Wednesday 16 August 2017

Bairbre Power: a summer of stripes

All the top designers, from Prada to Dolce & Gabbana, rocked stripes for SS16

Karen Millen: Striped camel and black knit dress, €199; perforated shoe, €250; colour block bag, €325.
Karen Millen: Striped camel and black knit dress, €199; perforated shoe, €250; colour block bag, €325.
Stripe jersey dress, €275; sandals, €190. Yellow coat, €325; jersey tee, €75; belted trousers, €175; suede drawstring tote, €250 and matching shoe-boots, €250, all from Karen Millen.
Fresh Cuts: super comfy eco casual pants and cropped pants with lightweight pullover hoodie.
Niamh O'Neill 'Bailey' striped silk organza skirt, €365 worn with 'Carla' round neck top in 100pc silk crepe, €295.
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Designer Niamh O'Neill may have been on holidays but the Aussie surf didn't distract her so much that she forgot about fashion. The vista was so arresting, she stored images away to brighten up our northern hemisphere spring in 2016 and her striking striped skirt in Neapolitan colours (pictured below) was inspired by the candy striped beach houses Niamh saw on vacation. Back in Ireland, she went about creating her own pattern which she got printed up in a luxury-feel 100pc silk organza.

The trend towards big skirts for formal occasion and semi-formal occasions is booming, but I often spot them abandoned on rails at the entrance to changing rooms. The usual complaint is that people feel that the billowing silhouette, coupled with strident stripes, will make them look broad on the beam. However, the secret here is to pull on heels for that little bit of 'lift off' confidence and to make sure that your waist is defined. Niamh did it with a contrasting red waistband on her 'Bailey' skirt (€365) and pulled out the vibrant blue again with a 100pc silk crepe top with round neck and three-quarter length sleeves. I like the way this girl thinks. Summer weight tops are often time pitched as beach wear and a summer top with sleeves can be as rare as hen's teeth, so well done on that, Niamh. More info from

Karen Millen is another brand that has delivered some strong statement stripes in their new SS16 'Twelve Portraits' campaign starring 'IT' girls Caroline De Maigret, Angela Lindvall and Phoebe Collings-James. Styled by Cathy Kasterine and shot by Yelena Yemchuk in the Cotswolds, the portraits concept was to develop the idea of individuality through three diverse personalities that speak to women all over the world. "Dynamic, playful, confident, this, the next chapter of Karen Millen, embodies the idea of expressing uniqueness through personal style," explained Gemma Metheringham, Chief Creative Officer of Karen Millen. It's hard to beat the sophistication of camel and black in bold, wide stripes.

This knitted dress (pictured top left) has deep pockets and thigh-high splits on either side. It's worn here by French supermodel Caroline de Maigret who is respected for her impeccable, chic style. Caroline regularly features on the 'best dressed' lists and her style book, How to be Parisian, is well worth a read.



Fresh Cuts: super comfy eco casual pants and cropped pants with lightweight pullover hoodie.

Fresh Cuts is a new Irish fashion lifestyle brand producing eco-friendly casual and active apparel that crosses over from the gym to the street. They have a pop-up store for March and April at 60 South William Street, Dublin. Head in to check out their super comfy eco casual pants (€44.95) and their cropped pants (€34.95, pictured above) with lightweight pullover hoodie, (€39.95). The tops and bottoms are made from 100pc organic cotton and bamboo viscose, which is soft, light and breathable and is also anti-bacterial. The brand's tri-blend fabric is a cotton mix made from cotton, rayon and polyester, with the polyester coming from recycled plastic bottles. Fresh Cuts' artwork is commissioned exclusively from Irish-based artists and illustrators and is screen printed in Dublin, with only 100 of each design printed on limited edition runs. More information from

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