Darren Kennedy fashion file: How to wear fairytale blue
Black is like the safety blanket that many of us retire to in winter. But this season it seems there's been somewhat of a deviation - colour is back. We're talking bright, bold colours that cover the spectrum of the rainbow.
This year blue proved a popular choice with many designers, from candy-coloured blues to a palette of powder shades, blue lit up the runways. It's an optimistic blue that feels warm that was perhaps most evident at Prada who presented lady-like chic with 1960s vibes throughout in a mouth-watering palette combined with dazzling jewels. Dior infused pale blue with a darker palette while Giorgio Armani embraced the colour in head-to-toe outfits.
At Gucci, chiffon pleated and tiered dresses appeared in the softest of blues for a look that was youthful and embodied a sense of freedom. The good news is, it's a shade that works with almost all complexions including the fairest and palest of Irish skin tones. On the highstreet head to Zara, Cos and Dunnes Stores for your fix.
I'm going on a first date (cue panic and cold sweats!) with a guy that I've been in contact with for about three weeks now. He suggested a cocktail bar/restaurant. This is my first date in years so I'm mildly terrified. What to wear? I was thinking something with an animal print perhaps? I'm blond, size 10. Please help!
Darren replies: It's your first date so what you wear is important but you don't want to be too dramatic with your clothes or make-up. Less is definitely more (in terms of effort, not coverage!). The key is to look like you care and that you are well put-together, but you don't want to appear as if you've been planning your outfit for weeks. Bearing that in mind, a touch of animal print could work nicely. Feline prints continue to dominate the fashion agenda and for many it has become a new neutral. For your date, I'd keep it simple with one piece worked into your look as opposed to a total wild mash-up. (1) Zara's animal print button up shirt (€29.95) is loosely fitted with a slightly dipped hem. Style with black fitted jeans, a leather biker jacket and a pair of strappy heels for a cool look that isn't too try-hard. A brand that is known for being unashamedly luxe is Biba. Its signature vintage styles have become iconic and their (2) animal print embellished waistcoat doesn't disappoint (€159, House of Fraser). Layer over a simple black dress or even a jumpsuit. Zara's rich-looking (3) black velvet jumpsuit (€49.95) could be the perfect match. Accessories are the obvious way of injecting a touch of animal print if you'd prefer a more low-key approach. (4) H&M's snakeskin print sandals (€39.99) or (5) New Look's small gold animal print bag (€14.99) both tick the box. Good luck!
Valentino leather, lace and suede trainers - €520 Brown Thomas