Typically, I don’t think of myself as a fashion reviewer, unless the work that I present comes from the designers in the Shengri La Marketplace. As a Shengri La curator, I do like to present the work of the designers-in-residence there. With this post, I’m including other designers because the other day, I received a review copy of a very cheery and festive fashion ensemble from designers outside of the Marketplace. I’m flattered that designers outside of Shengri La chose to include me on their list of fashion writers. As I think about it, this is the first time I’m writing about designers when I don’t know the majority of them personally or haven’t a shared context, so that’s different.
One of the other things that I find different about this is how the outfit was created. The entire ensemble is a collaborative effort between three design labels: Beguiled, Baby Monkey, and Petunia. When you wear their aptly named Christmas Collaboration, you really sense the three designers sitting around talking and laughing, celebrating and designing together. The outfit is just that perfectly matched from head to toe…from the earrings and necklace by Beguiled, the dress and stockings by Petunia to the clutch and the shoes by Baby Monkey.
Gita Rau of Beguiled brings her confident and clean sensibilities into the holiday season with her Christmas wreath earrings and Christmas tree necklace. In September, I wrote about Gita’s strong contemporary approach to jewelry. Gita is the one designer, of the three, who I have talked with and do have a sense of context for, but still, our paths crossed maybe only once or twice. Even with that very brief interaction, what I see in Gita’s contribution to this collaboration is her signature style of presence. The wreath earrings have wonderful substance in size and thickness. They’re rimmed in the same tartan plaid as the gown; and on their face, they display comfort detail in the form of round gold ornaments speckled along the wreath. In contrast, her tree necklace is very delicate, which is unusual to see in a Beguiled piece but makes perfect sense in the overall design scheme for this collaboration. The delicate tree necklace lends enough to continue the story in this outfit but is subtle enough to give the eye a resting place from the very strong presence of the earrings and the exuberance of the tartan dress. It’s a perfect balance in my view. In this ensemble, the earrings and the necklace come to you in two sets: one set has a glow option; the other is non-glow. (The set I’m wearing is the non-glow option.)
The dress itself, by Aree Lulibub of Petunia, is very festive, confident, and well made. It’s carried off best when worn on a soul with a similar type of disposition: one that naturally exudes genuine happiness, confidence, and elegance. While the bodice of the gown is green, I chose to wear a ribbon belt (from another dress by another designer) over it to cinch the waist only because I loved the idea of wrapping festive ribbons around my body, particularly when wearing a Christmas outfit. Pixieplumb (what a great name!) Flanagan of Baby Monkey rounds off the presentation with an elegant clutchbag that delicately subdues the entire look with a wash of color topped off by a graceful red ribbon on the front flap. I’m not much of a handbag person, but I have to say I do love clutches. This one is beautifully refined, proving again that less is oftentimes so very much more.
A peek at the back of the dress; again the belt of ribbons is something I added just for fun. But if you want remarkable, take a gander at how perfectly the tartan design matches across each piece in the skirt layer. It’s truly a meticulously crafted piece. Here’s a peek of the gown in movement:
The tiered skirt flows beautifully, laying just at the knee in the front and gradually flowing down to the ankle at the side and back. (Note: all along the way, the harmony of the pattern is maintained perfectly.)
This clever and delightful ensemble comes with soft black hose and green shoes. Green unifies the entire look, tying together the earrings, necklace, clutch, dress and shoes. When I first wore the outfit, I wanted to shake it up a bit by wearing boots for warmth as I walked around a winter forest, but really I liked the surprise of these boots (which long have been my favorite). They are strong enough in presence to hold their own against the vibrancy of the gown without being overpowered and without overpowering.
But so you’re not left wondering about the shoes, here’s a close up of the green shoe (again by Pixieplumb of Baby Monkey) and the black hose. (And a bunneh too! Looks like the one in my backyard who’s been noshing on organic baby carrots!)
Dashing through the snow is hard work after a while, but in this ensemble, dashing through the snow never came together as perfectly as it does with Christmas Collaboration. (The skin I model in the picture below is one of 10 skins from Pulse, available at a special pricing: 10 Pulse skins for 100L!!!)
The entire Christmas Collaboration ensemble — gown, earrings & necklace, clutch, stockings (without the bow peeking out from under the skirt) and shoes from design labels Beguiled, Baby Monkey, and Petunia — is available in one purchase and can be found at all three shops. Get your mega joy in a box at: