Thursday 27 June 2019

Costume drama at one of Dublin's most prestigious boutiques

Jacket, €450, Yves Salomon; dress, €1440, Catherine Deane, both Costume. Bow, stylist's own
Jacket, €450, Yves Salomon; dress, €1440, Catherine Deane, both Costume. Bow, stylist's own

'We're very much about what people could wear on a Tuesday and not necessarily a Saturday night," says Tracy Tucker of Costume boutique.

Costume is one of Dublin's most prestigious boutiques, which Tracy established with her mother Billie and her sisters Anne and Leigh. Tracy now runs the boutique with Anne, while Leigh is the designer behind Dunnes Stores children's range Willow. Costume is known for seeking out the best labels: it was the first to stock Isabel Marant, almost 20 years ago, and Roland Mouret.

Their buying ethos, explains Tracy, is to look for long-lasting pieces that people will fall in love with and wear for their everyday lives, rather than those that capture ephemeral trends.

"We want it to be a little bit easier, a little more comfortable. I feel that if people want something that's high fashion and of the moment, they don't necessarily want to spend a huge amount of money on it," Tracy explains. "Yet they'll invest in a gorgeous top that they know they'll wear for years. Or a great coat. Or a beautiful cashmere scarf. Something they know they're going to have and love for years, as opposed to something they see on Kim Kardashian and feel they need to have something like it. That's not what we're about."

When it comes to party wear, so relevant at this time of year, people want something they can wear again. "They want things that can have different interpretations," says Tracy. "So if they're getting something for a special occasion, they want to be able to wear it in their real life as well. A lot of the time when we're selling a dress, customers want to know that they can put on a pair of boots and a leather jacket with it, as well as wearing it in a black-tie scenario.

"They want it to be able to work a little bit harder in their wardrobe," she adds. "So if we sell a dress for an event, you might sell a dressy wrap to be worn over it, but you might also sell a leather jacket, or a pair of trainers to go with it as well. It's less about being one wear. People are a little bit more savvy these days."

Recently, Tracy has added Latvian label Katya Katya Shehurina to the store. Though Shehurina is mainly a bridal designer, Costume are stocking her line of ready-to-wear dresses.

"She just has a really unique look. They're not so of the moment that you're going to be tired of them," says Tracy, describing the beautifully romantic styles. The label favours a midi length, and it's a length that people tend to favour over full-length when it comes to buying black tie. "I think that it's more versatile," Tracy says, "because if you're wearing a full-length gown, you're not really just going out on a Friday night. But if you have a midi length, you can put it with boots and make it feel a little bit more easy."

It sums up the Costume philosophy.

Photography by  Emily Quinn

Styling by  Carmel Ann Daly

Words by Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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