The Dark Side Of The Christmas Tree

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 12

What’s your favourite Christmas film? If it’s a) Tim Burton gothic-tinged masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas or b) none of them then chances are you’ve neither donned a red, reindeer emblazoned jumper this festive season or busted out the sequins for the office party.

If you’re a fan of that dark and directional aesthetic beloved of the likes of Ann Demeulemeester, Damir Doma and Rick Owens then it’s unlikely you’ll suddenly want to embrace bright colours and gaudy details simply because the calendar reads December.

Maison Martin Margiela A/W 12

But of course the traditional fashion palette (i.e., black) and a sense of festiveness aren’t mutually exclusive – take the case of Helena Bonham Carter for instance. Not the wacky, odd-shoe wearing Helena Bonham-Carter of old, but the one who’s been showing up on the red carpet lately in figure hugging dresses and inky accessories, the perfect blend of subversive and chic. And who wouldn’t want her at their holiday festivities?

Helena Bonham Carter

Tilda Swinton is another one who knows exactly to pull off alternative party chic, as the muse of arty French designer Haider Ackermann she sports muted metallics and sharply cut separates that are discreetly eye-catching rather than on an attention grabbing level with the baubles on the tree.

Dark side devotees Daphne Guiness, Tilda Swinton and Rooney Mara

And anyone who thinks that anything remotely gloomy just doesn’t go with this time of year is wrong (after all even the Addams family celebrated Christmas with all the trimmings), it was this time last year that Rooney Mara in all her Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy glory was promoting Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and landing on best dressed lists left right and centre.

Temperley London A/W 12

In fact the benefits of going for dark and understated over dazzling and bright this festive season are pretty tempting when you think about it. You can wear the pieces beyond January 1st for one thing. This Temperley London (above) coat has a joyful swing to it, whilst still being sober enough to throw on over suits and separates once the parties have ground to a halt and its back to reality, whilst Ann Demeulemeester consistently adds her signature Belgian edge to the little black dress, and her compatriot Martin Marigela’s once eponymous line does the same for the trouser suit.

Haider Ackermann A/W 12

The aforementioned Haider Ackermann is another Antwerp trained designer who excels at pieces that exude a sort of serene intelligence, draped and sculpted skirts and jackets that eschew bells and whistles no matter what the occasion. See the dark side isn’t just for Christmas, when it comes to fashion, it’s for life.

by Hollie Moat

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