How to wear pleated skirts...by Darren Kennedy
How to Wear ...
They may be the signature of your schoolgirl years, but this season pleated skirts are back in the fold having been given the high-fashion treatment.
A quick glance at the catwalks will banish any connotations of school uniforms, as designers, including Chloé, Proenza Schouler, Jil Sander and Christopher Kane, display pleated perfection.
Gone are the rigid pleats of the past. These modern interpretations move as you do, as swishing, sweeping pleated skirts shape up to be the piece of the season. Offering the perfect alternative to the more restrictive pencil shape, it's important to contrast the flowing nature of pleated skirts by teaming with something more fitted up top, be it a chunky knit, cropped blazer, leather biker or if you dare to bare, a crop top.
Tick two of the season's trend boxes by channelling daytime nonchalance in a pastel pleated maxi skirt with a pair of cut-out ankle boots. For evening chic, opt for a classic midi style with an iridescent metallic finish and black courts. You can be sure pleats will add a feminine touch to your wardrobe.
Q. Hi Darren, I have been searching for the last 6 months for a well cut, wide leg pair of trousers with very little success. I'm tall with long legs, size 10/12. I have no problem finding jeans, but trousers seem like a lost art form. I'd ideally prefer a navy colour with a matt fabric that hangs well. Budget of around €100. Thanks, Rose, 30 yrs via email.
A. It was late last year when Victoria Beckham, queen of the skinny jeans, stepped out of her sartorial comfort zone wearing a pair of wide leg trousers. It was clear at this point that there was a shift coming, away from the super slim silhouette which has obsessed the fashion world over the past couple of years, to a more relaxed aesthetic.
Like with most trends, this softening of the silhouette is one that has been slowly bubbling away over the past couple of seasons. It's a slow burner and as you're discovering, there are still comparatively few wide leg trousers to be found on the high street. At the higher end of your budget, Fran & Jane have a great pair of navy tailored wide leg trousers with strategically placed slant gold zips (€139 Fran & Jane).
Contrast the oversized shape with slim tailoring up top to play up the proportions. For instance a streamlined navy/white Breton stripe top or a blouse in a soft mint colour worn tucked in, would make for a chic yet laid-back look.
You'll also find a good quality pair of crepe wide leg trousers in versatile navy on www.longtallsally.com (€88).
Alternatively the zingy blue jacquard trousers by Definitions (€37, Littlewoods Ireland) have a tuxedo feel to them for a slightly more tailored look.
Take 4 - Shirt Dresses
From high end to high street, there's no shortage of shirt-dresses to have you nailing this trend.
1. Abbeville Taupe leather shirt dress, €485 Reiss
2. Broidery insert shirt dress, €15 Penneys
3. Kenzo Cali Print shirt dress, €630 Brown Thomas
4. Denim shirt dress, €41 Next
Take Four...Biker jackets
From gentleman's pursuit to rebel trademark, the masculine biker jacket has a rich history, which might explain it's enduring popularity. Get in on the action.
1. Saint Laurent Paris leather jacket, €2,990 Brown Thomas
2. Ryan Jacket, €279.99 SuperDry
3. Black coated denim biker jacket, €100 River Island
4. Navy twill biker jacket, €39.95 H&M
Homegrown Hero - April and the bear
A recent trawl through the Internet brought me to the virtual porch of new Irish store 'April and the Bear', an online treasure trove of art, jewellery and interiors. Based in Dublin and stocking a mix of unique home wares, eclectic accessories, exclusive prints, and a rather inspiring home lighting section which left me reminiscing of a recent trip to the cool Meatpacking district of Manhattan. The jewellery selection comprises mainly of pieces made by ex-model and New Yorker Vera Balyura. What caught my eye was a golden sculptured stegosaurus necklace. It's no surprise celeb fans include Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton and Greta Gerwig.
'Morgan' V-neck digital print flare dress by Preen