'We are very lucky that this season we have two really strong trends: the Fifties and the Twenties," Arnotts's Director of Fashion and Beauty, Deirdre Devaney, explained to me. "The Fifties is easier to understand, but I love the Twenties."
With its love of embellishment, luxurious fabrics, the dropped waist and the flat busts of boyish bodies, the Twenties is the trend that seems to be growing. However, Irish women love the flattering, womanly silhouette and unending glamour of the Fifties look.
"Both are very feminine. The Twenties is a throwback to the silent movie era, which was so glamorous. I love the House of Elliot -- deco styling, soft draped trousers, beautiful detailing," Deirdre told me.
"The Fifties is very Marilyn Monroe-style romantic. My Week with Marilyn got people thinking about the waist, floral prints, floaty, sexy feminine fabrics, Capri pants and the grown-up accessories that go with this look -- the big scarf and shades, the clean-line totes, the neckerchief and footwear such as low-heel courts and Mary-Janes."
If the Twenties sounds like you, check out Badgley Mischka, Andersen & Lauth (a vintage-inspired collection from Iceland) and Gestuz, which does it with a bit more contemporary cool. For the Fifties, Deirdre says Anna Sui does it exquisitely and Vivienne Westwood's cut is always fabulous for the hourglass shape. For a contemporary touch, throw in a Mary Katrantzou-designed bag for Longchamp.
For men, there is a lot of retro: Italy in the late Fifties as well as America. Continental-minded guys should think smart, single-breasted blazers with polo tops and snug-fitting chinos in bold colours, rolled up above the ankle to show off socks, if you wear them, and especially your shoes. Those who favour vintage America should go for the reworked biker jacket at the hands of heritage brands, such as the Barbour Steve McQueen collection. Both looks would be extra sharp teamed with a set of wheels: a bike, Vespa or Triumph's TR6 Trophy.
"The biggest thing you will see in menswear this season is colour -- in chinos, denims, wax jackets; that look is not going away." Arnotts's Director of Menswear, Valerie O'Neill, told me. "Menswear has cleaned up from grunge. It is getting slicker, leaner, smarter. It is exciting because the colour impact is so strong."
Valerie has bought into several men's heritage brands such as Brooks Brothers, Penguin, and Farah 1920, as well as younger, edgy, Brit labels such as Luke.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine