In the bag: Arnotts' seasonal success all about accessories
It was the day that the handbags nearly upstaged the clothes.
Boxy designer numbers from Raoul and Milly, sleek, modern backpacks from Queen of the red lips, Lulu Guinness and Dublin-born designer, Orla Kiely.
The Arnotts Autumn/Winter 2014 breakfast fashion show yesterday featured box clutches from Irish designer Olga Berg and the cutest grey leather mini style ‘doctor’s bag’ from Coccinelle – so covetable, we almost missed the clothes, but not quite!
The arrival, onto the catwalk, of coats and dresses from the House of Dagmar certainly jolted a few guests into wake-up mode.
This is a Swedish label designed by three sisters and named after their grandmother.
They have an achingly delicate touch at delivering fine gauge wool pieces and their body con dress with flattering block colour side panels and sheer, subtle wool pattern down the front and back was, for me, one of the stars of the show.
Priced at €550, it delivers an ultra flattering silhouette and should be checked out - perfect for showing off the honed, beach-ready bods.
Flying the Irish flag, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney have devised a body con ‘hero’ dress in black for Autumn and its magical, suck-you-in fabric will delight, as will the price tag of €240.
The Paris runway shows last Spring were the first clue to just how much the accessories story - and what you wear with your clothes – will dominate our wardrobes next season.
Gloves, belts, great bags are the cornerstones of chic autumn styling and if I was a judicious shopper, I’d keep that in firm focus during the summer sales, before the new wave of designer looks hit our shop rails in the coming weeks.
Needless to say, sensibilities about Grace Kelly's ability to groom and accessorise an outfit will be obvious to a new generation of fans following the release of the new 'Grace of Monaco' movie starring Nicole Kidman. She loved her gloves that snaked up her arms.
The former actress knew how to cinch in her waist to great effect using divine narrow belts, usually in skin or coloured leather to match her astounding collection of rigid framed handbags.
First out of the blocks yesterday was the Raoul ‘Francis’ belted dress (€400), a star from a textural and silhouette point of view – and if you have legs like teenage model Thelia Heffernan, it’s a no brainer choice for the upcoming season.
Her prim, but oh-so-sexy elbow length leather gloves were €160 from Gala and with the Pour la Victoire Tote with its sloping sides (€435), it was an excellent opener look for the show that punched out a strong story about shapes and shades.
And shades of grey and black, there were lots. There was the handy grey and camel reversible coat from Jaeger (€485) that can be worn with either colour out.
The grey belted House of Dagmar coat at €850 was the second most expensive coat in the show and number one place in the rich list was a silver grey L.K. Bennett shearling which costs an eye watering €1,495.
However, on the other side of the coin, I spotted a rather impressive collarless, edge-to-edge, dark, long haired camel coat from Orla Kiely that costs €360, just a little more than what her separates cost.Do I see Pippa Middleton or her big sis, Duchess Kate wearing it? Absolutely.
Surprise of the day was surely the sophisticated black leather dress from Jaeger (€725) with its long, lean, waisted style. The heritage brand has a new designer, Sheila McKain-Wade who is ex-Oscar de la Renta and there’s modern, contemporary, designer handwriting all over her fashion vision. Definitely a brand to watch with new eyes.
Bairbre Power Fashion Editor