| 19.9°C Dublin

Style Notes: Luxe linen from Aoife McNamara, €10,000 prize for young designers and an app to source coveted outfits

Our fashion editor rounds up the latest style news and fashion trends

Close

Aoife McNamara’s new styles in 100pc Irish linen from McNutt of Donegal

Aoife McNamara’s new styles in 100pc Irish linen from McNutt of Donegal

Designer Aoife McNamara wearing her new linen pieces - 'Sunset Dreams' €240 and 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers, €190, from aoifemcnamara.com

Designer Aoife McNamara wearing her new linen pieces - 'Sunset Dreams' €240 and 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers, €190, from aoifemcnamara.com

The 'Sunset Dreams' shirt and the two-toned 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers

The 'Sunset Dreams' shirt and the two-toned 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers

Courtney Smith and Lia Cowan at the launch of the Longines Young Designer Award. Picture: Conor Healy

Courtney Smith and Lia Cowan at the launch of the Longines Young Designer Award. Picture: Conor Healy

wearing her signature tulle layers.

wearing her signature tulle layers.

/

Aoife McNamara’s new styles in 100pc Irish linen from McNutt of Donegal

Adare in Co Limerick is quite the gem when it comes to fashion destinations. I’m sure the partners of players in the recent JP McManus Pro-Am enjoyed spending their €10k gift card in the village, home of top-end boutiques like Catherine McCormack, Isobel, Aisling Maher and Aoife McNamara.

You cannot miss McNamara’s shop with its thatched roof, home to her sustainable fashion range. Earlier this year, I wrote about her Enchanted By Nature, In A Disenchanted World collection, with its breathtaking backless dress with oversized puff sleeves.

This summer, she celebrates three years in business, and to mark the occasion, McNamara relaunched her bestselling Roots collection of tops and also extended her linen collection to include the ‘Sunset Dreams’ shirt and the ‘Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible’ trousers (above).

Both made in 100pc Irish linen from McNutt of Donegal, the duo-toned oversized shirt comes in a truly uplifting shade of salmon with a cream back and gingham panel (€240).

Close

The 'Sunset Dreams' shirt and the two-toned 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers

The 'Sunset Dreams' shirt and the two-toned 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers

The 'Sunset Dreams' shirt and the two-toned 'Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible' trousers

Trousers are available in natural linen and also in salmon with natural linen and cost €190. All are available in sizes XS-XL

I met McNamara this month when she showed her designs at the Lady Honora Burke fashion show organised by Limerick fashion dynamo Celia Holman Lee and her daughter-in-law, Asta. McNamara’s brand follows a made-to-order model, which is a very ethical and sustainable approach that eliminates overproduction and reduces the risk of excess stock. aoifemcnamara.com

Design prize

Lia Cowan has had the most incredible year. She graduated from NCAD last summer, won the Longines Young Designer Award at the Irish Champions Weekend in September, launched her debut collection a month later, and by the new year, she had come on the radar of Nicola Coughlan, who happily wore two of Cowan’s outfits on the Bridgerton publicity tour.

Close

Courtney Smith and Lia Cowan at the launch of the Longines Young Designer Award. Picture: Conor Healy

Courtney Smith and Lia Cowan at the launch of the Longines Young Designer Award. Picture: Conor Healy

Courtney Smith and Lia Cowan at the launch of the Longines Young Designer Award. Picture: Conor Healy

Video of the Day

The search is on to find Cowan’s successor in this competition. Entries will be shortlisted by a panel of judges headed up by Courtney Smith, with three designers being selected to create their design to showcase at this year’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which runs on September 10 and 11 in Leopardstown and The Curragh. The overall winner will receive a €10,000 prize package, including a Longines timepiece and €1,000 cash prize.

To enter, please submit your sketches to youngdesigner@irishchampionsweekend.ie by 12pm on Tuesday, August 16. In Cowan’s case, she was urged by her good friend, stylist Adam Walsh, to enter the competition. The outfit she wore to the photocall was a one-of-a-kind yellow tulle co-ord (€400), while Smith wore a red and pink tulle co-ord (€350).

Fashion amnesia

With so much pre-loved clothing and accessories coming back into the fashion circle, sometimes it’s hard to identify where a piece came from when you spot it from afar and think, ‘Oh that’s lovely, I’d love one of those’. Most people are obliging and will share details of where they bought their trophy piece, and that honesty is the bedrock on which the boast ‘Oh, it’s Penneys, hun’ was born.

However, sometimes you encounter blinding moments of fashion amnesia after you bluntly enquire, ‘Where did you buy your dress?’ I’ve heard pretty much every excuse for failing to remember the bona fides of fab dresses, from, ‘Oh, my boyfriend bought it for me’ to ‘I got it from a friend who moved abroad and I don’t have her contact details!’ Okay, we get the message. You want to keep your fashion intelligence to yourself, and that’s perfectly understandable if you have discovered a peach of a new label or shop.

Nowadays, I’d like to think we are far more disposed to sharing information, because we are just so ridiculously happy to be back out and dressing up again.

Lots of us discovered new labels and boutiques online during lockdown, but the question is, will we reveal our sources? There are lots of apps out there with a visual search-engine platform that can find clothes from pictures — the fashion equivalent to the music world’s Shazam.

My curiosity peaked about Google Lens after an influencer event online earlier this month. I own a Google phone but had never used the Lens facility before, so I amused myself sitting in the sun, testing it out and trying to ID outfits I’d admired from afar. In a test of 10 looks, it instantly identified eight.

Now that the bridal season is in full flight, I suspect people will be screenshotting looks, because not everyone tags their pictures on Instagram. Bridesmaid dresses are always tricky because of multiple sizes and personalities, and I also suspect mothers of the bride/groom will be poring over images of what other women wore, hoping to be inspired. This is such a stressful purchase, but hold strong ladies, new-season deliveries next month should provide lots of ideas and options.


Most Watched





Privacy