Monday 10 December 2018

Duhallow Style Academy

Sheila Fitzgerald

According to style guru Joan Cashman, 2018 is the year of the trench coat. 

This was just one of hundreds of tips she shared with the full house at the 'Fun and Fashion Evening' which was hosted by IRD Duhallow as part of the Bealtaine Festival last week.

While the Joan Cashman Colour & Image Academy is based at Carey's Lane in Cork city, Joan was well known to the local crowd; she is a native of Kanturk and was born in Taur, Newmarket. Throughout the packed three-hour show, Joan advised on overall appearance, clothing, grooming, make up, hair, and body language.

"It's easy to come alive when you know you have an enthusiastic audience," she said.

"All the women were eager to join in. Most of them know me and have heard me presenting before, so I had an immediate connection with everybody and was able to go straight into cruise control and give them style information in a fun and easy way" Joan said. 

Local stores O'Shea's Fashions, Lady Lydia, Ealu, Nóirín's Boutique and Lenihan's Fashions showcased their fabulous summer collections and Joan outlined the various outfits which best flatter different body shapes. 

Many women will be currently hitting the shops for their summer wardrobe but Joan advocated not investing in a trend that will not go the distance.

"Look for pieces that stand the test of time and that will work hard for you" she said. 

"Trench coats have been a top seller for as long as I can remember, so summer is the time to give them a try. Stone or navy are two great neutral shades and work great with everybody's colour palette" she added.

Here are some additional tips Joan shared so our readers look chic and fabulous this summer and beyond.

• Trouser Suits: Prepare for more and more trouser suits in the coming year.

• Broad shoulders: The shoulder pad is back and gives great structure to the classic jacket. 

• Jumpsuits: There's one for every taste and budget. A great investment, you can dress it up or down. Wear to a wedding with dressy sandals or team with a blazer to the office. 

• Midi-lengths: I particularly love the kimono or shirt style midi dress, it can be worn as a dress or as a coat over a nice pair of skinny jeans and sandals. 

• Prints: Don't be afraid to mix things up a bit: assorted florals, animal prints, gingham and polka dot always add a touch of fun for summer.

• Nautical strips: The Breton top with white jeans and loafers never goes out of style. Add a red cravat scarf (this season's key accessory) to give it a Parisian twist.

• Sleeves are having a moment: We're seeing dramatic new shapes, from deep cuffs to extra-long lengths. I love the fluted sleeve and this week at Harry and Meghan's wedding, we noticed that style icon Victoria Beckham did not put her arm through the cuff of her sleeve, choosing instead to leave the sleeve hang loose.

• Shoes: White shoes and fashion sneakers aren't going anywhere.

• Bags: Love them or hate them, belt bags are back in a major way. You can also sling them over the shoulder or opt for the mini bucket bag instead.

• Athleisure: Sportswear pieces and trousers with coloured side panels.  Best mixed with less sporty items in your wardrobe. 

• Cowboy denim: will denim ever not be a trend?

• The wet look: plastic coats, jackets and skirts.

• Colours: Every year there are certain colours that seem to capture the imagination of designers and trend-setters. This summer we see soft bubblegum shades such as lavender, violet and soft purples, bright pink together with yellow. We saw Amal Clooney voted best dressed at the royal wedding in her gorgeous marigold ensemble!