Piece together - trophy buys for autumn/winter 2014
Those in the know are keenly aware that buying one item and building a look around it is the key to success. We spoke to a few of them to find out what their trophy buys for AW/14 are.
Fashion writer and stylist, annmarieoconnor.me
KEY ITEM: Tube dress, €260, Lennon Courtney
"This dress is really elegant in its simplicity. That's what's great about Lennon Courtney: they bring out these 'hero' pieces at the beginning of each season. I love how this isn't too body-con; the way it's cut, it skims over the hip which is flattering for pear-shapes like me. It's rare for tall girls like me to wear gowns that don't climb up the leg once you put a heel on. It's also got a built-in bra, which means it might not be ideal for big-boobed women. My whole ethos is, use trends like salt. Sprinkle them liberally. This dress is trend-proof, but it can be worn with any of the big trends for this reason: red, oversized items, anything that's fur. I buy several dresses every season, but there's always an investment piece in there that, in terms of cost-per-wear, is a great buy."
Designer, personal image consultant and stylist, joannehynes.com
KEY ITEM: Swing coat, €495, by Joanne Hynes, in neoprene, metallic patch colour blocked in dark green, navy and slate grey.
"I'm pretty anaemic when it comes to shopping. (My daughter) Fainche is 23 months old, so I don't wear anything silky or difficult to wear.
"I've been living in Nike Air Max every day for months: I must have about 25 pairs. That's the beauty of having a great coat like this: it makes things easy.
"Women always struggle with thinking, 'am I dressing right?' and this is easy to throw on for the winter months. The balloon sleeves are flattering for everyone. I never think about whether I'm hitting the season's trends, but fortunately it all seems to land right each season.
"It's very minimal, with little detail, but the beauty of a good coat is that it looks great with a good necklace and pair of shoes. Some people - like Norah Casey, who just bought one - will want to dress it up. But I'll wear it with jeans and trainers most days. My partner John got me a voucher for Brown Thomas recently, and I've seen a pair of Victoria Beckham jeans I want to buy very soon."
Stylist, TV presenter and author, fitzpatrickstyle.com
KEY ITEM: Bastyan 'Patti' cashmere hood cardigan trimmed with faux fur, €370, available in Brown Thomas and BT2.
"I'm a massive fan of knitwear, and I love layering cashmere hoodies under tailoring or teaming it with a fur or shearling gilet. Some people make the big mistake of using asymmetric pieces when layering, and it makes most people look big.
"The trick is to go for trim fabrics and to keep them the same length. Wear this hoodie with baggy trousers, or a leather skirt, or with denim. I think teaming it with the 'teddy boy' brogues that are coming in right now and some skinny jeans and an oversized jacket would be amazing.
"It has to work with a lot of items if I'm going to invest that kind of money. I always say that if you buy cheap you buy twice, so I like to buy three or four Bastyan pieces each season and mix with things I've had for years.
"There are some brilliant printed t-shirts in Zara and River Island that will go well with this hoodie, as well as a leather jacket I've had for ages."
TV presenter/stylist, mariettadoran.com
KEY ITEM: ‘Andrea’ dress by Saloni, €540, Costume, Castle Market, Dublin 2.
“I like to invest in a dress at the start of every season and this one is so comfy. The colours suit me and the neckline is super-flattering. The real beauty in this piece is the ruching in the centre — I’m a little straight up and down, so this gives me curves.
"When it gets chillier, this would be a great dress to wear with black tights — a look that was started a few years ago by Miu Miu. My tip is to wear a shapewear slip under it, to give the dress a bit of extra weight and hold you in.
“I’ve fallen in love with print dresses because of Diane von Furstenberg. I have a lot of dresses of hers from many seasons ago that I still wear. Clothes are expensive, so the trick is to wear them for one season, put them away, skip a season and take them out in a year and a half.
"I love Roland Mouret dresses too, even if they’re a little beyond my budget.”
Stylist and personal shopper who works in Galway and Athlone, delilahfashionstylist.com
KEY ITEM: Blue pencil skirt, €19.95, from Promod, available at Athlone Town Centre
“This skirt will be one of the great staples for my working wardrobe and I’ll wear it with a light jumper or t-shirt by day, and then with a sequined top for night. The colour’s a little more interesting than black and grey, and the slit gives it a modern twist.
"I’m not tall and this skirt suits my proportions. For A/W, you don’t usually see a lot of colour on the catwalk — often there’s a lot of autumnal greens and browns — but there are lots of bright colours like hot pink and vibrant orange out there this season.
"I went with vibrant yellow to style this skirt, and the red bag increases the contrast. Alternatively, you could try a colour clash with blue, or simply team it with white, grey or red.
“I tend to buy in Mexx, Ted Baker, Karen Millen and Zara and I buy a lot of items when I go home to France, where I’m from. I always tell clients: get a good quality pair of jeans, a good dress, a quality bag and take it from there.”