Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

She talks dirty in Spanish . . .

Running with a theme – the theme of Spain, which is as broad as it is predictable – here’s a quick spotlight on Zara, a Spanish store and part of the Inditex group (owned by one Armancio Ortega, who was at …

Fri, Apr 23, 2010, 09:21


Running with a theme – the theme of Spain, which is as broad as it is predictable – here’s a quick spotlight on Zara, a Spanish store and part of the Inditex group (owned by one Armancio Ortega, who was at one point the richest man in Spain), sister stores include Bershka (younger, smaller sizes, which I bet you never thought possible), Stradivarius, Oysho, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti.

Until it came to our shores, Zara was – along with H&M, in days gone by – one of the stores you could visit on holidays, come away with change from €100 and have, in your possession, some truly covetable and fashion-forward items. Now, of course, everyone can get what you can get, which does dull the shine somewhat, but there’s no doubting the fact that Zara is one of the most on-trend stores when it comes to picking up on runway looks and converting them to the high street in record time.

It’s no surprise, then, that there is a lookbook for every single month; nor is it a surprise that a weekly jaunt into Zara always – and I mean always – unearths something new, something that you didn’t see the week before (probably because it wasn’t there). The store takes regular deliveries, usually daily, and designs are churned out at a rate of knots that would, I’m sure, depress even the most successful independent designer. (How can one compete when high street stores are doing better, quicker, more frequently?)

This season, the emphasis is, unsurprisingly, on pastels: muted tones, sheer fabrics and floaty florals alongside utilitarian khaki pieces and some lovely tough denim looks. Boyfriend jeans, anyone? They may have been around for a while but they’re not going anywhere soon; get yours tapered at the ankle and wear with chunky wedges for maximum effect.




(Loving this denim-on-denim look with the brogues, which is making me want to take mine out of storage, where they’ve been languishing, unloved, for months.)



The echoes of Alexander Wang in Zara’s lookbook are beyond striking, but what I feel it conveys is that Zara does a really great line in stylish separates – items that can be mixed and matched and most definitely look more expensive than they are, because they don’t go overboard on the bells and whistles, so to speak.

My advice? Check out the tailoring, knitwear and shoes – but beware the handbags which (and I say this from sad experience) are often not as well made as one might expect. Obviously, if you can, buying in Spain is the best option – not only because it’s miles cheaper, but because you will find items that the Dublin store won’t have bought in. And so, for a few blissful weeks, you can have something no one else in Ireland has. Fighting globalisation on a sartorial front.

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