Saturday 20 January 2018

For the love of fashion: Lorraine on working with what you've got

TV's Lorraine Keane talks to Joanna Kiernan about her preferred side, the best boutiques and dressing from the feet up

Lorraine in that Deborah Veale gown
Lorraine in that Deborah Veale gown
Lorraine is a fan of boutiques, such as Fran & Jane (where she got this outfit), which stock matching accessories — what she calls 'one-stop shops'
Lorraine wears her David Szeto dress —one of her many back-baring dresses
Lorraine wears her Rick Owens jacket and Fitzpatrick's boots
Lorraine loves the wave of nostalgic style inspired by TV series Mad Men
Joanna Kiernan

Joanna Kiernan

'At the moment, I am loving the 1950s/60s Mad Men look because it is beautiful, feminine and sexy, but not overtly so. The wonderful thing about clothes of this period is they suit most shapes."

I am sitting with Lorraine Keane in her home dressing room, a veritable Ali Baba's cave of accessories, dresses and shoes from floor to ceiling.

"As regards labels, I love Marchesa, Isabel Marant, Day by Birger & Mikkelsen, and Chanel -- who doesn't love Chanel?" she queries playfully. "I also love Synan O'Mahony and Marion Murphy-Cooney, who have created some of my most spectacular red-carpet moments."

However, the most hardworking piece in Lorraine's wardrobe is her relatively casual Rick Owens jacket.

"I've worn it so many times and you know that if you equate what you paid and then divide it by the 'per wear,' I've definitely got my money's worth out of this," she says. "You throw this on and immediately you look like you've made an effort and that you know you're kind of casual but chic."

Lorraine is a great advocate of working with what you've got and has many back-baring dresses, such as the David Szeto dress with a pink bow, that she bought in the sales four years ago. "I prefer my back to my front, because I have a small chest," she tells me. "So I have quite a few dresses where the detail is on the back. I love the hot-pink bow dress because when you walk into a room, it looks so reserved, and then you turn around the back and not only is it showing a lot of skin, but the hot-pink bow just gives it that bit of attitude."

As regards passion pieces, Lorraine is very much a footwear fanatic.

"I have made huge sacrifices to be able to afford shoes, even when I was on very little money working in AA Roadwatch and spending on occasions up to a month's salary on a pair of shoes," she laughs. "I dress from the feet up, so I look at my shoes and boots, and depending on what pair I want to wear, the rest of the outfit follows."

Customer service is important to Lorraine.

"I really enjoy when a boutique or department store make an effort to help in an honest rather than pushy way," she says. "That is why I have regular haunts when it comes to boutiques.

"I travel as far as Dundalk to a boutique called Eden because Gillian the owner has a great eye for style. She'll send me photos of collections when they come in and knows my size/shape, which is really handy. Havana in Donnybrook does the same. It has two of my favourites, John Rocha and Rick Owens, exclusively.

"And I meet up with Mary Greene from Divine boutique once a month for coffee and we go through her collections together."

Lorraine is reticent when it comes to some of her more controversial fashion choices, and particularly in relation to her most recent red-carpet foray in that black and pink Deborah Veale gown.

"It was designed especially for me and it's one of her new couture collection," she says, pausing to study it for a second or two. "I wore it to the IFTAs. It worked for me.

"There were mixed opinions on it, but it's still one of my favourite dresses of all time. My mother has a very Dub saying: 'I'd rather be hated than ignored.' I suppose when you love something, you think that everyone else is going to like it."

Find more of Lorraine's style, fashion tips, hits and misses, in her debut book Working the Red Carpet

Hair: Christina Guhasz, Hairspray, 30 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-6339004.

Make-up: Becky Keane,

Photography: Gerry Mooney


NAME: Lorraine Keane

OCCUPATION: Broadcaster/ journalist/author

MARITAL STATUS: Married to musician Peter Devlin, with whom she has two daughters, Emelia and Romy.

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