Looking ahead

You may think that looking ahead to Spring is a little premature considering we are amidst a cold winter, but the fashion industry always works one season in advance. I am a regular London Fashion Week attendee and back in September I found it hard to decipher Spring/Summer 2012 trends, when we hadn’t even hit Winter. But that’s the way the industry works and the challenge for a journalist is to predict what’s coming. Christmas may be in the air, however, the fashion media start to preview upcoming collections as early as October. And so over the last week, I have had Spring in my step!

A designer insight..

To aid my Spring/Summer preparations, I asked Irish designer, Louise Kennedy for her view on her new season. Having dressed some of Ireland’s most prominent females such as Mary McAleese, to actress Amy Huberman for the wedding of Kate and Will to Sabina Higgins, wife of our new President. Louise told me “the [Louise Kennedy] Spring Summer 2012 collection is inspired by the sartorial sensibility of Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Soraya – Empress of Iran. All three ladies exuded elegance and immense style from their chic body fitting tailored suiting to their glamorous Mediterranean silk kaftans. The collection features our newest colour hues of blush, ivory and cappuccino silk and lace.” Having been a fan of Louise’s for quite sometime, I envisage this collection being quite special and one every high street store will be quick to emulate.

So that in mind..

How do the high street retailers fare in this game of trends, texture and tailoring for the new season? I headed along to Penneys Spring/Summer 2012 preview to check out their range of affordable fashion which will hit stores early in the New Year. The theme is clearly femininity (or as I like to call it “girly chic” ) with a colour bomb exploding in our wardrobes. Laser effected prints, shades of peppermint coral and yellow are infused into short suits, a-line dresses, cropped trousers and playsuits. And there is no getting away from monochrome with a selection of blouses and jackets to create a good foundation for all the colour that will delight the shop floor come 2012.

Denim alert

One way to prepare for this rainbow effect is to always have good fitted jeans so I had to see where denim fits into all of this. I had a look at Wrangler which promises to give light weight skinny, flared and straight legged jeans to suits all shapes. All its denim is designed with a nice balance of hard wearing fabric and stretch which compliments the body in all the right places. Sadly, Wrangler for women is not currently stocked in Ireland, but is widely available online at sites such as asos.com Speaking of online, this week also saw Littlewoods Ireland, present the press with its various collections all to be featured on its website starting February. Their more urban collection focuses on stripes and prints, juxtaposed with feminine dresses in pastels and white. Littlewoods will also launch its celeb designed range from X factor contestant, Diana Vickers and a limited edition collection featuring a high end line with a price tag to match. But the unique selling point I believe will be its shoes; we all have an Imelda Marcos in us!

And the trends are…

The trends are coming to the fore and ones to watch are short suits, print on print, softer hues of colours such as yellow, green and red, dresses with more movement and cropped trousers. The new season will be an exploration of textures too, with lace sticking around for another turn. Do note that you may have a number of these looks already in your wardrobe so make sure when investing in something new, it works with what you’ve got! Fashion is cyclical after all.

Lorna Claire Weightman www.styleisle.ie Twitter: @styleisleIRL


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