Thursday 29 September 2016

Bairbre Power on fashion, First Communions and other adventures

Published 03/05/2015 | 02:30

Pale blue perforated pleather kimono top, €99; asymmetric cotton sateen skirt, €80.
Pale blue perforated pleather kimono top, €99; asymmetric cotton sateen skirt, €80.
Lightweight top with animal print, €115; asymmetric skirt, €80.
Stretch dress with neck pleat detail, €170.
Chiffon top with perforated blush leather detail, €115, animal print cotton capri trousers, €120
Slingback punched brogue, €44, Red Herring, Debenhams
Silver tassel, €64.99, New Look
Limited edition gem encrusted mid-heel sandal, €60,River Island

There was always an unwritten fashion rule that you should never wear white if you were a guest at a wedding, or a First Holy Communion.

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However, all that has changed. The fashion police and style etiquette brigade have been kicked to touch and you can work your magic with white - but within reason, of course.

Let's face it, you don't want to arrive totally decked out in virginal white when it's a child's big day. But given that white is such an important, neutral building -block in any summer capsule wardrobe, it pays not to ignore it when investing time, and money, assembling a new outfit for an upcoming FHC. We all want to get maximum wear from our summer buys - maybe it's a new style value system inherited from recessionary times - but the days of the one-wear 'good outfit' are gone. We're savvy chic now and crave multi-wear buys.

I'm currently shopping for several occasions; a Communion, a house-warming, a gallery opening, holidays, plus a first night at the theatre. Perusing the stores last weekend, I was very taken by the separates and easy-wear pieces from Fiona Heaney, a busy Dublin mother of three who knows the wardrobe needs of the working mum and professional business woman only too well.

Indeed, Fiona was recently crowned Kerry Fashion Week Irish Business Person of the Year in association with Lancôme Paris. While other designers have created diffusion ranges to deliver cheaper clothes, Fiona looked beyond the success of her FeeG occasion-wear range to create Luke Lovely - which she named after her second son. Fiona's intention was to deliver a smart lifestyle brand with weekend-wear, day-to-night separates and holiday buys. With travelling in mind, Fiona uses a lot of natural fabrics and viscose that shake out the wrinkles. In combining these with fluid lines and easy shapes, she has produced a collection well worth exploring. It quickly turned my head because all of the pieces look equally good worn with flat sandals, brogues or lowish heels.

I'll be the first to raise my hand in the air and admit that office-wear is a no-brainer and evening-wear is straight forward too; it's black. However, it can take ages to get dressed at weekends, particularly at the start of a new season, when you still haven't located your new favourite go-to pieces that work at various levels. With Luke Lovely I might just have struck gold.

@bairbrepower

All clothes pictured are from: Luke Lovely, available in sizes 0-4 (sizes 10/12/14/16); at lukelovely.com, Kilkenny Shop and selected stores nationwide.

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