Cool, clean heroes
For those of you who dread spring/summer because of its faddishness and tendency for impractical styling and lifestyle focus (Ibiza clubbing – still, really?), and its often 'bordering on ingenue/virgin sacrifices' vibe, be assured, there is none of that this year.
Spring/summer 2014 fashion is interesting, full of energy, intelligence and want-to-wear-ability. On our pages today is a cross-section of the key trends, as exemplified by some of the international-designer-world's best.
"It is a really strong season," Shelly Corkery, fashion director of Brown Thomas, told me when we met to discuss the season. "We see several distinct trends: Modern Romance, Shimmer and Shine, The White Wash, Tribal – which I think is really important this season – Blossoms and Blooms, Sporting Spirit and Art Pop.
"The looks are as varied as they are masterful, with the commonality being femininity across all the ranges."
I agree with Shelly; there is mastery. Many of the pieces appear sublimely simple, yet are of extraordinary complexity in cut, as well as exquisite fabrication.
"Multi-dimensional effect, embellishment, proportion and volume are all strong, too," Shelly elaborated, "but the emergence of the micro and macro lengths is perhaps the strongest issue coming through in many collections."
By this, Shelly means that, not only are we seeing skirt lengths going from the very short to the very long, but there are varied lengths within garments – see the Roland Mouret dress on page 35.
There are several great new labels to the Brown Thomas Designer Rooms this season: Roland Mouret, who visited the store last December; Givenchy, Proenza Schouler and Preen. J Brand Collection, Stella McCartney Denim, Blk Denim and Clover Canyon are also new.
Handbags aren't escaping the micro/macro trend. While luxe backpacks may be supporting one type of fashion maven, the 'mini' is dominating all: Mini Bailey by Chloe, Mini Heroine by Alexander McQueen and the Mini Pashli by 3.1 Phillip Lim – as well as oodles of mini cross-bodies, for which Marc by Marc Jacobs is a go-to range. Alaia, Givenchy and Roland Mouret are the new arrivals here.
Footwear is just as varied. Long-nosed courts are still strong in Prada and Celine, while the ballet shoe has morphed into the Driver – a more androgynous flat shoe. Flatforms are still around, but are more performance-wear sandal-earnest than before. There are some flights of fancy about, with frills, raffia, embroidery, and feathers and fringing for the tribal-minded.
My favourites were the delicate, richly evocative styles by Manolo Blahnik. The man always has women dancing the tango in his creative head. That is the kind of spring/summer lifestyle I like!
All clothes featured are from the new season spring/summer collections available at the Designer Rooms, Brown Thomas Dublin. All accessories are from Brown Thomas Dublin, Grafton St, D2, tel: (01) 605-6666, or see www.brownthomas.com
Photography by Andreas Pettersson Assisted by Andrew Nuding
Styling by Paula Hughes assisted by Rachel Grainger
Hair by John Cheese
Make-up by Lesley Keane for Mac, Brown Thomas
Model: Ella Merryweather at IMG