Fashion file - Darren Kennedy... How to wear: It's a mesh up!
The fashion world continued on its texture trip this season with mesh fabrics leading the charge. Having enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years thanks to the vogue for sports luxe, the update this Spring/Summer isn't so much sporty as the trend weaves its way into evening-wear. The focus is on cut-outs, perforated grids and precision laser-cutting. Alexander Wang, Balmain, Christopher Kane and DKNY all went a bit off grid with geometric pieces that played with transparency.
It's sexy, it's sophisticated, and a combination that in my eyes was best presented by Versace. The Italian powerhouse played with a modern, bold, yet stripped back aesthetic that layered shift dresses made entirely out of gridded mesh over crop tops and miniskirt combos in pale pink and aqua green. The look was cocktail perfection with a youthful Sixties appeal. Meanwhile over at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing used criss-crossed and perforated technical fabrics for a lattice effect. It had the desired effect with the likes of Rihanna and Kim Kardashian forming an orderly queue to get their hands on it.
My sister has asked me to be godmother to her first child who is being christened at the end of the month. I tend to go about in jeans and boots so wearing a dress will be a big deal. I'm 5ft 7in, size 10/12 but I still haven't managed to shift the baby weight after my second child and I'm quite sensitive about my tummy. Also, I like the tops of my arms to be covered. Please help with dress ideas!
Darren replies: Given the occasion it's best to avoid short hemlines, strapless styles or flashing too much flesh in general. (1) LK Bennett's Jolie boxy style dress in popsicle pink (€295, Arnotts) brings the 1960s silhouette bang up-to-date. This beautiful crepe dress features a flared hem, which brings nice proportion to the shape, while the quarter-length sleeve makes it ideal for a church setting.
Keep the look current by styling with a statement heel such as the (2) yellow ankle-strap and python mix court (€40, Next). The full spectrum of yellow is proving to be one of this year's most popular colours and a cheery pop of the shade is a great choice to brighten up a day. The (3) yellow block print 'Ava' shirtdress by Raoul (€510, Arnotts) ticks two of this season's biggest trend boxes (it's yellow and a shirtdress!).
With a flared skirt and belted waist, it's a saviour for anyone wanting to draw attention away from their tummy. While it's a little on the more expensive side, it's one of those pieces you can wear dressed-up or dressed-down depending on your choice of accessories. The (4) faux wrap-style floral dress by Therapy (€72, House of Fraser) is figure flattering with a cap sleeve and V-neckline. Alternatively you could wear an ensemble of separates. Irish label Fee G's latest collection features a (5) quilted dress and matching jacket in a light pastel shade (€239.95 & €209.95 Kilkenny Stores), striking the balance between classic femininity and contemporary tailoring.