Saturday 24 February 2018

Art anarchy: marrying architecture and structure

Sweatshirt, €325, Preen, Brown Thomas. Skirt, €73, Topshop. Shoes, €165, Miista, Harvey Nichols
Sweatshirt, €325, Preen, Brown Thomas. Skirt, €73, Topshop. Shoes, €165, Miista, Harvey Nichols
Sweater, €495, Mary Katrantzou; trousers, €780, Celine; bag, €1,650, Chanel, all Brown Thomas
Top, €450, Roland Mouret; blouse, €290, Carven; trousers, €313, Kenzo, all Brown Thomas.
Dress, €1,139, Maria Grachvogel, Emporium Kalu. Trainers, €390, Pierre Hardy, Brown Thomas. Necklace, €22.95, Zara. Clutch, €25, River Island
Top, €29.95, Zara. Skirt, €40, Rings, €65 each, Lola Rose, Harvey Nichols. Bangle, €1,250, Chanel, Brown Thomas
Jumper, €315, Markus Lupfer, BT2. Dress, €315, Pinko, Harvey Nichols

Constance Harris

Art and artistic expression –techniques, paints and finishes – were a huge new theme in the high-fashion collections this year. Pop Art at Prada, the painter's palette at Chanel, and bold paintbrush strokes at Celine, Preen and Markus Lupfer.

I find that when high fashion is at one on a theme, it can result in people being frightened to step into the trend for fear they will look a fashion victim, or it will date super-fast.

But think about digital prints. They blasted onto our fashion consciousness four years ago and are still going strong. As time passes, we, as the wearers of the look, get more confident – and creative – about wearing them.

I find strong trends like these go underground after their first dramatic entrance and then emerge, two years later, integrated and addressed in a new, easier-to-wear way.

"One never knows with these kinds of strong trends," stylist Tanya Grimson says when we discussed the looks she created under this trend banner, which were interpreted dramatically by photographer, Agata Stoinska for our pages today.

"But, if you think of the sweatshirt, it was on the edge of our fashion consciousness three years ago and now it is mainstream and a key item.

"Placement prints, reference prints, logos – Coca-Cola, the Andy Warhol thing. It is so strong, so graphic, I think you will see more hints of it becoming part of the mainstream, but not in the strong manner we are seeing it this season."

This trend has been huge with the designers. Brown Thomas has Prada, Celine and Chanel's key pieces in the trend, while BT2 has Markus Lupfer.

Emporium Kalu, in Naas, has stunning dresses by Maria Grachvogel, while Khan, in Blackrock, Co Dublin, and now also in Alias Tom, Dublin 2, has great pieces by Schumacher.

"How to wear the look depends on the type of person you are. If you are forward and experimental, you can wear all the pieces all together," Tanya explains. "I think it looks best when it is worn with neutral tones, such as white, or with a strong piece, such as the midi skirt or a cocoon shape. This makes it more modern, less of a fancy dress, and more a unique and clean statement.

"Wearing it with black makes it very bold," she adds, "whereas, putting it with white makes it fresher – more contemporary and easier to wear."

Tanya's observation as to the different effect black or white has on the look is key. Black makes pieces look dramatic and avant-garde, while white makes it summery and kind of sports luxe.

"The look does marry up the season's love of architecture and structure, with colour and newness," Tanya says. "I think it could inspire a whole new take on your wardrobe."

Photography by Agata Stoinska

Styling by Tanya Grimson

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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