Sunday 23 October 2016

Style and substance - Peruzzi customers want something with an edge

Published 03/10/2016 | 02:30

Zip poncho, €119.95; shirt, €99.95; skirt, €69.95; all Peruzzi. Necklace, €24, Something Special by Gionni, Pamela Scott. Bag, €79, Gionni; tights, €9, Marie Claire, both Debenhams. Boots, stylist’s own
Zip poncho, €119.95; shirt, €99.95; skirt, €69.95; all Peruzzi. Necklace, €24, Something Special by Gionni, Pamela Scott. Bag, €79, Gionni; tights, €9, Marie Claire, both Debenhams. Boots, stylist’s own

'So what are this season's trends?" People ask this question when you work in fashion, usually in the weary tones of someone already slightly exhausted at the very notion of having to 'nail' this season's latest. And really, to a great extent, who cares? Once you get to a certain age, the years have, hopefully, provided an accumulation of knowledge as to what works on you. Hopefully, some sort of personal style has been ratcheted up, that can stare down the latest take on Stevie Nicks or Miss Havisham, and allow you to say: Not for my wardrobe, thank you.

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By one's late 30s/early 40s, shopping involves a handful of favoured labels and stores that produce clothes that suit your body shape, budget and lifestyle; the latest vagaries of fashion can be largely ignored. Helping us to carve out our own style over mindlessly following trends is something that Irish labels and designers do very well, and Peruzzi is one such label.

The Peruzzi customer wants something with an edge, but timeless; something that will still look right five years after purchase, say Marc O'Rourke and Linda McDermott. The duo have designed the label, which caters to women in the 30-to-60 age bracket, for almost two decades, in consultation with a team in Italy. Being a label all about ease, naturally Peruzzi can be found in good boutiques around Ireland.

For this season, their focus has been on fabrics. "That was our main aim: to have lovely, luxurious fabrics," explains Linda. While the label is designed in Ireland, almost all of their manufacturing is done in Italy, a move that was largely inspired by the fact that it allowed them to work with smaller fabric companies who can provide Peruzzi with "exclusive print designs without massive minimums", explains Mark. So they can use a print sparingly, as opposed to having to buy acres of the stuff and use it heavily throughout the collection.

Trends aren't completely eschewed; this season there is a nod to the new wider trouser leg. While their customer isn't ready to go there yet, say Mark and Linda of the full palazzo pants seen on the catwalks, they introduced a pair of wider-leg trousers for this season. "We are aware that the wider leg is starting to come back, so we had to do that in a very subtle way. For autumn/winter, we have struggled a little bit trying to convince the customer. But now, already, for next season, we notice they are taking them on board."

The collection is also particularly strong on coats, a reflection of high customer demand from last winter. "The coats have to be timeless. If you're spending €200 to €250 on a coat, you want to be able to get a couple of seasons out of it," Linda says.

There's everything from the leatherette waterfall coat - which is light enough to wear as a coatigan; to a classic black winter coat with leatherette panelling; a mustard boucle number, and a white furry number, all of them a perfect blend of Irish style and Italian craftsmanship.

Photography by  Alex hutch

Styling by Constance Harris

Words by Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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