I’ll be celebrating my six (!) year anniversary with my fiance in just three little days, and I’m already looking forward to getting dolled up for a date night and a couple of celebratory champagne “chin chins.” And who doesn’t love champagne? According to a (likely apocryphal) story, the 17th century monk who accidentally discovered sparkling wine exclaimed: “Ah, I have tasted the stars!”
There’s something so retro-glam about the idea of drinking out of a champagne coupe. (As it turns out, coupes — rumored to have been modeled after Marie Antoinette’s decollete! — are an impractical glassware style, totally unsuitable to champagne tasting. Long, narrow flutes, on the other hand, are designed to direct the flow of bubbles to the top of the glass and concentrate the aroma.) Setting these practical matters aside, we can still enjoy the thought of a champagne coupe and all of the glam it calls for, including some sort of fur stole, white gloves, faux lashes, and an updo. In other words: Marilyn Monroe.
For the modern day magpie, it all begins with a bombshell dress, like this Aminaka Wilmont concoction ($1,125, Net-A-Porter):
Or maybe this body-conscious, Bond-Girl-esque Herve Leger. I’m normally not a huge fan of Herve Leger, but for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration? Why not?! ($1,250, Net-A-Porter).
For something a bit more grounded, consider this lovely gold-spun sheath by Michael Kors ($663, TheOutnet):
Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s take a look at les accessoires. I’m thinking white or sparkly enorma-studs ($180, Ylang23 Vintage), sky high glitter pumps (Christian Louboutin), and hard-case gold clutches (this Amanda Pearl “Sereno” clutch is sold-out, but she has an array of other drool-worthy eye-catching variations).
But even before you slip into your designer duds, why not primp in style? Try this silk dressing gown ($225, Natori) —
I’m confident that Victoria’s Secret has some less expensive comparable versions, as the wonderful hostess of my first bridal shower gifted me one in a happy cherry red hue. It’s perfect for pre-event preening. You might also slip into this uber-feminine, retro-glam set ($158 for bralette and $198 for tap shorts, Anthropologie):
Spritz on some J’Adore by Christian Dior ($88, Bloomingdale’s) — love the bottle and the soft, feminine scent — and add a wash of YSL’s super chicly packaged Golden Gloss ($30, Sephora). The Golden Macadamia shade shown below is supposed to be universally-flattering, especially if you’re going for a dramatic eye.
And why not go for a dramatic, smokey eye? A couple of coats of DiorShow mascara or maybe even some false eyelashes should do the trick! All the experts swear by Shu Uemura’s line of false eyelashes — they look extremely natural and are high quality (handmade, apparently?) so they last for a dozen or more uses.
You can pick a style best-suited to your needs, but definitely glam it up for the champagne debutante look! They’re available for $25 at Sephora. (Consider watching this excellent YouTube tutorial on false eyelash application if you’re unsure — the “instructor” does a fab job.)
Other ideas for throwback glamor? How about this glittering dream of a necklace by up-and-coming designer Suzanna Dai?
Love the idea of pairing it with a simple white sheath for a stand-out, shining star moment. To. Die. For. You can snap up your own at Stars and Infinite Darkness for $395, an eBoutique devoted to emerging jewelry artists — although just a couple of days ago, Dai made it BIG and graduated to the better-known Charm and Chain (I frequently pull looks from their cache), who now hosts a small selection of her pieces. Bravo!
And what about these standout be-sequined Kate Spade slingbacks? Love love LOVE the bow-toe ($375, Nordstrom):
Throw them on with a sparkling little dress and you’ll be as effervescent as the bubbly! Speaking of which — though we’d all love to stock our fridges with the classic Veuve Cliquot — I often entertain with sparkling wines from Spain (cavas) or Italy (proseccos). They are frequently less-expensive, just as palatable, and are virtually indistiguishable from their champagne cousin in every way. (Champagne is a sparkling wine local to a certain region in France, called “Champagne” — all other bubblies are known as “sparkling wines.”) My fiance and I love the off-dry cava 1+1=3. It retails for around $15 a pop (pun intended) in fine retailers like Whole Fields — and, for you locals, Best Cellars. (My fiance and I are obsessed with Best Cellars — awesome, well-organized, and well-edited vino shop!)
We’ve registered for Schott Zwiesel flutes with a sleek, modern design, and I’m eagerly awaiting entertaining with them. How adorable will they look atop a gold serving tray? I bought a round variation of the tray below from Pier1 for a holiday cocktail party a few years ago, and have found 1,001 uses for it. The sides are high enough that my fiance and I like to lay down a bed of crushed ice in the basin and arrange oysters on top for special occasions. I’ve also used it for hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and just home decor. Love it. A place like World Market would probably carry something similar — they have an etched silver version out now for only $24.
And of course we need a luxe-looking ice bucket to keep our drink of choice cool while sprucing up the entertaining area. I absolutely adore this Mauviel style ($299, Williams-Sonoma):
All we have left are a few finishing touches — a one-of-a-kind glitzy Alexis Bittar ring ($140, Nordstrom):
ADDENDUM: I’ve featured a number of Bounkit enorma-studs on my blog, and have now found a special coupon code — enter MOM2010 at the Bounkit website for free shipping and 20% off through May 8, 2010!