Friday 28 October 2016

The good edit: Carolyn Donnelly looks to spring with warm fabrics

Constance Harris

Published 15/02/2016 | 02:30

Bubble-textured coat (available from March), €189; panel blouse, €79; cigarette trousers, €89; leather trainers, €89.
Bubble-textured coat (available from March), €189; panel blouse, €79; cigarette trousers, €89; leather trainers, €89.
Pinafore dress, €119; silk-front top (available from March), €59; metallic-leather trainers, €89; stone ring, €49

There is an undeniable truth that retailers and I know; there is always one, best-selling collection that dominates fashion floors because it taps into people's lives perfectly.

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The label, Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit launched in Dunnes Stores barely three years ago, yet it is now an established player in Ireland's wardrobes.

Carolyn's idea was that the label would contain all the essential pieces you would need for your wardrobe, doing the thinking and anticipating for you. That you could go to Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit and find the perfect coat, white shirt, work wear, holiday wear and subtle occasion wear that you would need to support you in your life.

That it would be done in quality fabrics, and that it would feel designer.

"Everything I am doing is for my customer," Carolyn tells me. "It's been three years since we first launched Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit. We now know our customer, and we know what she wants. The core items in her wardrobe is the idea of The Edit. Modernity; a simplicity in the shapes and the style; and that the fit is good. After that, it is about how you style it."

What I love about Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit is that the clothes are simple and comfortable, while also being contemporary and flattering. The label's accessories, especially footwear, are always subtly, but undoubtedly, cool.

"For summer, we are planning to go a little more casual," Carolyn explains. "Colours are black, grey, navy, cream, with touches of peach, tomato red and blue. I also always like stripes, and I always like a bit of a clashing element to colours. It's all about how you wear it. You can wear the pop of colour with black and be sophisticated, or you can wear all the bright colours together and make it look individual."

For spring 2016, the label is full of soft coats in warm fabrics; cable-knit sweaters; easy, yet sophisticated, tops; T-shirts; the essential white shirt; skirts; and several trousers styles. Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit prints, used in tops, dresses and scarves, are original, designed by Caroline and the team, so you won't see them anywhere else.

"The key thing about spring is that it is almost too early to be thinking lighter clothes. A lot of designers right now are showing summer clothes with espadrilles, when we are not there yet. It's cold here until May or June - if we are lucky," Caroline says.

"My spring is all about layered looks. I like to show a collection that is fresh and has the feeling of a new season, but that the pieces can be worn now."

Thus, Carolyn Donnelly - The Edit for spring consists of warm fabrics - jerseys, viscoses, wool, fine-gauge knits with a warm handle due to a percentage of cashmere. "It is about buying now and wearing now, and feeling an excitement for the new season," Caroline says. "Above all, it's about being relaxed, feeling good."

Photography by  Barry McCall

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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