Ireland does 'Mad Men': Belle curves
Photography by Lili Forberg fashion edited by Constance Harris
'The collection has moved on over the last year because I am changing. It is more grown-up, sophisticated, and confident, with a lot of very nice finishing," Fiona Heaney, designer of the hugely successful Irish dress label, fee G, told me of her spring 2011 collection.
"I love luxury. I love colour. I love vintage. I do love a bit of bling. So it is all in there. I have been watching oceans of movies. Maybe it's a bad thing to say it, but I still adore Mad Men. I suppose the collection is very New York, luxurious, Sixties in feel."
Fiona's hesitancy to mention the hit TV series is becoming quite common, I am noticing. As if we have to go back into the closet about loving womanly curves just because Fashion People have short attention spans and want all change again.
The Mad Men style is about celebrating women's curvy bodies. We've had nearly 20 years of fashion being obsessed with a model-influenced, pre-pubescent, undeveloped form with no flesh. Normal-bodied women have had to endure their natural curves being ostracised in fashion land. I think we deserve a similar, 20-year-long obsession with hourglass-influenced fashions. And I think fee G is the label to do it with.
It started out as an occasionwear label, albeit younger and more contemporary in styling than its competitors. However, fee G has evolved into being more relevant to our day-to-day lives.
In 2011, fee G is all about the divine, figure-flattering dress, the elegant coat, and the simple jacket, with the odd pair of nicely tailored trousers in there. Though ideal for a dressy event, throw on a pretty cardigan, and you have a look you could wear to a meal out with friends, on a date, or to the office.
"People are still willing to invest in an outfit for an occasion, but there is a key shift in attitude; they want to be able to wear it again," Fiona says.
"Also, women's perception of what they can and should wear has changed massively. I am finding the line of division between ages is gone. Women are younger in feel."
Dresses (available in sizes 8-18) cost in the region of €200; fee G coats are about €220. They do lots of little embellished or lace boleros, and cropped jackets to wear with dresses, which work very nicely with jeans, too. "I think it is a happy collection," Fiona says. "When you walk into a shop, the first thing you notice is colour. The one way to take yourself out of a recession is to wear colour!"
And fee G dresses are what to wear when you want to look, feel and celebrate being an undeniably gorgeous woman. More. More!
For fee G nationwide stockists, tel: (01) 460-6035, or see www.feeg.ie fee G is also stocked in the Kilkenny shop, 6-15 Nassau St, D2, tel: (01) 6777066, or see www.kilkennyshop.com
Audrey Kilbride Vintage, Foxrock, tel: (01) 289-3099 or (086) 173-1763
Photography by Lili Forberg, see www.misslili.net
Assisted by Louise Byrne
Styling by John McCormack at fee G
Hair and make-up by Roisin Duran, tel: (087) 280-5073
Models: Chloe Arnold at Morgan The Agency,
Sarah Morrissey at Assets Model Agency
Sunday Indo Life Magazine