Night shift

Satins, chiffons, silks - slide into sumptuous fabrics and animal prints for the cocktail hour.

How you dress by night depends partly on how you like your martini. Extra dry, with an olive? Chances are you're the kind of girl who would not shy away from a daring, animal-print shift. Look no further than Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian duo who like a woman to look like nothing less than a young Gina Lollobrigida or Sophia Loren.

Prefer your cocktail mixed with gin and a maraschino cherry? Then you are likely to have a penchant for a wisp of chiffon in a powder-pale shade of rose. British eveningwear designer Neil Cunningham will gladly oblige. And if your martini is stirred, with nothing more than a twist of lemon, you may be better off sticking to a brief little something in black.

Dusty Springfield is a woman who knew how to dress for the cocktail hour. The tinkling of Bacharach on piano, and a few lines of Hal David, and there she would be, a vision in ivory satin, so cool and oh! so sophisticated. The early Sixties, when all that mattered was the route to San Jose, was the pinnacle of cocktail dressing. But, this summer, the art has been revived. The modern-day Dusty can paint her nails a dusty shade of pink, and slip on a dress (a long zip to the small of the back is vital) with a pair of fantastically dainty, slingback slippers. To finish the look, she need only backcomb her hair into a loose quiff, a touch rockabilly, a touch Ab Fab. And there she is, ready to go. All she needs is the right bar and, of course, the perfect martini

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