Saturday 21 April 2018

Bairbre Power... Channeling Jackie

Who better than to take occasion wear inspiration from than a First Lady?

Caroline Kilkenny's new SS17 collection includes the 'Radha' cape €172 in cream with gold trim over 'Orion' dress, €270
Caroline Kilkenny's new SS17 collection includes the 'Radha' cape €172 in cream with gold trim over 'Orion' dress, €270
Loulerie
Theia coat by Caroline Kilkenny
Caroline Dunne's Little Larks
Oleg Cassini

Style successes at the White House don't happen by accident or by osmosis. Presidential couture has to be carefully choreographed, and while Melania Trump did very well with her powder blue outfit by Ralph Lauren, if she wishes to emulate her predecessor and style icon she would do better to heed the advice that designer Oleg Cassini offered to Jackie Kennedy back in 1961.

Cassini designed the fawn/greige coat and dress with sable collar Jackie wore to JFK's 1961 inauguration, after which the French-American designer recommended that Jackie should stick to one designer, and wise woman that she was, she took that advice. Cassini was appointed her exclusive couturier, earning him the nickname "Secretary of Style".

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Oleg Cassini

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cassini (above) who, apart from creating over 300 outfits for Jackie Kennedy, was also secretly engaged to another enduring style icon - actress Grace Kelly. That romance evaporated when Grace met Prince Rainier. In Dublin to promote his fragrance, I quizzed Cassini about Jackie, the style icon who - from her big statement sunglasses, to her trademark tailored coats, like the one (above) she wore to the Irish Derby at the Curragh in 1967 - still influences so many women half a century later.

Like Jackie, Melania should get expert advice, work with colour, and not restrict her wardrobe to revolving around the colours of the American flag.

I think Melania looks sensational in cream. There were lots of cream outfits at the inauguration, from Hillary Clinton's Ralph Lauren pants suit, to Ivanka Trump's asymmetric suit by Oscar de la Renta.

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Theia coat by Caroline Kilkenny

Checking out the new SS17 collections arriving into stores this week, I was scanning for innovative creams when I spotted Caroline Kilkenny's stunning cream capelet with gold trim and matching dress with asymmetric neckline (above). The two-piece has just the right amount of formality and modern classicism that makes it ideal for upcoming special occasions. Caroline's collection is available to buy at Arnotts and Kilkenny stores. Her fabrics are stunning, with a slightly textured feel to the cream and blush pieces. And best of all, the subtle gold thread and trim means you don't even need to wear jewellery.

And for the little ones...

I'm a sucker for French-style, smocked dresses for little girls. I was so lucky that my mum would hand-make them with Liberty fabrics for my daughter and I'm delighted that classic childrenswear is getting lots of attention again, not least because of Kate Middleton's choices for George and Charlotte.

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Caroline Dunne's Little Larks

Former childrenswear buyer Caroline Dunne started her own online company, Little Larks, after she was inspired from buying clothes on holidays for her daughters, Harriet and Holly. All garments are 100pc cotton, designed in Ireland and handmade by  a family business in Madagascar. The dresses (above) are €60 and  come both in prints and in needlecord. They are available in ages  2-8 and are ideal for family occasions. Caroline also does baby dresses with matching pants (€55) for ages 6-12 months, while pinafores are €50 and blouses are €30. More details from littlelarksclothing.com 

Calling all Turquoise lovers

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Loulerie
 

These Oscar de la Renta pieces from Loulerie stopped me in my tracks outside Louise Stokes' Chatham Street store. I'm such a magpie for colour, especially if it's turquoise. The carved Aqua sesin and crystal ring is €329, while the short beaded Aqua tassel earrings, below, are €225.

loulerie.com

 

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