Holiday style

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Vintage-inspired fashions are all the rage this season, including this Kathy Hilton (yes, mother of Paris) gold dress with ruffle trim, $558, crocheted gloves, $14, clutch, $78, fascinator, $43 and multiple strand of pearls, $178. Clothing available at Shepherd's at the Trainyards. (Photo: Wayne Cuddington)

Dressing up for a Christmas party never gets old. There’s something about sliding into a new splashy dress and putting on racy tights and sparkling jewelry that adds to the excitement of the evening with promises of good things to come.

To light up the room in glam style, this season’s essentials include vintage-inspired dresses and accessories, flirty shoes and a festive fascinator or chapeau. To guarantee that you’ll be the belle of the ball, Sam Poole, general manager of Shepherd’s fashions at the Trainyards, says you’ll need to go back in time to capture a bit of the magic of the 1920s.

“We’re going back to the glamorous era from the 1920s to 1950s, but mixing it up with modern touches. It’s a very feminine look with lots of jewels,” says Poole, who is a body-shape expert.

Think sequins, rhinestones, ruffles, gold lace, satin and velvet. Finish off a party look with an elegant fur stole, glittering cuff bracelet, statement ring or animal print clutch.

Feeling like a humbug? A visit to Shepherd’s Trainyards location, which looks like a scene out of a storybook, is guaranteed to kick-start your holiday spirit. Every inch of the 5,000-square-foot space is tastefully decorated and everything is for sale, right down to the colourful baubles and five festive trees designed by a Chicago decorator.

Shepherd’s, which has three stores in Ottawa, was recently recognized by the International Council of Shopping Centers at the 2012 Canadian Shopping Centre Global Awards program.

Marlene Shepherd, an Ottawa fashion dynamo with more than 35 years in the business, received a silver award in the competition for the unique lifestyle design concept of this, her third store in Ottawa. Each of the store’s nine dressing rooms is decorated by a different Ottawa designer. Walking into each room is like entering a different vignette: there’s the Leopard Lounge by Linda Nolan Interiors, decorated in a dramatic leopard and black motif; the Crawford Room beckons with its Palm Beach wallpaper, crystal chandelier and marble floor by Luc Crawford Design. The Starlet Room by Cadieux Interiors is a nod to classic Hollywood.

The store is also separated into different themes, including a denim and casual area and different sections to showcase glitzy cocktail attire, jewelry and shoes. Shepherd and Poole are often on hand to help pull together a holiday look. Check out the website for weekly fashion shows that take place on a runway in the middle of the store.

“My best advice is to try on as many dresses as you can. Sometimes an outfit that’s hanging up won’t catch your eye, but when it’s on, it’s dynamite,” says Shepherd.

Makeup by Lisa Peacock Boyuk of Shot on location at Shepherd’s Trainyards.

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