Style Notes: Summer dresses from Jervis Shopping Centre, striking Club L London swimwear and Rixo’s ‘Agyness’ makes a return

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

Earrings,€39, Dansran; dress, €59.99, Carraig Donn; bag, €35, Marks & Spencer; shoes, €50, Schuh. All clothes available from Jervis Shopping Centre. Picture: Leon Farrell

Bairbre Power

The season of the great summer dress is upon us and, I have to say, this year many of the top brands are really rocking it out with cool and affordable pieces.

I have to hand out bouquets in particular to the M&S design team because, frankly, I fell hard for about 10 of their summer dresses — and that has not been the case for many years. I couldn’t get over the accessible prices for what look like far more expensive dresses. I loved that so many were in pure cotton, and they are nearly all hand-washable, so happy days.

I always go to the original M&S store in Ireland, the large one in the Jervis Shopping Centre, because it is close to the office and you never know what you’ll spot when you pop in to buy a sambo.

M&S pink satin midi dress with sleeves and open detail on the back

I wanted to get a better look at the pink satin midi dress with sleeves and open detail on the back (€67) which has featured in adverts and, yes, it looks way more expensive and drapes very nicely.

There was the inevitable ‘honey pot’ curiosity around dresses worn by Holly Willoughby in the TV star’s collab with M&S. The pure cotton broderie anglais belted shirt dress comes in a crisp white and also in a pale blue and, again, looks way more expensive than its €80 price tag.

M&S pure cotton broderie anglais belted shirt dress in crisp white

I know Australian friends will say it reminds them of their school uniform, but the pure cotton blue gingham dress (€54) is a glorious work horse — and it has pockets!

M&S pure cotton blue gingham dress

While in the shopping centre last week, I popped in to see the dress offer at New Look and also from Irish brand Carraig Donn. There was a lot of pink, including the pleat-front dress from Carraig Donn, accessorised with clashing orange bag (€35) from M&S and gold sandals (€50) from Schuh. And if cowboy boots are your jam and you have yet to discover the holy grail of pre-loved ones in your size for maybe some festival fashion, can I point you to some cool white and black boots at Stradivarius for €65.99.

Decorative swimwear

The new swim and resortwear collection from Club L London has just landed and it includes some very cute white looks in a wide selection of sizes, with prices from €35 to €130.

'Sheer Bliss' white organza swimsuit with bows,

Looks that caught my eye were the ones with a decorative use of fabric, like the ‘Sheer Bliss’ white one-piece made in a nylon-blend knit with underwired padded cups with pretty ruching, but it is the organza detail which sweeps onto the shoulder and ties in a bow that really makes it stand out. The one-piece costs €75 and is available in sizes 6-20. There is also a bikini version with top (€50) and bottoms (€40).

'Sandy Shores' white asymmetric ruffle swimsuit,

If you like sculptural one-pieces that look great worn with a sarong skirt or wide-legged pants, check out the ‘Sandy Shores’ white one-piece in 82pc nylon/18pc elastane with asymmetric ruffle which falls from one shoulder to the opposite waist (€55), available in sizes 6-16.

The ‘Octavias’ white, one-shouldered swimsuit with flower details on the shoulder (€70) is another piece that would prove very useful.

Rixo’s ‘Agyness’ is back

Rixo designers Orlagh McCloskey and Henrietta Rix have enjoyed incredible success with their feminine dresses and striking prints since the college friends launched their brand eight years ago from their living room.

One dress seems to have captured the hearts of shoppers, especially in Ireland, where the blue and white ‘Agyness’ continues to have traction and is one of the most popular styles requested at Happy Days rental store in Leopardstown, Co Dublin. The good news for fans of this bohemian dress with the pretty open back and bow detail is that the Rixo duo have reprised it this season. The all-blue, tiered midi ‘Agyness’ comes in a ‘Havana’ floral blue mix print which features a floral print inspired by a vintage Cuban shirt, while the paisley print was inspired by a vintage sari. It comes in Rixo’s extended size range and costs €420.

Rixo's 'Agyness' in Havana blue floral mix print, €420

If you love the ‘Agyness’ shape but don’t fancy the open back, I suggest you take a look at the similarly tiered ‘Kristen’. The midi dress comes in a pink and plum paisley print in a viscose crinkle with round neckline and slightly puffed sleeves.

I couldn’t mention Orlagh without talking about the beautiful images from her double wedding at Gloster House in Birr, Co Offaly, which Vogue has just published online.

The open back of Rixo's 'Agyness' dress

Orlagh and her twin, Gemma, grew up near Derry and decided to have a joint wedding after getting engaged a few months apart. At the wedding celebration last September, the siblings wore complimentary vintage-inspired gowns — designed by Orlagh, of course.

Gemma runs her own interior design and creative business called Cúpla Studio, and she designed Rixo’s new flagship store on London’s King Road, which has multiple sustainable initiatives, including rental, bridal rental, pre-loved and a selection of one-off vintage pieces curated by Orlagh and Henrietta. Check it out if you are in London during the summer.