Irish fashion boutiques in a pandemic: The Harlequin Vintage on deciding to go online-only
Irish fashion boutiques in a pandemic: The Harlequin Vintage on deciding to go online-only

Sarah Finnan

‘We just want visibility on the street and access to our shop.’ A Dublin shop speaks out about the issues outdoor dining has caused them
‘We just want visibility on the street and access to our shop.’ A Dublin shop...

Megan Burns

Kim Kardashian on her divorce: ‘I always thought being lonely was totally fine’
Kim Kardashian on her divorce: ‘I always thought being lonely was totally fine’

Jennifer McShane

‘I want people to please, please recognise how close she was to being healthy’
‘I want people to please, please recognise how close she was to being healthy’

Jennifer McShane

You don’t have to love football to have been affected by the tragic scenes at the Finland Denmark game
You don’t have to love football to have been affected by the tragic scenes at...

Amanda Cassidy

How to grieve in a society disconnected from death (according to an undertaker)
How to grieve in a society disconnected from death (according to an undertaker)

Sophie White

6 gripping dramas worth watching if you’ve finished Mare of Easttown
6 gripping dramas worth watching if you’ve finished Mare of Easttown

Jennifer McShane

I’ve been ugly and beautiful and the difference is depressing
I’ve been ugly and beautiful and the difference is depressing

Sophie White

Gill Meller’s barbecued courgettes will make your weekend BBQ
Gill Meller’s barbecued courgettes will make your weekend BBQ

Meg Walker

Your summer weekend sorted: Gin & Tonic ice pops
Your summer weekend sorted: Gin & Tonic ice pops

Holly O'Neill

Image / Fashion

River Island launches RI Active


by Marie Kelly
23rd May 2016
blank

Competition on the high street is fierce these days, but River Island is one retailer that continues to up its game. Last year saw the release of its first RI Studio range, a limited-edition capsule collection of well-designed, beautifully finished pieces targeting a slightly older customer. The price point is considerably higher than standard stock, but the quality of the pieces is evident in the fabrics (silk, suede and leather), finishes (ornate lining, pockets, zip detailing) and design details (contrasting panels, eyelet detailing and asymmetric cuts). This season’s embroidered sleeveless trench coat is one of my favourites.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 08.39.46
Navy sleeveless trench coat, RI Studio, €120 at River Island

Tomorrow sees the launch of the brand’s first 23-piece activewear range, which I tested out on a 5k run over the weekend. When I first began running a year ago – not really knowing what I was looking for – I bought a couple of pairs of leggings from two well-known and inexpensive high street stores, only to wear each piece once and then discard them because they simply didn’t perform, ie, they’d slowly start to slide down my hips as I gathered pace – I ran my first ever Parkrun while hitching up my cheapy leggings at every half kilometer. Not a good look.

Thankfully, River Island hasn’t simply jumped on this sartorial bandwagon (H&M is also launching its For Every Victory sports collection on July 21 in advance of?the Olympic Games, while Topshop recently released Beyonce’s Ivy Park collaboration) without bearing in mind that the difference between activewear and ready-to-wear is performance technology. Style is important, but substance is vital. So the RI Active leggings have a thick high-waisted band, which is both flattering and comfortable, and they have enough stretch that they look good on (no sagging) and stay properly fitted no matter how vigorously I moved or how hard I worked (I ran inclines, slopes and steep steps before finishing with a variety of stretching exercises to really find out how the pieces felt and functioned) and the bra tops are designed with a double layer for extra support, while the vests and cropped tops are made using breathable fabrics to minimise perspiration.

In line with the brand’s youthful, urban aesthetic, the pieces come in camouflage prints, with bold slogans (Work Hard Play Hard) and pops of neon colour. Having said that, there’s enough variety in the collection of shorts, vests, giblets, fleeces etc to allow for a fairly low-key, monochromatic look if you prefer. I like the camouflage print pieces. It can be difficult to find sportswear with a pattern that isn’t psychedelic, so these are a subtle alternative to the black and grey pieces I usually wear. Since my naive purchases last year, I’ve invested in two?(pricey) branded sportswear looks. For me, Skins is the best in terms of?appearance and performance, but River Island comes a surprisingly close second, beating the other global sportswear brand hands down on style and substance.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 09.20.45
Tank top, €25

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 08.54.49
Cropped top, €30

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 08.56.24
Leggings, €37

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 08.55.38
Double layer zip-up top, €50

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 08.55.11
Double layer shorts, €33

 

Also Read

knitted co-ords
FASHION, SHOPPING
All you need is a light sweater: Celebrate an Irish spring with these 5 pastel knitted co-ords

We cannot get enough of knitwear sets at the minute, particular in these ice-cream shades.

By Lauren Heskin

summer staple pieces
FASHION
Want to overhaul your wardrobe? Here are 7 summer staple pieces worth investing in

This summer, we’re opting for long-lasting, sustainable clothing that can...

By Shayna Sappington

summer trends
FASHION, SHOPPING
5 summer trends to wear now even though it’s freezing

It may still feel like winter, but these are the...

By Holly O'Neill

blank
FASHION, IRISH DESIGN
Helen Cody showed us how to make a face mask at home in six simple steps

Helen Cody is one of the most celebrated and recognised...

By IMAGE

summer earrings
FASHION, SHOPPING
Summer earrings to brighten up any outfit

With the weather all over the place, we might not have packed away our jumpers just yet, but these cheerful earrings will add a sunny vibe.

By Megan Burns

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
The Rejina Pyo & Other Stories collaboration is your summer capsule wardrobe

By Holly O'Neill

blank
FASHION, SHOPPING
Striped shirts are the staple to see you through summer

By Holly O'Neill