Tag: Topshop

Weekly Words: 23rd September 2017

How the Red Carpet Became a Runway – W Magazine

I loved this video from W Magazine about how the red carpet has evolved over the years, from stars wearing pieces borrowed from film studios costume departments in its infancy to having custom created looks and couture-style pieces nowadays.

“The Trouble with Topshop” – BoF Professional Exclusive

Kate Moss for Topshop

Being in the US, I didn’t realize that Topshop was having any issues, just because I haven’t been in any of their British stores to notice any changes or read any British newspapers which tend to cover the Arcadia group in great detail. According to this BoF article, Topshop is not faring well in comparison to H&M and Zara who have taken over the British high street and offer cheaper and often more fashionable styles. They are also facing high competition from e-commerce sites like Boohoo & Missguided which are even cheaper and have a wider, more global reach than Topshop have managed to successfully achieve. I didn’t realize this when I was initially looking at London Fashion Week images but Topshop Unique is no longer, with the line now being called Topshop London Fashion Week. The price points are lower and the styles will be less exclusive than the Unique line was, in an attempt to capture a younger customer once again who were slightly outpriced by the Unique line in the past. This season’s show was the last collection designed by Kate Phelan, former British Vogue editor turned Creative Director of the line, whose work I always admired and found to be very on the pulse of what women actually want to wear. That was the merit of Topshop Unique. She has been replaced by a Swede, David Hagglund, who is now in charge of both Topshop and Topman. A new head of merchandising has been hired too. I was on Topshop’s website a few days ago and whilst looking at the shoes I found myself getting annoyed at all of the strange angles of the shoes and I felt like I couldn’t get an immediate image of what the shoe actually looked like, instead focusing on a zip on the inside of your foot or a really random angle. I hope that this is not part of the new strategy because, in my opinion, it doesn’t make for a good shopping experience. I’ll be interested to see how things take shape going forward, if any design / stylistic changes are immediately apparent once Phelan departs.

“At Italian Vogue, A New Beginning” – The New York Times

This article about Emanuele Farneti, Vogue Italia’s Editor-in-Chief who replaced the late, beloved Franca Sozzani at the beginning of the year, was a great profile of the man who I think is shaping up to become a fantastic Editor-in-Chief. This year brought many changes to the world of fashion, especially in the print magazine sector with the untimely death of Sozzani, the resignation of Alexandra Shulman, EIC of British Vogue since before I was even born, and many departures and new arrivals stateside as discussed in a previous Weekly Words. Sozzani was replaced by Farneti and Shulman was replaced by Edward Enninful, longtime W Magazine editor and one of the fashion industry’s most beloved stylists. The arrival of these two new editors brought in a big change in the sense that it was the first time any men had been in charge of Vogue. Both of their appointments were rather historic. Enninful is yet to publish an issue that he has edited – December is slated to be his first – but Farneti has been working at Vogue Italia for months now, producing a couple of really memorable covers from the start. The first I recall was the e-commerce themed cover, which I wrote a piece about a few months back, and then also Bella Hadid’s retro-inspired cover which featured the most beautiful colors in such dreamy tones. The whole gist of the New York Times profile is that Farneti, unlike most of the other EIC’s, is very low-key. There is no paparazzi frenzy surrounding him. He lives a normal life with a wife and two children. His approach to both life, and editing, is very different than others in his role. Interestingly enough, he has worked in various facets of publishing – menswear, sports, and womenswear – before landing at Italian Vogue. He was an unlikely choice for many, but, I think, so far, he has proven to be a good one.

Weekly Words: April 15th 2017

Is Gucci’s Pre-Fall Ad Campaign a Step in the Right Direction for Diversity?” – The Fashion Law

I found this article very interesting because it made me stop and think about things. Initially when I heard that Gucci were only using models of color for their ad campaign I thought it was a good idea because in my mind I thought that meant they were recognizing the diverse array of people on the planet and how important representation is. However, I read this article and I also watched Instagram stories by Shiona Turini which gave me another perspective. Basically it boils down to the fact that we are applauding Gucci for using models of color when that it something that should just be standard. I had failed to pick up on this before. As mentioned in the article, fashion is cyclical and it just so happens that using models of color is a “trend” at the moment, just as the Eastern-European wave was huge ten years ago. Furthermore, as mentioned by Turini, the campaign took inspiration from people of color (music, photographers, styles) yet the campaign was photographed by a white male photographer. I have noticed how Gucci has become a staple brand once again in the (predominantly black) hip-hop community, worn by everyone from A$AP Rocky to 2 Chainz, yet the people who are actually dressed by the brand are normally white (Jared Leto, Harry Styles etc.).

I don’t want to knock the campaign as I think the images produced are actually rather striking and represent the first Gucci campaign since Michele took the helm that has been of interest to me. Click the link above for the full Fashion Law article, see below slideshow for Turini’s response and click here for Elle’s take on things.

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“Business of Fashion Student Membership”

Business of Fashion is arguably the greatest resource out there for anyone interested in fashion. They have amazing journalists, quality content, and even do a free daily digest where they pull together all of the news that you need to know from sources around the internet. I love it. Last year the site went into a private, paid-for “professional” mode where you only got limited access unless you paid for a subscription. I was upset when this happened as I love the site and have been reading it daily for years now but I did understand why it happened. For the past few months after hitting my article limit I’ve been using the incognito mode on my browser in an attempt to cheat the system and read unlimited content. This was not only annoying but also probably slightly unethical too. However, I was scrolling through Facebook this week when I spotted an ad from BoF proclaiming free student membership in partnership with Topshop. I rejoyced. I literally took pictures and posted it on my Instagram story and Snapchat. Finally I had access to the site again. It helps not only on a personal level but also when doing projects and essays in school. I love Topshop as a store. It is somewhere that I have worked before and would honestly love to work again. The fact that they have partnered up with BoF to bring this membership to students (for free!) shows that they are genuinely committed to helping the next generation come up and learn on the way. I appreciate this so much as a regular membership costs $20 a month (or $240 a year) which doesn’t seem like much to somebody in the workforce but as a student it is a steep price to pay.

Sign up here using your student email account.

“Designing an Immigration System that works” – CFDA

The CFDA published a 48 page report this week urging for immigration reform that would benefit the fashion industry. The message of the report was that the current system is broken and prohibitive, meaning that the US loses out on talent from all around the world in this particular industry. Nowadays with a focus on globalization and the harmful effects, you would think that America would want to do whatever possible to bring the fashion industry back to the US, even if that meant recruiting talent from around the world. The two main points that the report suggested need addressed are “the access and retention of top talent”, saying employers need to be able to hire the employees and have a visa in place that allows them to stay in the country, and “the difficulty and high cost of navigating [the] existing immigration system”, as it is a costly and complicated process. The following pages break down further, providing statistics and presenting a case for reform. For a professional report, it was refreshingly easy-to-read and not bogged down with boring statistics and legal jargon.

This issue is something that is important to me personally, being an international student in the US, as I may have to try to navigate this system myself at some point depending on where my career takes me. It doesn’t make sense to me that America would not want to retain the talent it has trained, especially if a student attends a US institution. It is almost like brain-drain, training people then allowing them to return home so quickly. I have often worried in the past about getting a work visa as I can’t understand why many employers would care to go through the process given the financial burden and the time spent. On top of that, you can follow all of the processes correctly and still not get a visa as the number of applicants greatly outnumbers the amount of visas available each year. It is a stressful process for all involved. Even if you don’t care to read the entire report I do encourage you to scroll through and look at the infographics as they’re really interesting.

Shopping Find: Alexander Wang x Topshop x Urban Renewal

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I’m not a denim skirt fan. They look weird on me. In my mind, they are for mid-2000s moms. However, they seem to be having a resurgence. I noticed this last summer when pretty much every cool girl stepped out wearing one. I didn’t partake in it last summer and I probably wont next summer. However, I liked this Alexander Wang option because it was a little bit more interesting to me than your standard, straight-across denim skirt. Instead of being his mainline runway collection, it is a piece from his Denim x Alexander Wang line. I haven’t actually purchased any jeans from them yet but I am planning to get a pair of either the skinny style or the slightly wider straight legs. I haven’t yet decided. I came across the two dupes organically. I was just browsing on both Topshop and Urban’s websites when I seen the styles that looked eerily similar.

As this is an older season style, Alexander Wang’s skirt is available on The Outnet (therefore already reduced from regular retail price) and is on sale. Furthermore, the Urban Renewal style is half price. What’s funny to me is that Topshop’s version is current season and still full price (34 GBP). However, out of all three options it is the one I like the best. I think the wash of the denim is the nicest. All of these styles come out to less than 100 GBP in total so really any of them are a relative steal. Maybe you can rock the summer staple with the cut-out twist better than I could?

SHOP ONLINE
Alexander Wang (via The Outnet) – 94 GBP, if you’re in the US you can get it at Barney’s for $69
Topshop – 34 GBP
Urban Renewal (at Urban Outfitters) – 20 GBP

One Item, Three Ways – Topshop

I recently bought this wrap dress from Topshop for £46, or £41.60 with student discount, and I think it could be one of the most versatile pieces I currently own. To demonstrate this, I have styled the dress three different ways – weekend, weekday, and night. Click on the images to be redirected to Polyvore where you can shop the items.

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Spend More, Buy Less

Note: This was written at the beginning of July and queued. Since then I have done more research and I have further posts coming up detailing my findings.

The concept of “spend more, buy less” is fairly buzzy at the moment. Fast fashion is the devil whereas ethical fashion is king. I cannot pretend that I don’t shop in fast fashion stores. In fact, I buy clothes from Zara, one of the worst offenders, almost every single month. However, I have noticed myself making more of an effort to buy less and buy better. I have to admit that this is less from an ethical standpoint (I still haven’t seen The True Cost yet, but I do plan to watch it in a couple of weeks) and more from a future-planning stance. I need to buy a wardrobe full of staples and basics that will last me the next few years of college, and the one-season trend pieces can be bought cheaply when the time comes.

Spending smartly is key for me at the moment. I’m going from having a full time job and a decent amount of disposable income to spend on whatever I want to being a student in a country that I cannot legally work in. Pocket money will be less than I’ve gotten used to and I won’t actually have my own income. It seems crazy. In preparation for this I have been upgrading items in my wardrobe to better quality items that will hopefully last me for years. I’m buying good leather, silk, and suede whilst I still can. I’m buying cotton instead of polyester. I’m avoiding the fabric that is labelled as “slinky” on every e-boutique that is usually flattering but clearly a fire hazard. Light a match near me in a two-piece slinky co-ord set and I’ll go up in flames.

Initially I found spending more than £100 on anything terrifying. However, I have realised that although I am spending more than I normally would on the initial output, the cost per wear is probably lower over time than it is with less expensive items I am buying. Cost per wear sounds like a cop-out excuse to justify your spending but I have actually found it an effective measure of if my purchase was worthwhile or not. Take a pair of black leather ankle boots as an example. This winter I bought a pair from Hobbs. They are a classic style made from soft leather and they have a small but manageable heel. From January to April I wore them 5 days a week and since then I’ve worn them at least once. Believe it or not, they look as good as new. All I need to do is polish them literally once a month and the marks are gone. I plan to get them reheeled if they ever need done instead of just buying new boots every year. Before I bought these ones, say from October to December, I actually bought 3 pairs of cheap boots that I thought could tide me over in the meantime. 2 were from Missguided, another from Primark. I probably spent around £65/70 altogether on these boots which were disposable to me. They didn’t last more than a month each and I knew they wouldn’t be a good investment when I bought them. That was stupid spending and it’s the type that I’m trying to stop, or at least limit.

Inside & Other Stories on Broadway, New York

I have now taken to shopping in the stores that are between straight-up fast fashion and designer. Just now I really love & Other Stories, a brand from the H&M group that makes a lot of cool pieces out of great materials. Their stores are an experience in themselves too. I really enjoy going there. I also visited Aritzia when I was in New York last month and liked the selection in there. They had a lot of brands with prices starting around $100 and going way up. I have never heard much about Aritzia which made me wonder why. Is there a reason that this store is not hyped online or am I just missing it? From what I know, they are a Canadian company who have a few stores across North America. They don’t yet ship internationally so that may be a factor. I also really like the Boutique range in Topshop, the more minimalist big sister of the main line. Elevated basics is what I into really. Rather boring but I find it better to buy interesting basics rather than fussy, trend pieces that will look dated very quickly.

The next few items on my list of things to invest in are a good leather backpack (I like the Alexander Wang Prisma range and I also seen a Gucci one that I liked but realistically I’ll be way to broke to save up for either), a heavy coat that will last a few New York winters (hopefully not a parka but maybe it’ll come to that), black leather pumps, and a silk shirt.

I think I’ll probably revisit this topic in a few months after I have watched The True Cost and also done some further research on fast fashion. I understand the basics of why it is bad, from various standpoints (humans, environment, businesses), but I do not have enough knowledge of the ins and outs to discuss it very well. I sometimes feel that the people who condemn fast fashion speak from a point of privilege. Lots of people don’t have enough money spare to shop ethically, which is always more expensive than just going to Primark to pick up some clothes. If you’re struggling to make ends meet or if you’ve got kids who are the priority I feel like you’re less likely to be able to make this change. And really, it may be low on your list of concerns. I don’t know where I stand. I feel it would be far too hypocritical to act as if I thought fast fashion was the worst thing ever because I shop it and I benefit from it in many ways (I used to be employed by a fast fashion company). As I said, I will revisit this topic at a later date when I’ve hopefully formed a more sophisticated opinion that I can articulate a little bit better.

SHOPPING FIND: Topshop vs Versace

Left - Versace, Right - Topshop
Left – Versace, Right – Topshop

It has been a while since I’ve done a post like this. However, I was in Topshop this weekend and I spotted these trousers from across the store. I didn’t buy them because I ended up getting this spotty dress instead but it’s likely that I’ll go back and pick them up soon. I was struck by the print and instantly made the connection to Versace’s prints in the Spring 2016 collection. It makes sense that this print is in stores now given that the Versace collection is available for sale now too but I had expected to see inspired pieces sooner actually. I have seen a couple of dresses similar to the finale dresses worn by Gigi Hadid and Natasha Poly floating around the web though so perhaps it is only a matter of time.

The print and cut of the Topshop trousers is slightly different than those shown on the Versace runway. In fact, it is more an amalgamation of different elements of the Versace show in one garment, rolled into an easy, wearable pair of pants, than a direct copy. I could see the clear inspiration though, as soon as I saw the pants hanging on the rail. I can see myself wearing them very often with just a black t-shirt or even a bodysuit to show off the paper bag waist. I love belted pants, truly. 

SHOP ONLINE

Topshop – £29

Versace – £750 (Versace store)/£625 (Tiziana Fausti)

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SHOPPING FIND: Topshop VS Acne Studios

Hello!

I am excited to share this wonderful Acne dupe with you, mainly because I actually own it and can therefore vouch for it personally. The Acne Velocite jacket is perhaps infamous amongst bloggers and editors alike and you couldn’t look at a street style blog for the past perhaps 3-5 years without seeing one at some point. Abbey Clancy recently wore one on an episode of Britain’s Next Top Model (I cannot NOT watch those programmes, it’s a weakness) and it looked just so soft to touch yet slightly tough to look at. I love a contrast like that. For example, I’ll probably wear mine with dresses or skirts so it’s fun to mix the feminine with the masculine.

A few years ago I had a beige style from H&M that I thought was good enough (suede, not leather though) but then I got rid of it this summer: the colour didn’t work for my skin tone, let’s be real. Ever since I had been searching for a perfect copy as I just don’t have £2k to spend on a coat. Along comes this Goldie coat, c/o Topshop. I don’t think you can purchase it elsewhere. Obviously there are a few key differences between the two jackets: the Acne one is real shearling and leather, the Topshop one doesn’t have all the belts and buckles, and the Topshop one is merely a fraction of the price. If I could afford the Acne one I’d definitely buy it, especially because you get different coloured linings which are fantastic. I adore the one with the pale beige fur.

I think Keira Knightley wears her jacket well

As with the Acne jacket, the styling is meant to be slightly oversized. I worried that mine would be too big though but fortunately it fits fine. The fur running along the seams in the back reminded me of the multicoloured Prada shearling coats of a few seasons ago (Rihanna wore one, for an image reference). The entire lining is fur so it’s very cosy and the outer is leather (both are faux). However, for £98 you cannot complain too much. Mine was such a bargain as I had a 20% off code that Topshop sent me for my birthday (you know how rare Topshop discount codes are, especially if you don’t have a Unidays code) and also a £20 gift card, so I ended up only paying about £58(ish) including postage. The S/M is currently sold out but it’ll likely come back in stock as I’ve seen them replenish it a few times. I hope you all love it as much as I do!

SHOP ONLINE

Acne Studios – £2000 (currently out of stock)
Topshop – £98

SHOPPING FINDS: Bikinis

Summer bikinis

 

Since spring has now sprung, all I can think about is summer. There is a psychological connection between sunny weather and happiness, and I truly believe it to be true. There was one day of brilliant sunshine last week, and I went out and sat in the park with my friend, people watching and eating an ice cream, and it definitely left me in a good mood for the rest of the week.
I thought what better way to commemorate summer than by doing a bikini post? So here it is. Sadly, I’m not going on holiday this year. It sucks. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming, so here is my fantasy wish list of bikinis. Some of them are quite similar (I really like the shape of the Zimmerman styles I included), and there’s not many bright colours, but that’s just me. For example, the Seafolly bikini (black with twisted halterneck) is available in almost every colour you could imagine. Also, a lot of these bikinis are pricey and don’t really reflect what I’d actually buy if I were going abroad, because I don’t have £100+ to spend on a bikini… Some websites that I’d suggest for cheaper alternatives are H&M (x, y, z) and also Forever 21 (x, y, z). Also, if you’re in the UK, definitely check out Primark (they don’t sell online unfortunately) as they always have a great selection at an incredibly low price point. Quality doesn’t matter that much for a bikini because you’re not going to wear them for years and years anyway, in my opinion.
Now excuse me whilst I daydream about being on a private yacht in Greece or somewhere equally as beautiful…
PS – Click on the images of the bikinis to be taken to the website where you can see prices, sizes, and purchase (if you wish to).

London Fashion Week Highlights – Fall 2015

London Fashion Week has gone so fast. I think it is because New York dragged on for so long that anything else would’ve felt like a flash. I almost didn’t write this post as I thought I was so late, but what the heck, why not? As I’ve said so many times before, London is not my favourite of the fashion weeks. I probably wouldn’t feel that I had missed out if I hadn’t looked at any of the shows. However, there are a few brands that show here that I do love season after season and am always glad to see (think David Koma, Felder Felder etc). I feel like I have experienced all that London Fashion Week has to offer me via instagram. It has been so oversaturated. Another thing about London is that there seems to be a hell of a lot of bloggers in attendance, you know, bloggers that have nothing to do with the shows. I digress… Anyhow, let us begin the important stuff – the reviews – and ignore the rest. It was just a long rambling introduction anyway.

 SIMONE ROCHA

I think Simone Rocha will be a firm favourite of mine in London for years to come. She has only been showing for a few years but each collection she has put out so far has been well received critically and she has a talent that could fool you into thinking she has been at this for decades. Her talent is unsurprising given her father (also a designer) as it is said that some talents are inherited, artistic ability specifically. But perhaps in her case it is both nature and nurture. She went to art school, then graduated from the prestigious MA Fashion programme at Central Saint Martins. This collection, in particular, was said to reference her art school thesis, therefore it is really going back to her roots and what first inspired her as a designer. Gone is the bubblegum pink of a few seasons ago, returning is the moody dark velvet, and in comes the tapestry-like fabrics too. I appreciate how there is always a story, a real source of inspiration, behind Rocha’s collections as you can tell real thought has gone into them. For that reason, they are never derivative and that is something that is quite rare nowadays.

DAVID KOMA

I will say it time and time again: I love David Koma. When he was appointed to the role at Mugler, I rejoyced. Luckily I don’t think the dual-role thing has had much effect on his designs for his own line. They are the same as ever. Whether that is good or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think much changes from season to season with him, perhaps because his design aesthetic just remains the same. I don’t take issue with that because I always like most of what he produces, but in an industry that is all about progress and forward thinking, it may become an issue in the near future. There’s usually leather, there’s almost always cut-outs, and there is always a dash of sex. And that’s what works. The modern take he did on the bell sleeves, however, was a little different.

FELDER FELDER

If there’s one thing I cannot resist, it is fur on a baby. I love it. Ok, it doesn’t have to be real fur but the whole look of it is so cute. My friend bought her niece an adorable faux-fur coat from Zara last year when she was just a little baby and she looked so darling in it that I felt myself melting. Scroll through to the last look on the Felder Felder show and you’ll see the designers taking a bow, you know, with fur-wearing baby in their arms – soooooooo cute. The baby’s coat matched the models who, for the final few looks, wore colourful fur coats in bright turquoise and red, with contrasting coloured cuffs, and to top it all off, the coats were belted – I adored them. As for the rest of the collection, it was rock-n-roll-style, liberated women. There were many sheer pieces, lots of glitz and super short skirts. Basically, I’m looking for a cool girl in a band to snap the collection up and wear it on tour. Who is the modern day Courtney Love? Or perhaps Courtney herself could still wear it?

TOPSHOP UNIQUE

I, like many other Brits, have a great loyalty towards Topshop. It is a high-street favourite, known for its popularity within the fashion world – a great achievement for a fast-fashion brand who often derives its ideas from the high fashion world (just like every other fast-fashion brand does). Topshop seems to have avoided the fate of being labelled a copier like Zara or Forever 21, and perhaps have done so due to this Topshop Unique line. The clothes themselves are only sold in a select number of Topshop stores, and usually online, and have a more high end price point (think £300 for a coat instead of £80 in the mainline). It helps that the creative director of the brand is Kate Phelan, a British Vogue veteran who left to work with Topshop but still contributes to the magazine frequently: I think she gives the line a certain legitimacy. This collection was said to be inspired by rich English girls (a.k.a anybody who you’d find in Tatler magazine), the kind of girl who wakes up flawless, to paraphrase Beyonce. I think the collection was great, with the exception of a few pieces including the fuzzy, ostrich looking bodices on some of the final dresses. Apart from that, I’d say it was a win.

TOM FORD

Tom Ford showed his collection in LA after NYFW had ended. It was officially on the London calendar on Style.com, however. The timing of the event was odd. When it was first announced that Tom Ford would be showing in Los Angeles, people didn’t really understand why. But what’s to understand? Many editors and celebrities (both permanent fixtures at the shows) hadn’t yet jetted off to London. Anna Wintour was at the Oscars this weekend, as were many celebrities who feature prominently at fashion weeks. Does this mean people are skipping London all together? I don’t know. I think it was interesting to see the amount of top models who stayed for the show: Sasha Luss, Gigi Hadid (I know, I hate to call her a top model but she has been walking a lot of shows), Lexi Boling, Karlie Kloss… The show was filled with celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z (obviously), Miley Cyrus (who is growing on me as I feel bad for her sometimes), and Naomi Campbell, among others. Everybody donned their sexiest get-ups because this was Tom Ford and he’s the master of that shit. The collection itself was fun. I could’ve done without all the denim but apart from that it worked. I think it was part-Victorian, part-rich-Mob-wife, part-Cowgirl, part-hippy-art-student, and as odd a combination as that sounds, it all meshed together oddly well. I don’t know, maybe I’m going mad.

PS – Lindsey Wixson’s look was the best.

And the rest…

I loved the trumpet skirt of this dress at Mario Schwab, the blood orange colour is so eye catching. It reminds me of Mac’s Vegas Volt lipstick.

I’ve seen a lot of talk saying that perhaps Christopher Kane should’ve been hired for the Gucci role, and I think I’m starting to agree. Or maybe not agree but I definitely see where they’re coming from. I think it’s too soon to judge Gucci’s new creative team (especially since we haven’t even seen a womenswear collection yet). However, Kane’s collection shown in London was brilliant. It had sharp tailoring (look how cinched in at the waist this is!), a brilliant blue crocodile coat – slightly reminiscent of the petrol blue glossy leather coat at Miu Miu last season but distinct enough to not be a copy -, a dress with bandage style wraps that was very Proenza (but even Proenza’s weren’t brand new) that was purely coincidental, and finally a long dress which looked very much like a painting come to life, complete with limbs.

Barbara Casasola created a collection full of wearable separates and dresses. I loved these two looks (x & y).

This one look at Pringle of Scotland was great, so wearable and so easy to recreate. I still find it weird seeing Pringle shows as I totally associate that brand with my grandad who wears the jumpers whilst playing golf. Hey, maybe grandparents are fashionable after all?

Holly Fulton’s use of sheer organza was insane. These two tops in particular (x & y) were so stunning and had the perfect amount of glitter on them without making them look cheap. Also, this dress was pretty. I’d buy it.