Sunday 17 December 2017

Separate lines

Dress, €182, Luke Lovely. Shoes €135, Buffalo
Dress, €182, Luke Lovely. Shoes €135, Buffalo

Constance Harris

Luke Lovely is a collection that, when it first launched five years ago, was before its time. It was all about separates in an era when the dress reigned. However, fashion and life have come round to Luke Lovely's way of thinking; we are all about separates now.

And no wonder. As we grapple with post-recession life, separates are often more easy-care than a dress, more versatile and hard-working, and generally more comfortable.

Luke Lovely designer Fiona Heaney is a working mum, and she knows at a DNA level that we need clothes that are a support to our insanely demanding lives.

"This season, Luke Lovely is all about comfort, but luxurious, everyday comfort," Fiona tells me. "I designed it to not be difficult to understand or navigate. It is a contemporary daywear collection for the woman who is a boutique shopper. She can wear it every day - to the office, to see her friends, or at the weekend. It is a casual, contemporary collection with a bit of street smart, but it is very definitely feminine."

For autumn/winter, Luke Lovely consists of lots of separates - be they tops, knits, pencil skirts or trousers - as well as dresses in short and midi-lengths, with plenty of variations on necklines and sleeve lengths. Pieces come in flattering taupe, dark grey, cobalt blue, black and sumptuous burgundy, in sizes 0-4 (8-16). Features such as feather trims, metallic finishes and contrast details make the pieces special.

Shapes have been constructed with ease of wear at the forefront; all the tops and most of the dresses are cut to sit away from the body, and stretch fabrics are prevalent throughout.

"This season is about comfort and ease," Fiona reiterates. "But fabric and texture have also been hugely important. There are a lot of costly details that differentiate the pieces. There are contrast trims in metallic-finished pleather, metallic finishes and lacquered lace. There are a lot of wool-blend fabrics, lots of velvet, brushed viscose/wool mixes, silk-touch fabrics, and embellishment and sparkle. Not over-the-top and dressy, but enough to be special and a little bit edgy.

"It is also very much an easy-care collection," Fiona explains. "Most of the pieces are cool-machine-washable or hand-washable. We don't want you to add dry cleaning chemicals. The wool-blend coat is the only piece that is dry clean."

There is not a hint of the prevalent 70s/boho look about Luke Lovely for this season, thank God. In fact, it could be described as more 1980s-influenced, in that power dressing is in the mix, though not through the obvious shoulder pads and over-sizes, but rather in its love of contrast details, strong silhouettes, leather, and hint of masculine tailoring.

Luke Lovely is the right stuff to get you where you need to go; feeling comfortable, looking stylish.

Photography by  Eilish McCormick

Fashion edited by  Constance Harris

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