Brown Thomas: BT Way
Brown Thomas is undeniably Ireland’s leading designer emporium. Abroad, where it is known and respected, it has been described to me as a boutique department store — compared to the ginormous size of stores in capital cities elsewhere. Intimately sized it may be, but that doesn’t mean it is the work of a moment to go through. Brown Thomas packs a lot of fashion.
There are two ways to shop in Brown Thomas — if you’re looking for a specific item, you need to be focused like a heat-seeking missile. Or you can spend an hour or two taking it all in until you can refine what you’ve seen into all that you would like to try on.
Today we have chosen to showcase fashion’s hot new aesthetics — minimalism, tailoring, androgyny, colour blocking and prints — while taking a voyage through BT's fashion departments.
The International Designer Room, on Level l, is a place of sublime gorgeousness where one needs a deep purse; it features labels such as Prada; Stella McCartney; Celine; Givenchy; YSL; Lanvin; Dries Van Noten; Peter Pilotto; and Mary Katrantzou.
You pay for their genius, their innovation, creativity and quality. But not everything in this department is measured in thousand-euro lots. Maison Martin Margiela is a striking range, competitively priced considering what his name could be charging. Diane von Furstenberg, too, has kept to her more modest designer price point.
Outside of the Designer Room’s fabulousness lie labels of quality and function — Joseph and Burberry — while in the mezzanine sits Boss. You will also find MaxMara and MaxMara Weekend, which can be relied on for generous sizes up to 18 and 16 respectively.
Women of size 16 and upwards can visit either Basler — which goes up to size 24, and has been revamped — or venture up to Level 2 where the mezzanine stocks softer-styled labels such as Mary Grant; Transit; Annette Gortz; Marithe + Francois Girbaud; Sarah Pacini; Oska; and High, many of which cater to size 16/18.
The rest of Level 2 is what I think of as Brown Thomas’s more expressive, eclectic fashion. It’s the section of BTs where magpies such as I, who like to poke around and discover gems, love to browse.
Here, too, sit aces such as Marc by Marc Jacobs and Malene Birger, while minimalist cool can be indulged in McQ; Helmut Lang; Bastyan; The Kooples; Acne; Raoul; and Carven. Definitely not the work of a minute, but the pleasure of several hours. L