The catwalk likes to tease us. Yes, tease us and our wallets. But there is something to be said about an investment in designer clothing every once in a while, that is why they invented piggy banks! Eye spy with my stylish eye, I see a bag by Tom Ford that has my name written all over it. So I am putting away a little of my earnings every month until there comes a time when I can rejoice in buying the bag that I will have forever. And it’ll probably form part of my children’s inheritance. Designer clobber is at the upper end of the price scale; but it can command a higher price for several reasons which we, as consumers, don’t always understand. The design, the labour intensive craftsmanship, the highest quality fabrics and finishings all contribute to the final piece that we see the likes of Karly Kloss or Jordan Dunn strut down the catwalk each season. So why not explore what they have to offer? For inspiration, if nothing else.
2011 was a great year for up and coming designers like Mary Katrantzou, Simone Rocha and JW Anderson, all of which have earned their slot at London Fashion Week. Mary stands out for me, with her dramatic prints and beautiful cuts. At the Brown Thomas Spring/Summer preview this week, Katrantzou dominated a very feminine selection of pieces which the store will carry this season. Not only that, but Katrantzou will debut a collection with luggage aficionados, Longchamp, next month too. The bags have her stamp all over it, but are a little more affordable than her dresses which fetch €2,000 upwards. Other designers to watch this season, which are available in Brown Thomas stores are Celine, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and the eagerly awaited diffusion line from Victoria Beckham, simply titled, Victoria. Her new more accessible line is very clean, with a great use of colour and structure, and is, naturally, very VB.
It’s gonna be a rainbow…
Vivid colours like orange and green have taken over at Lanvin, while Marni and Prada have gone for a softer candy-colour palate, so the colour wheel is yours to play with! And if you think you can pull off the Pippa Middleton look, that Alexander McQueen dress will be coming in store!
Luxury @ your fingertips
If shoes are more your investment of choice, the Irish owned Luxury Emporium is your best bet (www.theluxuryemporium.com ). Stocking labels like Rupert Sanderson and Guiseppe Zanotti which make shoes to die for, you will be spoiled for choice! I particularly like their accessory pages where you can even pick up an ipad case (Kara Ross makes fabulous ones! ).
Ultimately, designer clothing is where we look to for inspiration. Every season I do a mood board of all the trends I like and I try and match these to my existing wardrobe or just to see what pieces I would like to add. I make one to two investments each year and everything else comes from the high street or boutiques around the country. This season I am doing a little overhaul to change up my look somewhat. I am introducing more colour and prints, which will come from New Look, River Island and affordable labels like Charming, Soaked in Luxury and St. Tropez. My jeans are making a move from a skinny to a wide leg, and I intend to have a go at the 1950s, with some retro inspired looks.
But the motto for the season is to experiment. And I can’t say that enough. It’s good to revamp your wardrobe each season and Spring/Summer is a good time to do this. It’s a fun time of year and if we’re lucky, the sun might shine for a few days so all those prints and bright colours will look fantastic! But chance would be a fine thing.
Lorna Claire Weightman www.styleisle.ie Twitter: @styleisleIRL