Editor's note: This is the first fashion column in a new series called Haute Alpine Couture, which the Vail Daily will be running monthly.
High altitude doesn't always translate into high fashion, but as the party-hopping season rears its festive head, glamming it up will add a certain je ne sais quoi to your holiday ensemble. As any Alpine Couturist knows, "mountain casual" is fine for the day-to-day, but during the holidays we need to feed the cravings of our inner fashionistas. As the mistletoe gets hung and holiday lights twinkle, toss your ho-hum get-ups and peruse the hidden fashion gems of the Vail Valley.
Featured prominently on the runways of Oscar de la Renta and Jason Wu, sequins are the "it" embellishment for the holiday season. If you're a less-is-more kind of gal, go for a classic Audrey Hepburn style of black leggings (BCBG Generation, Kiwi Boutique, $58) paired with a sequined top (LA Made, Kiwi Boutique, $135; Black, Valley Girl, $65.90). This look shows off a simple, yet sophisticated style. Your Sorel Conquest Carly boots (Ptarmigan, $220) are a fashion no-no with this outfit - ditch those chunky foot-stompers once you arrive on the scene and slip into a pair of ballet flats for a touch of holiday hue (Lili Bow Bordeaux, Gorsuch, $618). If debuting your winterized Melissa Button Back Zip Frye boots (Colorado Footwear, $348) is a priority, dress up a pair of dark denim jeans (PYLO Denim, Kiwi Boutique, $156) with a sequined, chiffon tank top in red/orange (Fate, Valley Girl, $68) or burgundy-colored sequined sweater (Miss Kelli, Valley Girl, $45.90).
Sometimes all it takes is a dash of glitter to give your party poise a sprinkling of holiday cheer. Cocktail rings are a trend-setting statement that can be under-the-radar chic or in-your-face splendor. Hot on the world's fashion scene is jewelry featuring druzy stones. Known for their beauty and metaphysical attributes (strengthening the spirit - so apropos for the season), druzy is a coveted gemstone that has sparked a whirlwind of accessory designs. Both jewelry designers Marcia Moran (Valley Girl) and JNB Jaclyn Nicole Brown (Kiwi Boutique) have a vintage vibe to their exquisite trinkets. If you really want to put your fashion nemesis into her place, light up a simple black dress with the Marcia Moran 18K gold-plated ring with large teardrop gold druzy quartz (Valley Girl, $238.90) or the JNB Jaclyn Nicole Brown natural druzy cocktail ring (Kiwi, $180). Not quite in your budget? Dangle your keys on a Dana Stein Collection Mink Ball Keychain (colors include camel, ivory, hot pink and purple, Valley Girl, $32.90) and wink at the valet.
For some, glitterati is not on the fashion agenda. Opt instead for an accessory that adds dimension to your look or a shot of color. Donni charm is a Colorado company based in Denver that donates a portion of its proceeds to non-profits close to designer Alyssa Wasko's heart, including the Flight for Life and Make A Wish foundations. Fall favorites include the donni together (Roxy, $85), featuring two jersey fabrics of complementary colors that symbolizes connection; donni power (Roxy, $86), an uninterrupted knit design trimmed in black cotton jersey; donni escape (Roxy, $57), a perfect accessory for guys and gals; and the donni snug (Roxy, $119), two continuous fabrics - one ribbed cashmere blend and one cotton jersey - enhanced by five signature wing buttons. Each scarf is adorned with the brand's signature charm and chain tassel. As the holiday season focuses on giving back, Roxy features several accessory brands that will brighten someone's day: Falling Whistles ($34-$54), whistle necklaces that give 100 percent of proceeds to help child soldiers of the war in the Congo; Pura Vida Bracelets ($8-$20), bracelets handmade in Costa Rica helping to provide jobs for locals with 1 percent of each sale benefiting the Surfrider Foundation; and Sisa bracelets ($16), hand-crocheted by women in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, with a portion of each sale helping to provide economic stability to the women of Nepal and build schools for their children.
If next month's rent is already spoken for, you can still obtain the holiday season's radiance and shine with just a hint of color. Pucker up for Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy (Cosbar, $30) in "Succulent Pomegranate" or "Luscious Cherry" or volumize your pout with Lip Fusion Plump (Cosbar, $38) in "Blush" or "Glow." Give into your flirtatious side as you bat your baby blues (or greens, or browns) with No. 2 L'Avant-Gardiste: Fullness + Flare (Cosbar, $28) false eyelashes.
Haute Alpine Couture quenches your thirst with a cocktail of cravings and elan that turns an "insider's favorite" into your monthly buzz. With an eye for uncovering the most sought-after trends, Jennifer Geisman is a self-professed product junky. An Eagle County resident, Geisman fuses her expertise in PR and the beauty and fashion worlds to deliver quintessentially modern hot spots, styles and trends.