The bold and the beautiful at Louise Kennedy
THERE are times when a designer seeks to reboot their fashion story without abandoning, or endangering, their signature look.
Louise Kennedy has done just that for her colour-fuelled spring/summer 2014 collection – and the intriguing clues lie in the lacy, scalloped shorts teamed with runners.
Coming from the lady who has dressed successive presidents, royalty and three decades of faithful Irish fans, Louise's latest collection is not about token shock factors for press day. Instead, it offers a lesson in how to do modern femininity using key, block building pieces.
Inevitably, a few eyebrows shot skyward yesterday when the model emerged in a luxurious pink cashmere blend coat teamed with white skinny jeans and runners.
But it began to make sense when you saw how 'hero pieces' like a cashmere coat can work one minute with a dramatic lace dress, or an office-friendly wool dress, then take on a whole new life with jeans.
Kennedy's show at her chic Merrion Square home in Dublin, with styling by Catherine Condell, proved to be a masterclass in what happens when you free yourself from the mental restrictions of keeping 'good clothes' at the back of the wardrobe.
Clever mix-and-match is achieved by working favourite colours across different fabrics and changing silhouettes.
The blush tones were hypnotic, particularly on wide- legged jersey trousers. The layered-up combination of a 'Jodi' coat (€1,295) and crepe dress with pearl-encrusted pocket (€995) was stunning, not least because of their simple silhouette. Throughout the show, we saw intricate micro pleating that flatteringly skim the body.
This is the second year that Kennedy has included shorts in her summer repertoire. For 2014, they're in scalloped lace and come with matching tops and tone in with the incredible silk and beaded chiffon kaftans which have become such a hit with her middle eastern clients.
Kennedy's holiday in Marrakesh and a visit to Majorelle Gardens, the late Yves Saint Laurent's summer home, triggered her colour passion.
The Lauren Majorelle blue silk kaftan with embroidered crystals (€1,295) pushed a lot of guests at Merrion Square into a holiday state of mind.