“This season is particularly strong because it’s all about the empowerment of the woman,” says Brown Thomas fashion director Shelly Corkery, referencing the masculine fabrics and strong tailoring story that has a decidedly feminine twist.
The convergence of ’80s power suiting and ’90s grunge with ladylike luxe and femme silhouettes creates space for a new dialectic on female fashion — an exciting one.
Trend wise, executive suiting leads the charge with a redefined mission statement: Strong shoulders, nipped in waist, as seen at Dior, Calvin Klein, and Loewe.
Reconstructed tailoring follows suit with precision draping, sculpting, and skewed cuts at The Row, Off-White, and Alexander McQueen, not forgetting Balenciaga’s 3D-printed tweed and velvet coats — a collection highlight.
Textures and patterns adopt a more free-spirited aesthetic with folkloric patterns and handcrafted accents transitioning boho to a cooler clime. Patchwork at Dior, antique tapestry patterns at Zimmerman, shearling accented jackets, and chunky knits at Chloé all evoke a romantic prairie mood.
Midi and longer lengths maintain this mood with swishy undulating fabrics keeping things oh so breezy.
Winter nomads notwithstanding, the stalwart check stands firm as a power print. Prince of Wales, plaid, and rebellious tartan square up as seasonal contenders with assertive coats at Givenchy (very Grace Jones) and Balenciaga’s Seattle-style blanket offering a retro spin on a classic.
As for footwear, the chunky trainer remains a hero item, especially when paired with dresses. The sock boot and its slouchy volume sister roll over from last season, while the pointed-toe mule and kitten heel are still a shoe-in.
In colour terms, expect black to make its omnipresence felt with sophomoric references of sober grey, earthy brown, and considered camel. Neutrals aside, bold jewel tones and electric neons add some muscle to the hustle. This is a season of power, after all.
Speaking of which, stand-out showpieces include Roksanda’s poised wool camel dress; louche suiting by The Row; and rising star Richard Quinn’s trapeze shape coat. Combining polka dots and florals, this beauty provides all the feels. Is it any wonder he numbers Amal Clooney, Thandie Newton, and Lady Gaga among his well- dressed clients?
In addition to Richard Quinn, &Daughter, Loewe, No 21, and Preen Line are among the fresh faces at Dublin’s flagship store. Cork welcomes London label Temperley with cult favourites Victoria Beckham, Rixo, and Ganni continuing their Leeside residency.
There may be an end to the heatwave, but, gathering by the incipient style influx, all is not lost. Quite the opposite, it seems. The cooler the weather, the closer to God — or the fashion gods — in this case. Come back winter, all is forgiven.