Wednesday 16 January 2019

Darren Kennedy: Velvet revolution - embrace the big, bold and beautiful luxe look this season

Viva la Velvet

A model walks the runway during the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017
A model walks the runway during the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017
The view from Knockranny House

The vogue for oversized anoraks and slouchy sportswear continues to dominate much of fashion but you can always count on Valentino to bring elegance to the table. Its autumn/winter 2016 collection, presented in Paris, offered up a level of sophistication that we’ve come to associate with the Italian fashion house.

Rich, sumptuous, velvet appeared high on the agenda as one of the season’s key fabrics. Valentino wasn’t the only one crushing on velvet, with many other designers unable to resist the luxe texture of the season. It was spotted on the catwalks of Balmain, Alberto Ferretti, Givenchy and Dries Van Noten. Whether it’s a well-cut dress with long billowing sleeves, tailored trousers, shoes or a top, wear it coloured or top-to-toe — anything goes, as long as it is big, bold and beautiful.

Scrub up well

IW Q1 the view fr.jpg
The view from Knockranny House

The view from Knockranny House

Pampering shouldn’t just be the preserve of women, right? Guys need to get in on the action, too. When I heard about a treatment designed especially for men at Westport’s Knockranny House Hotel spa, my interest was piqued. Whether you want to spoil yourself or the man in your life, ‘The Caesar’ 90-minute body treatment designed specifically for gents at Spa Salveo — an invigorating salt scrub infused with the aromatic scents of sandalwood and black pepper, a deep tissue rhythmical massage to balance stress hormones, calm anxiety and promote feelings of inner calm — is just the ticket this autumn. Make the most of it by arriving in plenty of time to use the thermal suites and vitality pool. Costing €95 per person, The Caesar makes a lovely gift. Sure while you’re at it, why not spoil yourself even more by adding an overnight stay with prices starting from €130 midweek including breakfast. For more information visit

Top tip

Velvet doesn’t need to make a big statement. Go casual and opt for a slouchy velvet T-shirt with a pair of jeans. Style with layered delicate gold chains and loosely tousled hair for an outfit that looks nonchalantly thrown together.

Twitter: @Darrenken Instagram: @darrenkennedyofficial

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