather than sandals, leather mixed with lace. Some actresses have chosen to accessories their lady-like dresses with more modern-cut jackets. Charlize Theron recently worked a pencil-cut dress with a boxy cropped jacket to perfection on the red carpet. The 50s-style femininity of the figure-hugging dress was balanced with a more modern shape, and contrasting black with ivory made the whole outfit more eye-catching. Slicked back hair and red lipstick completed the look.

Jackets don’t always work, however. This blazer chosen by Daisy Lowe did absolutely nothing for her look and her figure. Unfortunately the ruched leather dress underneath wasn’t much better!

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Size does Matter!

Another key accessories trend this season is long earrings. Diamond-studded or simply sparkly, long earrings have been popping up everywhere, adding instant wow-factor to any ensemble. Even shoulder-duster versions have been spotted on several actresses. And the best way to wear them? Only with short hair or an elegant up-do. After all, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, and these actresses are proving that bigger can only be better when it comes to jewelry.

And that goes for rings too. Several stars have been spotted wearing what can only be described as knuckledusters, giant stone-encrusted rings that cover three or four fingers and simply scream to be noticed.

Bagging the Spotlight

Of course how can we forgot that most essential of all accessories – the handbag? Red carpets are now seeing clutches of every description, but the traditional shapes and colors have all changed for Winter 2010/11. Gone are the typical black embossed leather and patent clutches. Now celebs are opting for softer neutral shades like gray and nude. Kimberley Walsh showed off her oversized taupe clutch at the British Fashion Awards this year, which looked perfect with a simple pair of matching pumps.

Over-sized clutches go effortlessly from day to night, but what about bags chosen more for their bling quotient? Glittery, sparkly, eye-poppingly shiny clutches were everywhere on the red carpet this season as the perfect foil for glam gowns of every description. Even a simple tunic/sandals combo can be pulled together perfectly with a statement stone-studded clutch, so it’s no wonder so many celebs are thinking ‘the flashier, the better‘.   Making a look work isn’t just about picking good pieces, it’s making them work together to create real style.

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