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Black is back and clever accessorizing is the key to party season fashion. We select our favourite runway looks and essential accessories for a cocktail hour closet.

There is a scene in The September Issue, the documentary that chronicles the making of the September 2007 issue of American Vogue, where Grace Coddington, the magazine’s creative director, picks out a jacket from a rail and wonders out loud if her editor, the legendary Anna Wintour, would like it. “No, of course she won’t. It’s black. I could get fired for that,” it dawns upon her.

That Wintour might loathe the colour but this winter, black is back. And it’s never looked so chic. Found in sharp tailoring at Stella McCartney, fringed leather skirts at Prada, and perfectly cut cocktail dresses at Rue du Mail, it is the colour of the party season. Whoever you want to be this December – be it rock chick (see Gucci), Russian doll (see Dior) or elegant hostess (see Christian Lacroix) – you’ll be doing it in a shade of noir.

Dotted amongst the army of black-clad models were pieces in pale shades of gold and ivory, as well as navy blue. One stone-coloured dress that Tomas Maier sent down the runway at Bottega Veneta was pure Hollywood glamour, accessorized with just red lipstick and one of the brand’s signature minaudieres.

Indeed, accessories are key to party season outfits. One Azzedine Alaia dress can become a whole wardrobe when worn in a multitude of ways with clever accessorising. Statement shoes, such as those at Bruno Frissoni and Pierre Hardy, are the easiest way to transform an outfit. And don’t forget your diamonds! Whether they’re real or costume, a sprinkling of sparkle is the finishing touch to any party season look.

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