Fashion: You sexy thing

Beautiful evening pieces don't come cheap, so this week we've gone, um, a little over budget (well it is the Millennium!). First things first. This season is about making an impact, so forget about black - this is the perfect opportunity to glitz it up in delicate, embellished fabrics and sexy silver, gold and gun-metals.

While there's plenty of high-street choice, designer quality shines through this season. English Eccentrics has produced a beautiful sequin halter- neck dress - the attention to detail is exquisite. Elspeth Gibson's signature beaded slip dress is also a good bet, not least because it will last for seasons.

If cost is an issue, try combining a new piece with something you already own. Sportmax's wild "tinsel" top looks fabulous with either a full ballgown or simple, long, bias-cut skirt. If you opt for the latter, be very careful which fabric you choose. Satin worn on the bottom half can be really unflattering - it clings and accentuates every lump and bump. Whatever you decide to wear, if it's big on sparkle, go easy on the accessories and make-up. Remember, moderation is the key (and no, that doesn't include champagne).

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP

White sequin embroidered dress (sizes s-l), pounds 755, Elspeth Gibson, Harvey Nichols, 67 Brompton Road, London SW3 (tel: 0171 235 5000).

Silver sequin dress (made to order), pounds 1,000, English Eccentrics, Harrods, London SW1 (tel: 0171 284 2525). Diamante cuff pounds 170, Delphine Charlotte Parmentier, The Cross, 141 Portland Road, London W11 (tel: 0171 727 6760). Silver mules (sizes 3-7), pounds 125, Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 6903).

Silver dress (sizes 8-14 ), pounds 170, Amaya Arzuaga, Dickens & Jones, 224- 244 Regent Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 935 9393). Silver velcro sandals (sizes 3-7), pounds 150, Emporio Armani, 191 Brompton Road, London SW3 (tel: 0171 823 8818). Beaded ribbon, pounds 150, Angharad, 83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1 (tel: 0171 235 0268).

Silver satin dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 595, Penelope Mahon at The Chelsea Collections, 90 Fulham Road, London SW3 (tel: 0171 581 5792). Beaded necklace pounds 125, Susan Suell, Paul Smith, Westbourne House, London W11 (tel: 0171 731 7563).

Sparkle top (sizes 8-14), pounds 22.99, Morgan, 393 Oxford Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 499 4101). Silver diamante choker pounds 112, Butler & Wilson, 20 South Molton Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 409 2955). Black silk skirt (sizes 10-16), pounds 89.99, H&M Hennes, 261-271 Regent Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 323 2211).

Silver tinsel top (sizes 8-14), pounds 105, Sportmax, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 1234). Gunmetal long skirt, (sizes 8- 18), pounds 45, Dorothy Perkins, 189 0xford Street, London W1 (tel: 0800 731 8285).

Sequin/bugle bead bag, pounds 15, Dorothy Perkins, branches nationwide (tel: 0800 731 8285).

Glitter mules (sizes 4-7), pounds 29.99, River Island, 283 Oxford Street, London W1 (tel: 0181 991 4759).

Satin and diamante mules (sizes 3-8 ), pounds 85, Delphine Charlotte Parmentier, The Cross, 141 Portland Road, London W11 (tel: 0171 727 6760).

Gold beaded bag, pounds 39, French Connection, 249 Regent Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 399 7200).

Gold diamante sandals (sizes 3-8), pounds 45, Ravel, branches nationwide (tel: 01458 444 712).

Blue sequin bag, pounds 95, Jamin Puech, Harvey Nichols, London SW1 (tel: 0171 235 5000).

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