Keeping it real
This season, Arnotts is all about vibrancy and function, and Buying Director Valerie O'Neill is all over it.
"Clothes should always work for us, for our lives, for our lifestyle," Valerie tells me when we walk the store to view the new collections and the many changes in the store.
"That goes for fashion, too," she says. "We love fashion because it is new. It keeps changing, so we find it interesting. Whether you are a buyer, like me, or a consumer, we want change, we want to be interested. But it has to work for our lives."
The tailoring strand that has slowly, steadily, been working its way back into fashion definitely does. There are beautiful suits (Marella); jackets (InWear; Set; Tara Jarmon); trousers (Calvin Klein; Part Two); shorts (Tara Jarmon); and culottes (Aideen Bodkin; Polo Ralph Lauren) in every conceivable colour and print.
Print, from clashing florals, dots and stripes (Marc O'Polo; Goat; Gant; Niamh O'Neil) to the quirky (Luisa Cerano) and the subtly logo-focused (CK) add individuality to the structure.
The trench coat is a key player in Valerie's buy, be it in elegant check (Essentiel Antwerp), or vibrant colour (Michael by Michael Kors).
If you were to buy only one thing in any summer, I would always recommend a summer coat. It is amazing how useful they are. They lift your soul and they render you looking au courant and smart instantly, while covering up what could be a years-old summer outfit.
For those of you who like your fashion toned down and are aware of minimalism as an important new direction, then check out Humility, newly arrived and exclusive to Arnotts. It is a French brand that is 100pc sustainable, using only sustainable and organic silk, cotton and linen. It is truly stylish, and a welcome addition.
Another great summer investment piece in terms of giving you style kudos, as well as great service, is a new handbag. Totes are brilliant for summer, as one can throw everything in them in anticipation of longer evenings and more opportunities to eat/meet/do things outdoors. A white bag or the cross-body (as the hip/bumbag is now being called, as it is now worn across the body) are the high-fashion favourites. Though it isn't a tote, I loved Kate Spade's newspaper-inspired clutch for chic fun.
In footwear, the ankle boot updates your look easily, while the trainer really has been woman's best friend and thankfully, it is just as relevant.
Arnotts spent a fortune overhauling their ground floor, which houses accessories and beauty, giving it a facelift.
The old girl looks great for it.
Photography by Eilish McCormick
Styling by Aisling Farinella
Fashion edited by Constance Harris
Sunday Indo Life Magazine