Passport or not, the clubs are open and partying is firmly back on the agenda.
But after months and months without dancefloors, it’s likely your wardrobe is lacking in flirty outfits for sizzling summer nights, falling short perhaps in the desk-to-disco dress department.
Fear not, for there are a whole host of brilliant independent labels out there which specialise in shimmy and shake-ready pieces for every aesthetic and budget, from crystal-covered crop tops to opera-appropriate gowns. These are the party labels to know now...
If you’re a dancefloor dressing maximalist look no further than new Dubai brand Romani’s feathered satin minis and diamante heart bras, which are a one-way ticket to the VIP area. LCF alum Haya Jarrar set out to create ‘unconventional pieces to let women express themselves freely’. With this range of crystal-embellished tuxedos, slinky satin crop tops and wide-leg pant co-ords, we’d say she’s succeeded.
From £190. Romaniofficial.com
Since launching his brand in 2009, London-based designer David Koma has become synonymous with body contouring silhouettes and embellishments in all forms. From cocktail dresses to red carpet showstoppers, his are looks for the daring dressers. And his pre-fall ’21 collection is a particularly party-ready riot of mirrored scuba wool and fluidly draped satin adorned with crystal hardware and tube harnesses. He’s also launching bags for the first time – embroidered with crystals, natch.
Prices from £500. davidkoma.com
If you’re into riotous colour and ultra-feminine retro vibes, Celia B is the occasionwear label for you. Celia Bernardo, who founded the brand in 2012, has lived in Milan, Ibiza, Shanghai and Thailand, and her vibrant life is reflected in the use of hand-crafted techniques, unusual textiles and knits and unabashed use of colour. Her spring/summer ’21 collection, In Bloom, majors in seventies-inflected swirly floral prints, ruffles and star-embellishments, and the stand-out pieces are the shimmering pailette-adorned crochet dresses, which are just begging to be taken to a beach bar in Ibiza. “When I designed the collection all I could think was that the world needs colours and happiness after the dark times we’ve been through,” says Bernardo, who collaborated with Slovenian artist Alja Horvat to design the psychedelic prints.
Dresses from £183. Celiab.com
For popping colours, floral prints and exaggerated silhouettes, Belgian fashion label Essential Antwerp is well worth a gander. Founded by husband-and-wife team Inge Onsea and Esfan Eghtessadi in 1999, the brand has a flagship store in Sloane Square that’s brimming with rhinestone-encrusted jeans, great shirts and riotous colour. The Zarcelona satin mini dress (£285) from the appropriately named ‘Party’ capsule which launched in June comes in nude, pink and orange and has a fabulously ‘80s ruffled neckline that can also be worn off-shoulder. Party peacocking at its best.
Dresses from £220. essentiel-antwerp.com
March 2020 was not the easiest month in which to start an occasionwear label, but Turkish cocktail-meets-eveningwear brand Filiarmi is sufficiently timeless and well-constructed to have weathered the storm. Founder Gozde Arig studied at London College of Fashion before cutting her teeth at Emilia Wickstead – a design DNA that shows in Filiarmi’s gorgeous colour palette and sculptural-yet-feminine silhouettes. Off-the-shoulder scallop hem tops are paired with buttery soft maxi skirts, and figure hugging column dresses come with unexpected puff sleeves crafted from feather-light organza. If your first big event happens to be black or white tie, this new label does formal the fashion girl way.
Dresses from £356. filiarmi.com
De La Vali
When it comes to flirty dresses for hot summer nights, few do it better than De La Vali. Founded by Ibizan cool girls Jana Sacha and Laura Castroporta, the label specialises in corset tops, micro mini dresses and semi-sheer maxis. If you’re first night on the tiles is somewhere beachy, this is the label for you.
Prices from £170. delavali.com
If you’re into colour and vintage-inspired skirt suits, look no further than Greek designer Stefania Vaidani’s eponymous brand, which launched in 2018 and hit UK shores this month. Taking her inspiration from life in Athens in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s and the Greek cinema era, Vaidani designs colourful punchy boucle twin sets, gingham slip dresses and sunshiney co-ords. Think Marilyn Monroe meets Talented Mr Ripley. Oh, and the leather’s vegan, the cotton’s organic, and 99 per cent of the collection is made from recycled fabrics.
Prices from £50-£265. Stefania-vaidani.com
For power puff sleeves, beautiful colours and an effortless aesthetic, Aussie label Aje nails the beach-meets-bar aesthetic perfectly. Founded in 2008 by best friends, Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris, the brand is a go-to for volume sleeve dresses with interesting cut-out details and slouchy tailoring. Its shiny fuchsia pink off-the-shoulder Gracious top and matching trouser set is guaranteed to get you noticed by the barman.
Dresses from £204. Ajeworld.com
Like the idea of crop tops and skirts so bedecked and bedazzled with rhinestones they could technically count as jewellery? Then you’ll like Ukranian label Nue Studio. Inspired by the roaring twenties and old Hollywood glamour the brand, which burst onto the scene in 2019, has become famous for its crystal-covered belt-like crop tops (which look amazing poking out from under tuxedo jackets) and itty bitty rhinestone-encrusted micro minis. Who needs a disco ball, eh?
Bralettes from £340. Nue-studio.com