Real women: fashion PR Tara O’Connor on why she feels she’s finally found her signature style
Tara O’ Connor has been in PR for more than 20 years, and of late has focussed her consultancy on the fashion arena. Her clients include Irish designers Zoe Jordan and KDK. Here, she tells MARIE KELLY how her she finally found a signature style that feels unique to her.
I LOVE TO TAKE RISKS WITH CLOTHES by putting interesting outfits together and clashing prints and colours. I don’t like overbranded clothes; I never have. Day-to-day, I rely on jeans and colourful cashmere knits with a bright coat. For meetings, I love tailored trousers and a fun shirt or knit.
THE LOOK I’M WEARING TODAY IS MY COMFORT ZONE. It’s elegant but sporty and by adding a pair of high heels, it’s smart enough for evening wear. I adore Zoe Jordan’s clothes, and her SS18 collection is one of my favourites. This Oliveras shirt gives this look a girlish finish, which I love, and of course I had to add an arm party of jewellery!
MY STYLE IS MORE LAID-BACK THAN IT WAS WHEN I WAS YOUNGER and I definitely rely more on flats than heels. I am finally getting my figure back after having two children, so I can now wear clothes that I bought years ago and swore would fit me again some day. I love high-waisted trousers and unstructured clothes. I also really enjoy accessorising my outfits, especially with big earrings from Stella & Dot. I always plan my outfits the night before, then add a KDK scarf. They designed a scarf for their SS18 collection especially for me called Tara’s Hydrangeas.
DRIES VAN NOTEN, SACAI, ZOE JORDAN, MIRA MIKATI AND MAGDA BUTRYM ARE MY GO-TO DESIGNERS. When Giles Deacon did ready-to-wear, I bought a lot of his collections from Kalu in Naas. I see them as collectors’ items now. On the high street and online, I adore & Other Stories, Bimba Y Lola and Uterque. I love shopping in boutiques, and I think we need to support them. I’m lucky to have both Kalu and Gallery 9 beside me.
I ALWAYS PLAN WHAT I BUY. I’m a big online shopper, as I’m so busy with work and my kids. A friend of mine, Sinead Keary, is a personal shopper and she always sends me pieces she knows I will like. I will always go to the Brown Thomas sales, though, and buy some key pieces.
I’VE ENJOYED FASHION EVER SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. I inherited this love from my mum, who had great style and still does. I view clothes as investments, but I am a really savvy shopper – I love sample sales. I care for my clothes and store them well. I’ve worked with some amazing fashion brands over the years, and I’ve learnt a lot from them.
I DID A BIG TIDY UP OF MY WARDROBE RECENTLY and got rid of lots of old clothes I don’t wear anymore, as I think I’ve finally found my style. I have an evening wear section, daytime, and coats and jackets. My shoes are a bit all over the place, so that’s my next job.
I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED ALI HEWSON’S STYLE and her chic way of putting outfits together. She always wears the most amazing coats.
Tara wears West bomber jacket, €490; Cazaro trousers, €435; Oliveras shirt, €230; all at Zoe Jordan.