Thursday 8 December 2016

Streamlined Fashion: Girls allowed

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Published 19/06/2011 | 05:00

Dress, €450; sash, €50;
corsage, €45, all Matt Doody.
Leggings, €54,
Marks & Spencer.
Boots, stylist’s own. Photo: Sarah Doyle
Dress, €450; sash, €50; corsage, €45, all Matt Doody. Leggings, €54, Marks & Spencer. Boots, stylist’s own. Photo: Sarah Doyle
Dress, €1,650, Matt Doody. Jodhpurs/jeans, €40, Marks & Spencer. Boots, €399, Fitzpatricks Shoes. Belt, €2, Penneys. Photo: Sarah Doyle
Dress, €650; corsages (worn in hair), €45 each, all Matt Doody. Photo: Sarah Doyle

The gear-shift of the last two years from the frivolous Noughties to a decidedly disciplined new decade is hugely evident in our fashion, which has become plain, architectural and streamlined. Masculine trousers are back in our wardrobes, skirts sport dead-straight hemlines, jackets have razor-sharp shoulders and reveres.

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It is no wonder, then, that romantic, quintessentially feminine designers such as Matt Doody and Eilis Boyle are attracting a whole new following. Women are craving an alternative fashion choice. They are craving to look as they feel.

"I design for women because they are very soft, yet, at heart, they are incredibly strong," Matt Doody tells me in his simple yet pleasing salon on the ground floor of the Powerscourt Town House Centre. "Men are hard, straight-bodied. Women offer so much more to respond to. To create for," he says.

Speaking so deliciously of our sex, you won't be surprised by the fact that I am very fond of Matt Doody. He is a gentle man. Genuinely compassionate and considerate of his customers' lives, as well as being beautifully creative.

All the evocative creations on our pages today are by Matt, all made in Dublin, in exquisite silk georgette, satin, crepe and tulle. No zips are used in his creations; everything wraps or drapes.

Max Factor make-up love to collaborate with Matt on his fashion shoots: creating clothes that are such a foil for feminine beauty makes him a natural partner for a company that is about enhancing women's beauty, too.

Matt graduated from the Grafton Academy in 2006, and first started selling collections in The Loft in 2007. It was here that photographer Sarah Doyle spotted him and used his work in her first shoot for LIFE, a Bronte-esque voyage of metaphysical expression. Sarah's subsequent collaboration with Matt and Max Factor was a Hitchcock femme fatale shoot, all windows and mirrors on mysterious female sexuality.

Today's collaboration of Sarah, Matt and Max Factor is very much about beauty and grace, subtle strength and the freedom of spirit that womanhood represents.

"I believe life should be simple and appreciated for each day. I love my family in Cahirciveen very much. I enjoy being in my workroom and losing myself in what I do. I produce new pieces all year round because I like to keep myself interested. And I have learnt that as long as I can keep myself above water financially, I am happy," Matt tells me.

His design is a disciplined yet sensitive aesthetic. An ideal marriage of our essential needs right now.

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