Monday 29 December 2014

Strategic vision: time to stock up for autumn/winter

Don't let summer sun lull you into a false sense of fashion security – now is the time to be stocking up on fabulous accessories with a view to AW/14, says bairbre power

Published 06/07/2014 | 02:30

Eugenia Kim gold crown cocktail headband, reduced to €130, Brown Thomas ground floor luxury hall, Grafton Street, Dublin2. Pink pleated skirt, €45, River Island
Eugenia Kim gold crown cocktail headband, reduced to €130, Brown Thomas ground floor luxury hall, Grafton Street, Dublin2. Pink pleated skirt, €45, River Island
Prism chandelier earringsby Lele Sadough, Knightsbridge, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
Milky Way bracelet by Lele Sadoughi, €295, Knightsbridge, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
Juno James cuff in layered Italian wire ribbon, €35, Cleire Og, The Design House, Dawson Street
Orange and green earrings, €115, Cristina Sabatini, Brown Thomas, Lanvin green embellished skirt, reduced from €2,350 to €825, Brown Thomas, Orange gloves, €60, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall, Cristina Sabatini cocktail ring, reduced to €149, Nine West orange sandals, €145, Arnotts
Main image Ivory lace dress, €310, Reiss, Arnotts Aoife Harrison floral rose headband with veiling, €149, available from 22 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, D2 . Bespoke orders taken, www.aoifeharrisondesign.ie , 086 814 0131 Earrings, €10, H&M
Aoife Harrison feathered headpiece on leather, €299, Design Centre, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
Blue resin and salt crystal earrings with gold discs, €170, angleaokeefe.com

It's often hard to focus when we have two seasons fighting for our fashion attention. The knowledge that autumn is just around the corner can hamper our search for summery buys, and how many have the strategic vision to buy heavy winter coats in July when there's always the prospect of an Indian summer in September?

Our shoot this week highlights just how profitable an exercise it is to be proactive in building up a war chest of seriously fabulous accessories. Summer is the perfect time to stamp your style signature on your emerging AW/14 look.

First of all, the summer sales are ripe for judicious bargain hunting, while jaunts out into the countryside have a delightful habit of bringing us to the doors of quirky stores stocking exciting new labels.

Speaking of which, I've a total crush on designer Eugenia Kim, whose cocktail headpiece at Brown Thomas is beyond fabulous and stopped traffic in their luxury hall.

Based in New York, she is best known for her hats, but her embellished, rather grand-looking cocktail wear is totally divine – spikey yet pretty, luxurious but affordable, enough to turn the simplest of summer dresses into a sensational, signature look.

The shoot featuring work by photographer Kenny Whittle highlights how much it pays to let style go to your head. At the moment, my eye is drawn instinctively to decorative headpieces, antique scarves in vintage shops with telltale designer logos and hairbands that do more than keep the fringe out of your eyes.

This rose-filled headband with veil is from Aoife Harrison, a milliner who creates bespoke couture pieces – and the prices won't push you into penury. This headband with veil is €149 from her studio on Dublin's Fitzwilliam Street.

Complete the look with strong statement jewellery, whether it's a cocktail ring, chandelier earrings or a fabulous clutch. Remember that ladylike grooming, and especially gloves, is a major story in AW14, so keep the eyes peeled for pieces with a tonal, textural difference.

Photographer: Kenny Whittle /kennywhittle.com

Stylist: Brian Conway / briconstyle.com

Make-up artist: Nicki Buglewicz

Hair stylist: Brendan Hunt @ Hession Hair

Model: Louise Byrne @ Morgan the Agency

Photographic assistant: Paul Canning

Shot on location at the National Stud, Co Kildare. With special thanks to all the staff for their help.

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