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Stylist and designer Skylar Barnes says ‘bet on black’ for formalwear

, 30 September 2016 -- “Black is definitely the new black based on what I’ve been seeing on the runway this season,” said style maven and fashion designer Skylar Barnes.

“Black is definitely the new black based on what I’ve been seeing on the runway this season,” said style maven and fashion designer Skylar Barnes.

As the city prepares to get out their “good clothes” for the St. Louis American Foundation’s 29th Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala on Saturday, October 1 at America’s Center, Barnes dishes on the basics of getting glammed up in 2016.

For those of us still scrambling to get a look together before the gala, Barnes insists we bet on black.

“You can do so much with it,” Barnes said. “You can add color and/or texture. You can even do your ‘go to’ little black dress and add some dramatic accessories – but you want to pull out your good jewelry for that. Go big and bold on the diamonds, pearls and other jewels that will accent the dress while adding drama.”

Barnes also says don’t be shy about incorporating old-school staples to jazz up your favorite standby dress. “You can even wear gloves or a little veiled hat,” he said.

Beyond black, Barnes offers up some basics – even a few tips that even those who already have their look set in stone can possibly incorporate to take their ensemble up a notch for at the gala.

Dress for fit

“Always select your gown or dress based on your body’s shape first and the style of the dress second,” Barnes said. “I know people say it time and time again – and so will I: It doesn’t matter how pretty it looks to you if it doesn’t look good on you.”

Barnes says trumpet style and mermaid style dresses are making a comeback, though he’ll always be a fan of the flowing, floor-length gowns.

“I’ve also been seeing a lot of embroidery, sequins and beading too,” Barnes said.

For the fellas

“My classic look is always the basic black and white when it comes to men’s formalwear,” Barnes said. “But you can pair your tuxedo with an array of shirts and ties to achieve different looks.”

He’s also into the “new little lapel pins” that are being used to add individual style.

Haute hair and giving good face

The up-do is the preferred hairstyle for Barnes when it comes to the special occasion –and Salute is no exception.

“But keep it soft, ladies,” Barnes warns. “The last thing we want to see is ‘crunchy’ hair.”

As far as makeup, Barnes says the choice of how to paint one’s face is determined by the attire.

Some women think that if they are making a bold statement with their gown, that the makeup should be scaled back – or if they are going more chic or conservative that they should have a Hollywood red carpet face beat to balance things out.

According to Barnes, nothing could be further from the truth. He recommends that ladies shy away from this sort of contrast.

“Whatever your dress is doing, your makeup should be doing the same thing,” Barnes said. “If you are going for full glam, the makeup should be bold. If you have opted for something more chic, then something more natural is in order. The dress definitely dictates the makeup.”

He encourages the ladies to be bold and channel their inner Diahann Carroll, his epitome of opulence and style, to top off their look.

“When I think of glamour, what immediately come to mind are grace, poise and confidence,” Barnes said. “Basically it comes down to really owning your look – it’s all about the attitude and the elegance. For me, the woman or the man makes the clothes.”Read more at: |

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Submitted by yokol on Friday, 30 September 2016 at 2:33 PM
Category: Food & Fashion
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