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The Lust List: Gala Gowns

The Lust List
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I’ve gotten quite a bit more low key as I’ve gotten older, in terms of my approach to life, and to fashion. My style is now form meets function, gone are my days of expensive, uncomfortable high heels and pencil skirts that hamper my mobility. Of course, my laid-back lifestyle and at-home office lends itself more to athleisure and less to formal attire. It’s been awhile since I dressed up—it’s all brunch attire and athleisure for this girl.

So, when David Meister’s team reached out about a collaboration around the designer’s latest formal wear, I thought “Sure, why not?” A girly girl, I do love to dress up. And, I figured, given D.C.’s penchant for political and charity galas, our audience probably still has to attend more than a few formal fêtes in a given year. And, of course, there’s always wedding season.

I’ve actually found myself in a pinch more than once before a formal occasion, as I wanted a stylish gown, but didn’t want to spend more than $500. Gorgeous evening wear tends to cost a pretty penny, particularly if you’re looking for something from a designer and something that’s not covered in sequins, taffeta, or tulle.

I’ve turned to Rent the Runway more than once to fulfill this need, and the company has much expanded its repertoire of dresses, while also adding casual attire. But, I am more inclined to purchase something, to have and to hold in my closet forever, than to rent it and have to return it two days later. I guess I get a bit attached to my clothing.

David Meister is the quintessential designer of affordable, yet beautiful, evening wear for women. The American designer’s pieces have been hanging on the racks of the formal wear departments in Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom for years.

I’d regularly seen his designs, but never tried anything on. Meister’s spring collection is filled with classic, sequin-laden, form-fitting pieces befit for a middle aged woman or mother of the bride, but also a few inventive, stylish, and modern pieces. I selected an undeniably glamorous dress that’s a true ball gown, with a full skirt—that, yes, is a result of quite a few under layers of taffeta. The cut of the dress is a classic, with its narrow waist, full skirt, and one-shoulder bow. But the dress itself is subdued, with a grey metallic and black floral pattern. It’s memorable, beautiful, and season-less. It makes me feel like a princess, but without feeling ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Steph selected a saucy, slinky, off-the-shoulder red number. Although in line with the shoulder baring trend, this gorgeous gown is timeless. The head turning bright red color is glamorous and fierce at the same time.

We explored different hairstyles with this dress and ultimately appreciated how it can be dressed up or down with either a perfectly coiffed hairstyle, or a more youthful, playful voluminous ponytail, like we styled it here.

She loved the unique off-the-shoulder draping and flattering cross body knot—the fabric could not be more dreamy, as it is thicker than a jersey knit, but still falls effortlessly. The style is unique and sophisticated, yet simple, which makes sense as Steph gravitates towards understated elegance when it comes to dressing up. It makes for a perfect canvas to rock some bling, either by way of a necklace or drop earring, at your next work gala or black tie wedding.

Next time you’re in need of classic gown that will stand the test of time and won’t break the bank, try your hand at a dress by David Meister. We’re newfound fans.

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