Friday 23 August 2019

Wear, rinse, repeat


Dress, €308
Dress, €308
Coat, €378; dress,€229
Blouse, €190; trousers, €182

It might be sacrilege to say this on the fashion pages of a glossy magazine, but is anyone really following trends any more? When this magazine launched in 2004, trends were precisely delineated moods, which changed entirely every season. One month, we were Russian dolls; the next, we were emulating Sienna Miller's boho style in tiered maxi skirts and coin-studded leather belts.

It was a form of dressing up - trends meant taking on a new self, by way of our wardrobes, twice a year. Now, we want something different from our clothes. We don't necessarily want them to perform a transformative role, but instead require that they meld easily into our lives. We want them to answer our existing needs, rather than create new personas.

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Our wardrobes are inspired less by trends outlined by monthly magazines, and more by the women we follow on Instagram. And I don't mean influencers, I mean women like ourselves. Women who work, who might have children; who have busy lives. Who need clothes that will complement these lives. Clothes that can go, not from office to bar, but from office to school gates, to the park, to a work do, or dinner out in the evening.

Fiona Heaney, fee G's designer - who designs with herself, her sister, friends, and various customers in mind - is exactly the kind of woman I am talking about. She's running her own business, bringing up a family, and living a busy life. She's a woman who creates clothes that will interweave throughout all aspects of our life.

"For me, even as a consumer, I need that dress that I can wear on a Saturday with a pair of trainers to take my daughter out for a walk, and then also dress it up to go for dinner," Fiona says. Over the past few seasons, the Irish label has been moving in a new direction that reflects what we want from our wardrobes now.

Well known for its dresses, fee G is increasingly adding separates to its offering. Daywear, knitwear, jackets, suiting - hitting notes that are the building blocks of most of our wardrobes. Animal-print is now standard in most wardrobes, and fee G has done a particularly nice version for the last few seasons.

Having worked with its fabric printer for a significant time now, the brand - which has just been shortlisted for the Drapers Independents Awards 2019, in the category of Womenswear Brand of The Year - is able to commission exclusive prints. People are, Fiona explains, only interested in investing in items that they can style in multiple ways.

"We can get three or four looks out of a dress - for example, our floral dress featured here," she says, referring to an Erdem-like dress featured overleaf, on page 17. It is the way of fashion's future - a more considered wardrobe, with pieces that we wear, and love, to death.

Photography by Emily Quinn

Styling by Grace Moore

Words by Liadan Hynes

Sunday Independent

Editors Choice

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