Grown woman: Fashion comes of age this autumn
'That whole 'mother-daughter dressing' thing is over," Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery stated unequivocally. "Women don't want to dress like their daughters. They want to reflect who they are -- their confidence, their womanliness, their strength. There is a lot of strength in this autumn's collections. Cleanness. No fussy details. It's a whole new way of dressing, and I think women are really going to embrace it."
I totally agree with Shelly. Women trying to look as young as their daughters is ridiculous, and negates the value of their life experience. If cougars Demi Moore and Sam Taylor-Wood can teach us anything, it is that a woman who is confident in herself is sexy and attractive at any age and, clearly, to men of any age.
I met Shelly to view the first deliveries of Brown Thomas's autumn buy. It has been a while since I have found myself actually excited by the fashion I was seeing.
Celine is one of my favourites this season. Phoebe Philo seems liberated since leaving the eternally girlie ethos of Chloe, creating structured, clean, modern, slightly masculine clothes -- clothes which actually highlight a woman's femininity. I adored her skirts and coats, and some of her dresses capture the essence of the cool, city woman.
Stella McCartney for autumn is disciplined and simple, delivering much beauty, as well as simple, striking trouser suits, which I welcome -- Lord, save me from the boring tyranny of the skinny jean!
Victoria Beckham continues to be the favourite dress collection among women who want to look fabulous and sexy in a subtle way. However, it sells out in a blink of an eye, so if you are disappointed, do look towards Lanvin, Prada, or Vionnet because all three have exquisite dresses. The more avant garde among you would be well served to look at Peter Pilotto and, new to Brown Thomas, Mary Katrantzou -- a big hit at London Fashion Week. For key buys, apart from a stunning dress, Shelly directs us to outerwear. The choices vary from grungy parka options by Acne, to stunning versions of the trench in black leather by Burberry, or traditional, simpler ones by Celine.
Skins -- shearling, long-haired Mongolian or leather -- are another key look, and they can be found in everthing from dresses to coats to jerkins.
Right now, a tour around Brown Thomas will offer much food for thought. Knowing the BT aficionados as I do, all the good pieces will be snapped up fast -- especially in size 14. So grow up, get in and try on!