During a recent visit to Paul Simon Women, The O Report swooned over a Little Black Dress from the label of legendary design duo Tom & Linda Platt. It's perfect for the woman who wants to look elegant and alluring without revealing too much. Strategic "slices" at the neck of the dress have an alabaster lining underneath that gives it a striking style. Although it comes in multiple color combinations, buyer Anglea Knowles ordered the black/alabaster for the store and it's a knockout.
Enchanted, we called sales representative Drew Scott at the Tom & Linda Platt Design Studio in New York City to learn more. Fresh from a whirlwind of traveling to fashion events, he took the time to share more details about the dress, and his thoughts on fashion for the 50 and up woman. You can meet Drew in person Oct. 5-7 during the Tom & Linda Platt Fall Collection trunk show. He'll be assisting customers from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 5-6; the collection will remain on view through Oct. 7 at Paul Simon Women at the Village at SouthPark, 4310 Sharon Road. Details: 704-333-6139; www.paulsimonco.com.
As witty as he is stylish, we laughed - and learned - from his expert answers to our questions:
What's your take on the "slice" dress?
"It's fit and flare, it's very forgiving, it’s a no-brainer. It doesn't require jewelry so it’s earrings and you’re done. Pair it with boots and black tights for an edgier look. Or pumps and hose for cocktails. It travels beautifully because it's made in our signature matte crepe fabric. It comes in 14 different colors. We've done navy and white for a more nautical look for clients going to Florida or on a cruise. But the black and alabaster is classically timeless."
Are there any other pieces in the collection that would appeal to women 50 and up?
"Our clients are women of all ages. We often dress three generations, especially for weddings. I recently helped a bride, mother of the bride and grandmother of the bride find dresses for a destination wedding. They each looked flawless. Our sizing is 2-18 and has a really American fit. I would say 78 percent of the collection is right on target for women 50 and up."
What do you recommend for women who want to look modern?
"Pants are becoming more and more popular. We've had so many clients say they are over the dress thing and over the gown thing. So we created an ensemble called skants that's a combination of a skirt and pants. It's a dynamite way to to be dressed up but with trousers. It comes in 14 colors. I did it in chocolate brown for a client and paired it with a leopard shoe. She looked fabulous and she was thrilled. I did it in red for a client - it can be an aggressive silhouette for red - but she had the personality to pull it off. I also love our full leg pants in silk velvet. They look great with an asymmetrical cowl neck top for entertaining at home."
What's your best advice for women who want to stay chic?
"You can tell right away if a woman is wearing something they like. Make sure you're wearing your clothes instead of your clothes wearing you. And when you walk into a room, pull your shoulders back."
Any mistakes you see women make?
"So many women will spend a fortune on a gown they’ll only wear once. But they won’t invest in a classic black dress that they can wear from 9 to 9 - a dress that you can travel with and is always there for you. Invest your money in timeless go-to pieces that work for you and your lifestyle. I had a client who was going on a Danube River cruise and could only take one suitcase aboard. I told her I would cancel the cruise. But I worked with her and she took six pieces and mixed them up. She always looked fabulous. Halfway through the cruise, the other women were demanding to know how she was able to bring another suitcase. They couldn't believe she was able to get that many looks out of so few clothes."