We run through another of Brown Thomas' amazing new season preview shows, and how you can take some style inspiration from the new collection
Yesterday, stalwart of the Irish fashion scene Brown Thomas brought their bi-annual new season preview to a new location. While traditionally always on the shop floor of their headquarters on Dublin's Grafton Street, 2019's AW preview saw a new setting in Trinity College Dublin's public theatre. The high ceilings and traditional artwork and architecture were punctuated with tall graphic structures at the beginning of the catwalk — a perfect nod to the old-meets-new theme of the new collection.
Romance meets mystical; gothic meets vibrant; minimalism meets maximalism — Brown Thomas' new collection was a mix of inspirations, all feeling distinctly winter-ready and (dare we say it?) getting us excited to start dressing for cold weather. Customer favourites Dior, Dries Van Noten and Victoria Beckham brought a reliable touch of class to the catwalk, but the spotlight definitely shifted to the stores' exciting new brands; Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Yves Salomon and Nicole Benisti all included, with particular pieces of note from Paco Rabanne and 16 Arlington.
Brown Thomas, the ever-helpful hosts, split their collection into eight key trends by way of the show's accompanying iPads, so that fashion journalists like yours truly could be helped along the catwalk. Here, we look at how each of these trends are making their way instores for Autumn/Winter, and how you can incorporate them into your own new season wardrobe.
Tough love: Grunge, goth and romance
Yesterday's show was bookended with throwbacks to the 90s, with dark and grungy feminity contrasting against the bright yellow catwalk. Dior kicked things off with plush checks in monochrome, while Prada's distinctive graphic designs took inspiration from Mary Shelley, with Frankenstein and his Mrs. making an appearance on one of their dresses.
Dior black & white check tailored jacket with co-ordinating culotte trouser. Photo: Brown Thomas
It can be easy to dive headfirst into all-black ensembles with this trend, but romance is key here. Pinks and reds are welcome additions, as are touches of white lace and feathers — just don't forget your boots underneath.
Daylight Disco: Studio 54 vibes
There may not be a lot to look forward to in winter, but party season is definitely up there. Sequins, lamé and rhinestones are all happening for AW19, but tacky it ain't — clever additions of cinched-in waists, strong shoulders and modern suits with a peep of glitter are all perfect ways to adopt this aesthetic without being too Grace Jones (unless you're into her look, which being honest, we kind of are).
A dark feathery creation by newcomers 16 Arlington was a particular highlight of this morning's show, while Paco Rabanne's silver disco ball-inspired mini dress meant that we can bring Studio 54 with us all winter.
Purist: Clean lines, muted tones and functional dressing
If you're an Old Celine fan, this is where your AW wardrobe will shine. Pared back silhouettes and multi-functional pieces showed the audience how to be smart with their dressing this winter, with layering and accessorising demonstrating how to revive already-existing staples in your wardrobe.
The beige, beige and more beige trend of SS is not going anywhere, with Loewe, Jill Sander and the Row all showing their love for the muted tone. But if you want to move away from Man Repeller's trademarked trend of dressing like a stick of butter, contrast the beige with accents of bright white and sharp black, and a good pair of dark opaque tights.
La Vie En Rose: Florals for autumn? Actually groundbreaking
Summer is always dominated by florals in every form, but in contrast to last season's microscopic blooms, this season at Brown Thomas sees the garden at its most unapologetic. Big and blooming and very colourful, the unmistakable Richard Quinn returned to the catwalk with his signature florals, moving towards a more luxe territory for winter — think velvet, sequins, and rich greens and pinks. A few pieces were very reminiscent of Erdem, which set Instagram on fire earlier this year with their pink-and-red palette, but Richard's clever additions of pleated swing dresses and bejewelled trimmings shone a new light on an old favourite.
Richard Quinn tulip sequined floral jacket, Balenciaga leggings. Photo: Brown Thomas
This print will be everywhere in both high street and designer boutiques this winter, but a strong red lip and a pink floral shoe is the perfect way to subtly nod to this trend.
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New femininity: Soft palettes, feminine shapes and the joy of being girly
Dries Van Noten, Valentino and plenty more saw a celebration in the joy of being girly on the catwalk today. Ruched satins, bows and organza in lemons and pinks showed a grown-up femininity on the catwalk, and will be a welcome way to transition from the light and sugary midi dresses of both 2018 and 2019's summer seasons. A special mention for standout summer brand Zimmermann, who transitioned seamlessly into AW with a more muted palette of blues, greens and purples. The Australian brand kept their signature florals and floaty silhouttes, but moved to a more modest length for the colder season.
Zimmermann printed tiered cotton and silk-blend chiffon dress. Photo: Brown Thomas
High street favourites like H&M and New Look were great sources of dupes for this floaty boho look earlier this year, and I'm sure they'll provide plenty of wintery options for the new season too. In the meantime, keep hold of your floaty summer dresses and pair them with some good strong tights, boots and coats for a grungy edge.
So Bourgeois: Annie Hall meets Jerry Hall
The 70's are back and they've brought an entire capsule wardrobe with them. Dior, Celine and Isabel Marant brought us a wide selection of 70's-esque outfits — big-shouldered blazers over pussybow blouses and colourful skirts to finish them off. One outfit from Chloé particularly struck the audience today, featuring burgundy velvet flares, a red scarf-patterned shirt and cropped navy blazer.
Chloé cotton-jacquard jacket, crushed velvet pants, draped printed silk crepe de chine blouse. Photo: Brown Thomas
Texture is the name of the game here. Corduroy, wool, tweed, and even fur (faux of course) — Miu Miu's dalmatian-print coat would be fit for the chicest Cruella De Vil, and added to the spattering of animal print across the catwalk. Who knew that a snakeskin leather trench could look so chic? Bottega Veneta of course.
Out of Office: Workwear never needs to feel frumpy again
Dressing for a corporate environment can be more than a little stifling on a fashion-conscious brain, but not anymore with this year's collection. Strong but not boring tailoring with fresh pin stripes and check patterns were a welcome addition, while Prada and Victoria Beckham showed us why a classic is a classic.
Victoria Beckham check blazer, check blouse, black pants. Photo: Brown Thomas
Go big with your detailing to nail this trend — a simple suit, one that you probably already own, can be livened up with a thick waist belt, a pop of colour in your shirt, or a new blazer with extravagant shoulders.
Urban Explorer: Woodland safari meets high fashion detailing
We finally reach the outerwear, and Urban Explorer is what we all want to be this AW. Luxe hardwear and sharp silhouttes are the perfect accompaniment to the flirty florals of the rest of the show, while classics like the trenchcoat and white shirt still feel fresh. Nicole Benisti shows us how shearling can be updated for 2019 (just make it metallic), while Loewe's aviator jackets, big practical bags and chunky knits manage to look as chic as the partywear for later that night.
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