Wednesday 28 September 2016

Lennon Courtney... The style explorers

Constance Harris

Published 08/08/2016 | 02:30

Jumpsuit, €119; coat (in model’s hand), €149 (in stores October); shoes, €189
Jumpsuit, €119; coat (in model’s hand), €149 (in stores October); shoes, €189

When Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney moved their label to nationwide, value-based Dunnes Stores, industry people wondered could Lennon Courtney's edgy, designer take on urban fashion-needs work in such an environment? And outside the Pale?

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Dunnes Stores is proud to give a definitive 'yes' - the Dunnes Stores customer was more than ready for Lennon Courtney. A very different look from the rest of Dunnes Stores's brands, Lennon Courtney not only has sell-outs in stores, but online they are the most successful sell-through label.

"In coming here, we have democratised the brand. It is much more accessible. And yes, the price point is definitely a part of it," says Sonya. "The customer response has been very interesting since we came to Dunnes; they love the stronger pieces. Playing it safe is slightly over, I would say."

Which is great news for Dunnes Stores's gamble. The only real problem is they do a limited run on the collection's pieces, so when Lennon Courtney exclusively for Dunnes Stores is gone, it's gone. (That's what makes it so desirable, dah-ling, I can hear Ab Fab's Eddie say.)

So today is the day to act, as Lennon Courtney's new autumn/winter collection launches in stores nationwide and online. LIFE readers are getting the exclusive first peek at the range and at my favourite pieces.

And if you are an early bird, as well as a Lennon Courtney fan, get thee to Dunnes Stores's gorgeous, newly revamped St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre branch, as fast as you can this morning. At 10am, Sonya and Brendan will be there to meet customers and give an intimate style presentation as to how to work this season's key looks and their collection.

"With this season, we wanted to make sure our customer had her reliable 'hero' dress that she knows we do - but we also wanted to crank it up a bit," Brendan explains. "We wanted to make the collection a bit more glamorous. That is a word we have been afraid of. But now we think, 'yes, we can do this'."

The collection has glamour in spades. From textures of satin, organza, lace and faux fur to razor-sharp cutting, such as in the charcoal jumpsuit, pictured right, to their new capsule shoe range, which features striking navy suede courts and killer two-tone suede ankle boots.

The Lennon Courtney label was founded on need; Sonya and Brendan's knowledge gained from working with women of what we needed from clothing and from fashion. They set out to create the best jacket that we could need, the best skirt, the best dress, and so on. Always every piece had to have a subtle, yet undeniable, high-fashion insight. The Sonya Effect, says Brendan.

"Yes, the customer wants a solution dress. She also wants to be surprised," Brendan says. "We are in a constant state of pushing it, exploring. For her."

Photography by Christian Ammann

Fashion edited by  Constance Harris

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