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Style Notebook: Get the Nicola Hughes look

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Get the look: Nicola Hughes

Get the look: Nicola Hughes

From Left: Heidi Higgins tailoring; Daniella Moyles; Parka is over

From Left: Heidi Higgins tailoring; Daniella Moyles; Parka is over

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Get the look: Nicola Hughes

Get the look; Heidi Higgins; stylewatch; stylemma; so over it; life's little luxuries; Zara's big brother

GET THE LOOK:Nicola Hughes

While most of the summer clothes currently in the shops seem a little irrelevant for this time of year, we can get behind some gentle pastels. When it comes to pastels, avoid anything worn with a full skirt, or anything that suggests Fifties-woman-child; it tends to looks slightly Sandra Dee in Grease, pre the makeover. Model Nicola Hughes, above, has completely de-simpered her pastel-pink duster coat by teaming it with casual blue jeans, a simple grey top and black boots.

 

HEIDI'S A SURE BET FOR CLASSIC TAILORING

Irish designer Heidi Higgins, is a go-to designer for occasion wear – particularly for classic, tailored dresses in strong colours. This season's collection includes fuchsia, pillar-box red and tangerine. There are also a few navy-and-white options if colour isn't your thing. Heidi trained with Louise Kennedy, so the tailoring of her pieces can be relied upon to be elegant and flattering. Heidi has just launched a new website and, this month, the Heidi Higgins Studio & Boutique relocating to a new premises in Grattan St, Portlaoise, where her full collection will be available.

 

STYLEWATCH: DANIELLA MOYLES

Daniella Moyles, right, might be our favourite of the top Irish Models right now. Having toyed with the 'blonde extensions and bandage dress' look very early on, she told LIFE a few years ago how she ditched that. Now, she never falls into the typical model cliches. Her hair is all her own, she's never coated in fake tan, and her style is fantastic – she manages to dress differently without looking annoyingly hipsterish. She's very health-conscious, without constantly boring on about it in an "I am my own lifestyle brand" sort of way. She doesn't flood her various social-media feeds with shots of herself in a bikini and her latest meal. And she regularly displays a sharp humour that brings actress Olivia Wilde to mind. Plus, she has a celebrity boyfriend, DJ Dara Quilty; they manage to be neither po-faced "private people" (Irish celebrities refusing to mention their better half is in the a-bit-delusional-that-they're-Gwyneth-Paltrow vein) nor are they constantly out, pimping themselves around the place. She's the sort of person we'd like to see more of on TV.

 

STYLEMMA

Dear Stylemma,

I have short legs and I love ankle boots, but I can't find a flattering pair. Could you recommend a pair that would make my legs look longer, and would work with a dress or skinny jeans?

Anything that cuts straight across the ankle is the most leg-shortening, unflattering style. So, either choose an ankle boot with a dipped front, or a style that is fitted and falls above the ankle – this one is best worn only with black jeans/trousers. The Topshop Ash Jalouse Western Boots, €243, in stone (a sort of pale beige), are a very true homage to the Isabel Marant Dicker boots. They are leather, and dip down slightly at the front; they would be perfect with either dresses, skirts or trousers. Steve Madden at Dune (try Debenhams or Arnotts), has several pairs of ankle boots in their sale that are dipped at the front. It would be worth a look on the off chance that there is anything left at this late stage. KG by Kurt Geiger has a beautiful pair of leather boots, called Sebastian, which hit the leg between the ankle and the calf. Also, they're discreetly buckled at the top, ensuring they fit close to your leg. They come in black and have a mid-height, stacked heel, €198.

Send your style dilemmas to stylemma@independent.ie

 

SO OVER: OUT OF PUFF

Parka it, ladies. Seeing as spring has officially started (February 1, actually), maybe it's time to move on from everyone wearing one of two coat styles. Yes, the parka had a moment. And then everyone got one, and it became the coat equivalent of the Hunter wellington boot. And, if you're not part of the parka gang – see Vogue Williams, left – chances are you're wearing a puffa. Long puffas – that A-line coat with a belt that half the country wears – just look like you've belted a duvet around yourself. Worse still is the short puffa. It makes us uncomfortable just looking at you – draughty, much? On the subject of cliched coats that we'd like to see disappear, honourable mention goes to men in sleeveless puffas, and men in too-short pea coats. Both look slightly awkward, and are the sort of thing that shouldn't be attempted by anyone older than 19.

 

LIFE'S LITTLE LUXURIES- SIMONE ROCHA SPRING SUMMER 2014

Her Spring Summer 2014 collection was one of the hits of last September's London Fashion week. Irish designer Simone Rocha is getting beyond the up and coming talent moniker and becoming one of the most exciting, and covetable clothes creators around, thanks to her ability to take classic styles and modernise them. She has said she was inspired by Connemara when designing this collection. The silhouette is a full skirt with a dropped waist, worn with a fitted top, slip dresses, or boxy trousers and jackets. There's also a great selection of coats, in soft cocoon shapes. Unlike last season's pink, this spring summer's palette is more muted- black, white, grey, some metallics, and some see through plastic printed with roses.

The finale of the show was three tulle draped brides- if you're getting married this year and don't want to go the full length route, there are numerous options here.

Simone Rocha's spring summer collection has just gone into Havana boutique. It tends to sell out quickly, so if you're interested we recommend a visit soon.

 

ZARA'S BIG BROTHER COMES TO GRAFTON ST

Owned by the people at Zara, Massimo Dutti is a sort of more conservative, less trend-led, and probably slightly better quality take on classic Spanish basics. They've just opened their second Irish store – their biggest so far in Ireland and the UK – in what was formerly the HMV premises on Grafton Street. Massimo Dutti is the sort of shop that is full of great wardrobe basics – it has the perfect blazer and chinos, and a great, crisp, white shirt that won't wilt, even after several washes. The new store will be stocking the men's and women's collections, as well as footwear.

Sunday Indo Life Magazine