Wow-Factor Cocktail Dresses and Party Wear

It’s your turn to heat up the desert landscape

Dazzle in a party dress by Sue Wong.

Greg Petersen

Dress to impress this season with the hottest new looks in party fashions. Cocktail attire was shown on runways from Paris to Palm Desert this year, with many designers answering the public’s need for sexy, age-appropriate frocks to wear to weddings, galas, and dinner parties.

Designer Sue Wong showcased gorgeous dresses in an array of vibrant colors, including cerulean, sea foam green, and pewter at Fashion Week El Paseo 2013. Her cocktail apparel offers a classy throwback to the 1920s and ’30s, with lavish embroidery and delicate fabrics. Saks Fifth Avenue, 73555 El Paseo, Palm Desert. 760-837-2900.

Find sweet and youthful dresses at Windsor. Look elegant for a late-night date or wedding reception in sparkling one-shoulder numbers or velvet stunners. 72840 Hwy. 111, #431, Palm Desert. 760-340-6038.

Marilyn, Audrey, and Grace made almost every dress they donned iconic. Now, it’s your turn. Head to Déjà vu Finery for exquisite gently used cocktail dresses. Many of these styles from yesteryear flatter your curves and hips. Watch out; you might become the next fashion legend. 664 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-699-5365.

Look fashion-forward in asymmetrical dresses with plunging backs. Show off your legs in a feisty mini with colorful crinolines. You’ll also turn heads in a pastel ruffle stunner from BCBG. Let the other ladies blend into the background while you blaze hotter than a flame. 48400 Seminole Dr., Cabazon. 951-922-2615.

Light up the room in a silk shantung cocktail dress by Alvina Valenta, and Siri. Or, don a fitted, ruched number by Belsoi. These designs are perfect for a graduation party, reception, or the red carpet. You’ll find them at Desert Bride. 80150 Hwy. 111, Ste. A-1, Indio. 760-342-0777.

Couples, dare to be different at Trina Turk Boutique. Men, be her perfect companion in bold tuxedo jackets and tailored slacks from the Mr. Turk line. Ladies, show the desert what you’re made of in vibrant prints and audacious patterns. The Turk customer is the life of the party and knows how to make an entrance. 891 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-416-2856.

Savage Style: Animal Prints Beckon You to the Jungle

Summer urges you to get savage in animal and tribal prints. Smolder in zebra patterns, cowhide, leopard spots, cheetah neutrals, and Maori tribal beads. Designers like Gucci and Tracy Reese showcased exotic looks on the catwalk this year. Now, incorporate wild elements into your wardrobe.

Gucci, 73061 El Paseo, Ste. 4
The Shops at El Paseo,  Palm Desert. 760-340-1468.

Africa and Beyond Fine Arts, Jewelry, and Clothing
333 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-333-6980.

City Lites Women’s Apparel
42218 Washington St., Bermuda Dunes. 760-360-5888.

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