Thursday 19 July 2018

Oh yeah, baby: A diary of life from Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney


Dress, €99; shoes, €149
Dress, €99; shoes, €149
Dress, €119; shoes, €149

In designing their latest collection for Dunnes Stores, Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney created a diary of the life of their customer, asking themselves: "Where will she be in August? What will she need in September? November?" And so on.

"We thought about the fact that right now, if she is a mum, she is trying to get her children ready for school. Then she is back to work," Brendan explains. "So we called our first autumn/winter drop 'back to work, back to you'. Because she needs attention on herself, too."

Indeed, the deadlines of modern life never let up. It is this awareness of women's lives that has made the Lennon Courtney label such a valuable worker in our wardrobes; every piece has its role.

"Our customers are working women. They are style mavens," says Brendan. "At her core, she's fun. She loves style, but she needs a working style. The dress works for her. The dress is back hugely this season. Which suits us, because the dress is the backbone of our collections. Always."

Today sees the first 'drop' of the new season of Lennon Courtney for Dunnes Stores. It's all about getting down to business in the best shape possible. Think figure-flattering, colourful dresses, with a hint of Joan Crawford. Lengths are below-the-knee; sleeves are batwing, pretty cropped puff, or elbow-length femme. As ever, pockets and washability are built in.

"Our customer likes to show her body, but in a comfortable way," Sonya says. "For us, movement is everything, so everything either has stretch in it, or it slides over the body. It's all about easy-to-wear and adaptability."

There are, of course, separates in the collection. As the season deepens, you will see a fabulous, rich drama unfold, and investment pieces such as a reversible cape (very Stella); a swing coat; and, for the first time ever at Dunnes Stores, their amazing 'hero' jacket (buy two - you won't regret it, but you will regret if you lose yours, as I did, and don't have another).

"It is all about structure this season. But, in vibe, it's a bit about 'the morning after the disco the night before'. It's a bit 70s, a bit louche. We love that," says Sonya, smiling cheekily.

"It's about reinvigorating your wardrobe at the great price of Dunnes Stores," adds last-word Brendan.

Photography by Christian Ammann

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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