Luxury fashion retailer Brown Thomas has showcased its Spring/Summer 18 collections. 

Inclement weather conditions aside, the abiding mood was one of colourful maximalism with nostalgic references underpinning the 95-strong new season looks.

“It’s definitely a season full of decoration and ornamentation with a spirit of non-conformist glamour which I think is really lovely,” says Brown Thomas fashion director, Shelly Corkery.

Indeed. From the quixotic and quirky to the tailored and tempered, the vibe is both positive, personal and pastiche — an emphatic ode to the individual — with trends ranging from seasonal stalwarts to unexpected hybrid hooks.

The classic trench continues to dominate the fashion agenda — a boon for ‘grand soft days’ — albeit with a 2.0 twist. From rose brocade at Alexander McQueen to Balenciaga’s denim splicing and Céline’s canny coat-come-dress; with a notable mention for The Row’s trouser two-piece (complete with box fresh trainers) — expect this perennial closet keeper to keep trending.

If spring showers give us flowers, then florals prints are a fashion given. Expect more whimsy, however, with delicate sheer silks and diaphanous dresses in both ditsy and oversized proportions from Zimmerman, Alexander McQueen and Peter Pilotto; delicious hyper-embellished buds from Marni and panelled brocade skirts at Dries Van Noten — a testament to the insouciant days ahead.

Although looking forward may be the typical spring positioning; this season, designers looked back to the past to create the future. The overarching theme of meta-referencing were to be found particularly in Gucci’s exaggerated and overstated retro sensibility with print clashing and old-school branding modernising the past.

This appetite for ‘newstalgia’ finds further era-centric expression in the 70s ladylike pieces from Balenciaga and Miu Miu; while Prada’s manga-inspired print coat (paired with kitten heels and Lurex socks) and Stella McCartney’s relaxed cargo trousers (complete with drawstring ankle toggle) — pay homage to the 80s and 90s.

More traditional retrospectives can be found in the regal opulence captured by Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten and Erdem. Oligarchic fabrics, headbands, heels and handbags receive royal embellishment; while sequins and faux fur trim allude to the stuff of museums and art houses. One for the style queens.

It’s not all frisson and fantasy though. A more ascetic aesthetic, as seen at Balenciaga, Delpozo and Stella McCartney, creates an equally breezy brio.

Considered cuts form alliances with sculpted silhouettes creating curvilinear shapes — minimalist yet body-conscious; tailored yet feminine. The key piece? This season’s midi length skirt in mathematical pleats as seen at Victoria Beckham.

Colour-wise pastels receive strong seasonal airtime; red remains a hot hue; while white cleanses the sartorial palette.

As for new brands? Calvin Klein, Italian design house MSGM, New York fashion designer Rosie Assoulin, and Francesco Ragazzi’s Palm Angels join the roster. Cork welcomes hot labels like Ganni and Rixo London (both sporting keen price points) to grace the Leeside store; while Roland Mouret continues his regional reign.

Bye, Arctic blast; hello, warm weather wardrobe. We’ve been waiting for you.


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