How to sparkle on New Year's Eve with gown designer Chantal Temam

Picking the right outfit for a glitzy, high-pressure fashion occasion like New Year's Eve can seem daunting.

To help you prepare for the big night, Chantal Temam, French designer of luxury evening gowns and cocktail dresses, fills us in on the best ways to make your outfit sparkle...

styling dress window

What makes your dresses unique?

I design luxury dresses that follow the principles of French couture and the latest trends of the moment but with reasonable prices. We invest a lot of time meticulously selecting fabrics and materials of the highest quality. I think that every woman has the right to feel unique and be the princess of that special occasion.

How do you pick the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit without going "over the top"?

The first step in finding the perfect dress is to know the dress code of the event you’ll be attending. Is it formal? Semi-formal? I recommend plain black and sexy red looks for New Year's Eve, with updo hair, red lipstick and high heels to feel feminine and glamorous.

I designed an exclusive Christmas collection and one of my favourite pieces from it to celebrate New Year´s Eve is the Angela little black dress. This dress is “chic à la française” and will have you turning heads all night long. Shades of red and silver accessories will add a touch of glam and glitter to the outfit. For those who prefer long, the Kaina dress is the option. This elegant dress with crystal details added by hand will flatter the figure and instantly set you apart from the crowd.

chantel temam celebrities collages

How does it feel to see A-listers picking your dresses for special occasions?

The first celebrity that wore one of my dresses was actress and model Victoria Silvstedt. She worked for many prestigious fashion houses appearing in advertisements, TV and fashion shows and at the time she was working as a hostess on Wheel of Fortune in France. We got a call from her stylist asking for our pieces - since that moment Victoria started exclusively wearing our sexy dresses to present the program and women around France started coming to our boutiques searching for my dresses. Nowadays celebrities around the world, like Eva Longoria, wear our dresses.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Cartoons, nature, history, trips, fabrics... Anything inspires me! Every time a new client comes into my showroom I create something new in my mind - their body and personality give me creative ideas. I feel as if I am constantly creating.

Chantel Temam table drawing

How does the design process work?

First, we create a mood board based on my inspirations including colour swatches, sketches, photographs, fabric samples and embroidery references. Once I finish designing the collection, sample pieces are made from a flat pattern through an initial calico toile, then lining fitting to do the first corrections. The gown takes shape as it evolves, through to the final fabrics.

To follow, we start the hand work and embroidery that takes weeks to complete. Adjustments are made along the way trying the pieces with live models - this is an ongoing process where many pieces are discarded with the help of the commercial team in order to select the final collection. We start working on a new collection while we're still working on the previous one.

Kaina, £749; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

Angela, Sale Price £389 from £559; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

Nova, Sale Price £489 from £699; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

Alexandra, £499; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross

By Alison Millington