A trip Down Under inspired the designer's spring/summer collection
Some people send postcards from their holidays, but fashion designer Louise Kennedy took her favourite memories from her Australian adventures last year and turned them into a colourful spring/summer collection.
Mesmerising aquamarine, soothing corals and hypnotic ocean blues, the designer's colour palette matches the shades and textures she encountered on her coastal journey from Perth to Fremantle and down to the Margaret river.
"It was time well spent," said the Tipperary-born designer as she welcomed guests to her Merrion Square salon yesterday for two private shows in which she showcased everything from the 'Kimmy' Japanese- style top with handkerchief sleeves (recently bought by Duffy, Louise's favourite singer, in London) to the 'Portia' dress (€1,495) with dropped waist and pleated gathers, which graces the cover of this month's 'Tatler' magazine.
There was lots of newness too and, on the eve of spring, for the first time ever, Louise showed jersey shorts. Jaunty, with a bias cut on the end that creates just the right amount of swivel, she matched them with chic silk chiffon tunics featuring a starfish print hand-painted by Irish artist Mel Bradley.
The four-figure price tags didn't raise an eyebrow among the well-heeled audience. Clearly, spending on posh frocks such as the 'Tori' lace dress in pistachio (€1,195), the 'Margo' coat (€1,295) and the pearl optic white lace dress (€1,295) is still active in Ireland.
"Special occasion wear, it's the one area that has been recession-proof,'' said Louise, who bucked the downturn by almost doubling her profits in 2011 to €313,116.