Thursday 25 December 2014

Bohemian Rapture: Tesco's clothing line is on trend

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

Richard wears: Suit jacket with leather detail, €51; velvet-trim shirt, €23; suit trousers, €26; boots, from €30; scarf, €10 Sophia wears: Polka-dot mesh dress, €32; lace plunge bra, €12; seam-free shape briefs, €6; lace court shoes, €36
Sequin and chiffon dress, €38; lace court shoes, €36; faux-fur coat (on chair), €62
Richard wears: Slim-fit waistcoat, €26; polka-dot shirt, €23; slim-fit trousers, €26; shoes, €18. Sophia wears: Cashmere cardigan, €83; floral camisole top, €16; pencil skirt, €23; lace court shoes, €36. Glasses; belt, both stylist’s own
Richard wears: Velvet-trim shirt, €23; suit trousers, €26. boots, model’s own. Sophia wears: Long-line tux jacket, €83; lace body, €20; trousers, €26; lace court shoes, €36; jewelled gloves, €19
Richard wears: Velvet-trim shirt, €23; slim-fit trouser, €26; suit jacket with leather detail (on chair), €51. Boots, model’s own. Sophia wears: Crombie-style coat, €51; camisole top, €26; trousers, €26; lace court shoes, €36; faux-fur stole, €26
Sophia wears: Faux-fur coat, €62; dress, €28. Richard wears: Slim-fit waistcoat, €26; polka-dot shirt, €23; slim-fit trousers, €26

As I learned recently from the free, public talks on costume at Castletown House (see, financial means and the desire for fashion have always been at the heart of "civilised society".

For those of you looking forward to the new season's styles, but wondering how you will afford them, I can offer you some solace.

Autumn 2014 is full of newness, and also a lot that we know already: prints, cropped trousers, black, embellishment. So you needn't feel terrified about having to make a big spend; a lot of 
what you invested in still works.

But, undoubtedly, there will need to be additions, not only to update your wardrobe, but so you feel less like you're living on the clippings of tin.

Of all the high-street autumn collections I have viewed, F&F, Tesco's clothing line, had me the most excited - for content and affordable price.

The F&F collection for women is aptly entitled Eclectic Indulgence, for it is full of textures, contrasts and colour. It is made up of several themes: 1950s femme, 1960s playfulness, 1980s pop glamour and black power-dressing, to 1990s bohemia - all mixed to a newness that is pure 2014 in energy and edginess.

Key pieces such as papaya-coloured fake-fur jackets and coats look great teamed with everything, from F&F's stunning 1950s, three-quarter length skirt worn with an embellished-collar sweater, to its fab metallic-finish cropped trousers teamed with 
rock-chick tops. Its sleeveless jacket and wide trousers are particularly directional.

There are pretty slip dresses, body-con mesh, lacy bits and delicate knits. It is a very femme range that reminded me of the spirit of my fave Louis Vuitton collection of autumn last year - full of decadence, femininity and sensuality.

F&F menswear is also pretty hot. Its suit block has become slimmer, tighter and sharper - especially the cut of the trousers, which is Italian-slim and sits at the ankle. Three-piece suit ensembles can be created as the waistcoat is a key item, as are print shirts in deep colours. The collection features my favourites - pea coats - as well as bomber jackets and car coats.

Patterned and textured knitwear is a key look in both men's and women's collections this season and F&F has that base covered, too.

I asked F&F manager, Alison McElroy, where we can get the best offerings of this collection, as not all Tesco branches have the whole range.

"Tesco Extra stores will have the largest selection of the new F&F autumn/winter 2014 collection," Alison says. "And they can shop on the new Irish website - go to"

This F&F collection gives men and women the opportunity to strike a 
pose and shine, without worrying 
about cost.

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