Home-grown talent centre stage as Arnotts shows off best of Autumn/Winter
THERE is a strong Irish theme running through Arnotts' new Autumn Winter 2013 collection, which kicked off with a catwalk presentation of 69 outfits and the launch of new collections from home-grown talents Peter O'Brien and Lennon Courtney.
Finglas-born O'Brien started as a window dresser at Arnotts in 1971 before going into fashion and ultimately becoming a couturier in Paris.
Peter has attracted a loyal fan base for his tailored coats, classic white shirts, structured dresses and versatile knitwear. His fourth collection for Arnotts contains 32 pieces, with prices running from €90 for knitwear up to €495 for a collarless, bell-sleeved coat.
The 'crush' pieces attracting lots of attention at an earlier photocall at the James Joyce Centre in North Great George's Street included a white shirt (€195) with the same gathered, 'outer sleeve' detail as the coat worn with wide legged Tuxedo trousers (€225).
Peter may have worked in Paris, where the excesses of the haute couture world are legendary, but the Dubliner respects a minimal aesthetic for the modern woman and his love of pared-back tailoring resonates from his latest work.
Meanwhile, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, the two fashion stylists and TV style commentators – who personally financed the launch of their own collection last year – have grown their brand to include a weekend-specific collection this season.
The collection is filled with pleasing day-to-night solutions and now that their RTE show 'Off The Rails' has come to a close, Sonya and Brendan are working at developing their brand in Ireland and abroad.
This season, Lennon Courtney have a navy 'hero' dress with sleeves (€229) and popular knitwear shapes include the Doris Day top (€180) and a red, bell-shaped dress which costs €280.
Queen of print Orla Kiely, who is new to Arnotts this season, is clearly selling well as is Helen McAlinden, whose feminine tailoring is her calling card.
New international labels generating interest at the show were Jill Stuart from New York, GOAT (a label that Victoria Beckham wears when she's not wearing her own) and 2ND DAY, an affordable diffusion brand from the much-loved Day Birger et Mikkelsen.
The show opened with an Orla Kiely shearling coat costing €2,680 and closed with a €360 Tux jacket and €225 satin skirt from Peter O'Brien.