Comfort Quota: looking forward to autumn fashions
The great, forgotten, truth about the 80s is that women loved it because the clothes were hugely comfortable. All that volume, oversizing and layers meant we were never cold and never had to hold our stomachs in.
As I watched the catwalk shows reveal this year's autumn/winter delectations that were so much of that era, I found myself remembering the joy of knitwear and its myriad expressions back then. The sartorial fun of high-waisted, pleated trousers - for they elicited play, in the form of funky socks, footwear, braces, belts and more. The feeling of being a young commando/Goddess as I stalked around in my toughie boots, short skirts and my dad's Crombie coat; very Saint Laurent 2014.
So, yes, I am looking forward to this autumn's fashions.
Brown Thomas is always the essential first stop to find out just what is what with a season. When I was in New York a few weeks ago, I checked out the designer department stores and their autumn buy, and I can categorically say that Brown Thomas is as good as them, if not better, for it edits out the dross and gives us the best.
"This is a season people can relax in. The workability and functionality of the pieces is much stronger than other seasons,' Shelly Corkery, fashion director at Brown Thomas, explains. "It is not so much about defined trends, but there are lots of things happening.
"There are a lot of one-off pieces with rich texture, achieved through encrusted details. There is lots of glitter and sparkle. Outerwear is key. Knitwear is key. Pattern is key," Shelley says.
"Colour is really strong -black, oxblood red, hunter green, sulphur yellow, camel, pink, blue. Prints are intermixed. There's a huge amount of texture, lots of tweeds, shearling, flocked fabrics, leather skin, worsted wools, bonded, ponyskin. All the designers were very definite in what they did. Tailoring is definitely more feminine rather than androgynous. The 60s is big."
A few weeks ago, Brown Thomas revealed its €9m investment in the revamped ground floor, which features new Celine, Prada and Tiffany & Co boutiques.
The designer rooms carry leaders such as Dries Van Noten - the label of the season; as well as Lanvin, Sacai, Dior, Roland Mouret, Tom Ford, Gucci, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, McQueen, Saint Laurent and more.
New additions to the rooms are mainline Valentino, Moschino, Jenny Packham, Osman and Jonathan Simkhai.
Other new labels to the store are DL1961 denim, Francis Leon, Opening Ceremony, Brunello Cucinelli, Rae Feather, and Ischiko.
Autumn/winter 2014 is an evolution of seasons past, as well as all new. It's comfortable, flexible, expressive.
All clothes featured are from the Designer Rooms at Brown Thomas, and all shoes are from the Shoe Rooms.
Brown Thomas, 88-95 Grafton St, D2, tel: (01) 605-6666, or see brownthomas.com
Photograpy by Andreas Petterson
Styling by Aisling Farinella
Assisted by Kieran Kilgallon
Hair by David Cashman
Make-up by Team Tilbury; Charlotte Tilbury Beauty is exclusively available at Brown Thomas Dublin
Model: Helen McCusker at Elite Model Management