Laura Fantacci’s Event Dressing Masterclass

Fashion editor and co-founder of online shopping platform Wardrobe Icons, Laura Fantacci, shares her style tips for dressing for the summer’s chicest events. By Jessica Jonzen.

There are few things more exciting than opening a beautiful invitation to a fabulous event. Whether it’s a wedding, a chic summer garden party or black tie ball, it provides the perfect excuse to dress up. ‘I’m always excited when there’s an event, so I really make a big song and dance about it,’ laughs Laura Fantacci. 

Laura is the co-founder of the beautifully curated online shopping platform Wardrobe Icons. As you might expect, she has great personal style and dressed up or down, always does it with understated glamour. 

Having worked in glossy magazines for 15 years, finally as fashion and shopping editor at Red magazine, Florence-born, London-based Laura decided to set up her own business. ‘I’d had my first daughter and wanted to be around for her but wanted to continue doing my job as a shopping editor on a digital platform. Two-and-a-half years ago there wasn’t a website talking to women who wanted to build a perfect capsule wardrobe. As a fashion editor, there was something really interesting there.’

Wardrobe Icons was born and, together with co-founder Petro Stofberg, Laura has built an impressive following, with cover stars including beauty pioneer Linda Rodin, designer Alice Temperley and Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen to name just a few. 

Here, Laura shares her style tips for chic event dressing.

Garden Party

‘I love a floral maxi dress – it’s really appropriate for this kind of occasion, but I think it’s risky to do florals from the high street. Erdem, Temperley London and Dolce & Gabbana do beautiful prints. Choose something that’s a little billowy and boho, that doesn’t cling and that you can sit in the grass in. This is the place where I would definitely wear a pretty flat or a tan wedge. A high heel espadrille also looks really modern. There’s nothing worse than getting your stiletto stuck in the ground! I would probably wear a little trilby hat and Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and I’ve seen a trend coming up for a little sort of picnic bag. Kate Spade is great for these and always comes up with something a bit quirky and fun. In terms of jewellery, I’d keep it simple and probably just wear a tiny little hoop or a really fine chain necklace with a letter pendant. There’s a brand called Otiumberg that makes really lovely everyday jewellery with a bit of a twist.’

Wedding Guest 

‘For a wedding during the day, I would wear an intricate top with a pair of gorgeous palazzo trousers for a more modern look. This season’s kitten heel is perfect – you look like you’re making an effort without overdoing it. If I wore a dress, it would be lace with a beautiful pair of flats. Dolce & Gabbana‘s dresses are perfect for women’s bodies, whatever your size and Whistles is a great high street option. 

My bag choice is almost always a clutch, but I might try something fun. I ’d like a beautiful embellished raffia bag like the ones from Sensi Studio, both stocked at Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion, but something in Zara or Accessorize can also look really chic. 

For a day wedding, I love wearing a hat. John Lewis have an amazing, affordable hat selection. For a wedding recently, I wore a lovely Alice band with a bit of a veil and a flower on top. 

I don’t think there is a single outfit that really works for an event from morning to evening, so I would make a change – switching a pair of f lats for high heels, or putting on a coat of red lipstick. My style icon, Jenna Lyons, J. Crew‘s creative director, wore a feather maxi skirt with a white shirt to a wedding and it was such a beautiful, modern look.’

Black Tie Event

‘When it comes to black tie, people often want to transform themselves and end up not looking like themselves. The advice I always give to friends and clients is to think about what you like to wear during the day, then find a really polished version of that for the evening. If you like to wear tailoring, you could wear a phenomenal tuxedo with a blouse underneath, fabulous earrings and killer heels. If you’re someone who likes to wear flowers and dresses, then in the evening you could go for a beautiful lace or chiffon dress. You’ll never see someone like Sienna Miller wearing something super structured in the evening. She translates her everyday look into this super smart, slick version of herself for the evening, and it’s a very successful way of dressing. 

If I get the chance to wear something phenomenal, I will really embrace it, so for me it would always be a gown. I like to wear things with sleeves – I don’t like anything that shows too much flesh, I feel too exposed. In terms of brands, especially more affordable ones for evening, Self Portrait and RED Valentino do some really good maxi dresses. Anna Sui and Emilia Wickstead do really beautiful ones but the dream for me is always Gucci and Valentino

It’s all about the dress so keep accessories simple. A black court, like the Manolo Blahnik BB, is the perfect shoe, or one with a bit of embellishment. A little box bag, simple jewellery and hair back so it doesn’t interfere with neckline and you’re done.’

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