Friday 23 February 2018

Dress-up power

 

Bustier dress with detachable straps, €305, fee G. Gold sandals, €29, Misguided. Earrings, €69, Juvi Designs
Bustier dress with detachable straps, €305, fee G. Gold sandals, €29, Misguided. Earrings, €69, Juvi Designs
Dress with obi belt, €270, fee G. Sandals, €29, Misguided. Bracelets, €135 each; ring, €145, all Juvi Designs

Spring/summer fashion is traditionally a season of heightened femininity. This is partly because of all the occasions in it that encourage us to dress up; and partly because there is nothing like the awakening and blossoming of nature to put women in the mood for blossoming too.

Romance and vintage are very much on designers' minds this season. But Irish label fee G, though founded on a love of vintage style, is keeping it uncompromisingly modern.

"I have always loved vintage and old movies," Fiona Heaney, designer of fee G, says. "I have been collecting images for years by a studio photographer called John Engstead. His 1957 pictures on a California beach are among my favourites, because they feature lots of stripes, and I love stripes.

"Stripes are a huge element in trends for this coming season," she adds. "But I wanted to create something new, so I used them to create quite graphic shapes using highly constructed patterns, which is complex, technical work. So, say in the pink candy-stripe dress [pictured right]- the stripe is very pretty, but the cut is very complex. It's about cut and the juxtaposition of pattern to create something exciting."

Fiona's design attitude is proving massively successful, not only in international sales, but with fee G being inundated with requests from TV presenters the world over. From gorgeous Hannah Vaughan Jones of CNN International - who courageously recently did a public diary on YouTube during her IVF treatment and its subsequent failure; to CNN sports reporter Aly Vance; Susanna Reid of Good Morning Britain and author and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly.

"It is very flattering that these incredible women see fee G as their go-to for comfort and beauty as well as power," says Fiona. "They all say they love fee G because we do nice necklines that show a bit of flesh, and have details which they love. [They love] that we are well tailored, good fitting with that comfort stretch element, and we are always good for pops of colour. It's that dinner-table-dressing element - the interesting detail being on the top."

Separates form a large part of fee G's current collection, from bustier tops (and dresses) with attachable straps should you prefer that security, to trousers, skirts, cape-like jackets, knitwear, and silky tops that are great with jeans.

"This spring/summer is a bit more playful and fun and a bit more casual," Fiona says. "For me, it is about ticking all the boxes; creating pieces that I can wear to an occasion, but that I can also wear to lunch with my friends on a Saturday."

Photography by Eilish McCormick

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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