Monday 25 September 2017

Bohemian Dreamer

Abstract-print long-sleeve top, €720; jewel-panel skirt, €1,240, both Peter Pilotto; jewelled sandals, €575, Marni
Abstract-print long-sleeve top, €720; jewel-panel skirt, €1,240, both Peter Pilotto; jewelled sandals, €575, Marni
Striped duster coat, €1,075; chiffon camisole, €696; harem trousers €664, all Dries Van Noten; raffia-wedge sandals, €460, Lanvin
Jumpsuit, €1,175, Stella McCartney. Suede mules, €520, Gianvito Rossi; tassel chain, €215, Ben Amun
Embellished dress, €1,975, Peter Pilotto; jewelled sandals, €575; crystal and resin earrings, €350; handbag, €650, all Marni
Belted organza dress, €1,995, Victoria Beckham; leather sandals, €530, Isabel Marant; crystal and resin earrings, €350, Marni
Silk coat, €994; cotton jumper, €535; asymmetric skirt, €480, all Dries Van Noten

Photography by Sarah Doyle; Styling by Darren Feeney; Fashion edited by Constance Harris.

Glorious is the word to describe Brown Thomas's spring/summer international designers show, held in their newly reopened accessories hall in Dublin, a few weeks back.

"There is a mood of newness, optimism and freedom this season," Brown Thomas Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery, tells me. "A lot of the designers revisited the old, updated the new and imbued their collections with freshness and diversity."

The 'old' that Shelly refers to, in particular, is the 70s trend, which is huge this year.

Think about the 70s' love of bohemia, with its rich colours, diverse prints and decadent living. From the long, voluminous sun-gowns by Stella McCartney, to the layered, eclectic and ethnic nature of Dries Van Noten's collection, which evokes artists on their great, bohemian odyssey in Morocco; to the semi-psychedelic patterns of Peter Pilotto's stunning collection, which is utterly London in its vibe.

The 'fash-pack' at Brown Thomas's show adored Pilotto's boldly coloured and embellished top and skirt, pictured on this page. It gets my vote as one of the sexiest outfits I have seen in years.

Sexiness, in my opinion, has got nothing to do with flashing flesh - it's about attitude and confidence, characteristics that were essential in the 1970s. And today. The 1970s was largely about freedom - sexual, artistic, personal. I find it interesting that today's designers are inspired by that drive.

Lest you be worried about wearability, don't. This is a solid design season.

Shelly expands on the influences. "Victorian is very strong. It incorporates lace, broderie anglaise, embroidery, brocade, fringing, and corseting. Prada did a beautiful, beautiful collection."

Lace can be tough to pull off when you are older than 17, no?

"There are a lot of oversized shapes in lace that are easier than that kind of couture fit of before," Shelly explains. "And this season, there are fabrics that are laser-cut to look like lace, that are lighter and easier to wear, too. Customers will be surprised," she says.

"Another key trend this season is Monastic Zen, which explores a purity and freshness that I think is needed. Marni did some very beautiful dresses in it, using eco linen. It was strong at Stella McCartney and The Row, too," she says. "Neutrals such as white, grey and nude are key. It is very different to the 70s trend. I feel it is good to have that contrast."

As always, there are several new labels added to the Brown Thomas mix of fabulous international labels. Oscar de la Renta, Roksanda Ilincic, David Koma, and Grace MMXIII are just a few.

"The trends and silhouettes are strong and clear. It's a very feminine season. Even when doing military and safari, which are also key trends, it is very feminine," Shelly says. "There is a lot going on, and it is all good."

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