5 Ways To Shine In A Black Dress

Ah, The Black Dress..

Just when I think I’ll try more colour and mend my gothic ways, I discover another one – or in this case, several.

The question is always: in a funereal sea of black clad, red-lipped sophisticates, how can you stand out? That slinky number that looks so cool in the changing room, and hides those tiny (teeny) flaws so well, just merges into the  party gloom, and the lady in red always wins. Grr! We really need a new strategy if we want to gain some sartorial traction. And sometimes that dress just has to be black.

We all know that she who tires of the black dress, tires of fashion, to paraphrase the mighty Samuel Pepys. (He was talking about London, which, like New York, Milan and Paris, is just about the same thing.) Speaking of the Fashion Week hubs, the next crop of black dresses will soon be upon us, so there’s just time to squeeze the LBDs of summer out of my file. John Paras, as I pointed out here, is a fountain of dress variation genius, and black is his potion of choice.

How he can come up with so many covetable, inky gowns is anyone’s guess. He must dream of them at night. Hi prodigious use of cutaway, sweeping trains, side splits, backless, sideless and sometimes even skirtless styles make his designs not just a treat, but an inspiration.

Even if you can’t lay hands on one of his stylish pieces, you can easily learn from his style. At your next formal event, night clubbing in Ibiza, work do, girls’ night out or university ball, just channel John Paras and you’ll shine. On second thoughts, if it’s a work do, there’s a couple of styles that may make you shine too much… You’ll see what I mean.

Enjoy your soiree!

The 5 Ways: Backless. But with a twist.

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Cut Some More, But Be Demure.

Super short, with some daring additions, um subtractions.

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More cut away goodness, almost making the dress a two piece.

Side-Swept, With A Train

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Or Even With Trousers..

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You slinky thing, you

The varieties are endless at John Paras, and so stimulating to the fashion-challenged imagination. If you can’t make it out to Asia, gather up some unloved black dresses and a pair of scissors. Simples! (Or it should be..) Otherwise, check out his online pieces.

Photography By Dear Velvet

FIND: John Paras on Facebook –

Atelier John Paras