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Image / Fashion

Sonya Lennon: How Clothes Can Help You Command The Room


by Holly O'Neill
13th Sep 2016

Sonya Lennon

Female entrepreneurs are reimagining traditional 9-5 dressing – stuffy suits no longer equal cool and in control. We meet three business women who’ve found a personal style that conveys confidence and authority. First up, we speak to Sonya Lennon in this month’s issue of IMAGE magazine.

Sonya Lennon began her career as a stylist before moving into TV presenting. She subsequently co-founded fashion label Lennon Courtney before devising the concept for online shopping app Frockadvisor with Brendan Courtney, frockadvisor.com.

Literally and figuratively, I wear many hats on any given day. So when I get dressed in the morning, I have to think about what I’m saying and to whom. If I have a meeting, I’m extremely conscious of what it is the clothes I wear say about me. It’s good to look strong, in control and confident, so absolutely no cardigans! I never want my clothes and image to be a distraction, but it’s good to wear something that people remember. Colour is an emotive cattle prod, and my bubblegum pink Lennon Courtney trousers are absolutely unapologetic and pretty memorable. I’ve picked up some incredible pieces from independent boutiques and designers on Frockadvisor. I recently found the most beautiful Chanel silk shirt from the fabulous House of Portobello in Galway and a sequinned Maje jacket from the Aladdin’s cave that is Platform in Rathgar. I always wear a good strong lipstick in matte. Bobbi Brown and Tom Ford both do great pigments that don’t dry your lips.

Lennon Courtney is, of course, my go-to label. It’s lovely to design the pieces you want to wear. I’ve been thinking about how difficult it is to find a good fitted jacket. Brendan and I created the Lennon Courtney biker in our first collection, and I think it’s time to reimagine it. It’s a gap in my wardrobe, which I plan to fill. I also enjoy shopping in pre-loved stores such as Siopaella and Ruby Ruby. Anything I have ever bought by Prada has been an enduring investment. I’m also a fan of vintage Sonia Rykiel.

A fitted dress and/or tailored jacket are my staples when I want to feel empowered. I’m naturally curvy, so if I don’t define my waist, I look wider and shorter than I am. Wish list labels include Victoria Beckham for form and Prada for madness.

Before I became a business owner, I was a lot more experimental. I wouldn’t have been averse to wearing a turban! But there is a base level of expectation in business in terms of how you present yourself. Once you hit that, though, you can throw in a little crazy.

WHAT DOES YOUR WORKWEAR SAY ABOUT YOU? Confident, strong and creative, which is how I feel (most days!).

YOUR LAST PURCHASE?? An amazing pair of Perspex and crystal vintage earrings from Vintage Finds You (vintageclothes.ie).

YOUR SIGNATURE HANDBAG???A gorgeous metallic orange tote from Soul Woman in Glasthule for day-to-day. Then little items of beauty from Pauric Sweeney and Prada for downtime.

SHOES BY?? Yesterday, Miu Miu; today, Dries Van Noten; tomorrow, Pierre Hardy.

PROFESSIONAL ICON? Tilda Swinton.

FINISHING TOUCH? Always lipstick.

THE APP YOU CAN?T BE WITHOUT? Frockadvisor, of course.

STATEMENT OR FINE JEWELLERY? A little from column A, a little from column B.

This article originally appeared in the October issue of IMAGE, on shelves nationwide now.