Tuesday 20 February 2018

Winter Wardrobe: The big cover up

‘Astrid’ wool-crepe dress,
€355, Heidi Higgins,
Arnotts and Heidi Higgins
Studio in Portlaoise. Photo: German Collins
‘Astrid’ wool-crepe dress, €355, Heidi Higgins, Arnotts and Heidi Higgins Studio in Portlaoise. Photo: German Collins
Left: Layered-up silk jersey dress with silk tie, Richard Lewis. Photograph:Tony Higgins
Even Victoria Beckham’s outfits have softer shapes as displayed at her autumn 2011 show in New York
'Hallie' woolcrepe dress, €369; Tori leather/silk belt, €120; Heidi Higgins, Arnotts

Bairbre Power celebrates the return of sleeves.

'A girl should be two things: "classy and fabulous". Good advice from Coco Chanel. There is great interest in all things Chanel this season with three new books about the designer published. Karl Lagerfeld, the driving force behind the House of Chanel has put a strong contemporary twist on Coco's stalwart -- the dress. While executed in her iconic blended tweed, these are modern dresses and tunics that both rock chicks and ladies who lunch would covet.

Dresses in general this season have attractive, softer lines which are more flattering to wear and less stressful for females who don't want to go the bodycon route.

Even Victoria Beckham's dresses are not so much about hugging the pelvis with 20-inch zips snaking down the spine to the bum, but about softer, deconstructed shapes with architecturally folded funnel necklines.

There's drama there but in a different way and, judging by the speed they are are selling at Brown Thomas, the Irish woman can't get enough of them.

Cover up makes a strong comeback and designers are actually giving dresses sleeves. That makes total sense since three out of four women hate showing off their arms and a sleeveless dress only calls for more expense in the form of a cardi or jacket.

Heidi Higgins from Portlaoise delivered an impressively mature and sophisticated collection this season. She has her own boutique in Portlaoise, sells into Arnotts and featured in the 'CREATE' pop-up shop of Irish designers at BTs last month.

I love her 'Astrid' red dress, that glorious find: a take-you-anywhere dress. It works for formal occasions, parties, interviews or just-want-to-feel-great days.

Her collection also includes very strong coats and a look for slim silhouettes, with obi belt options, and a slim, black dress with yoke in guipure lace with contrasting silk lining in coral .

Irish designers have displayed their love of colour with veteran designer Richard Lewis delivering fluid looks in scarlet, purple, electric blue and black with embellishment.

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