Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Harvey Nichols goes glam for A/W 2012

Harvey Nichols held its A/W press day and photocall last week, showcasing what’s new for the Dundrum store this season – and the focus is very much on occasionwear, which is not surprising considering Harvey Nix just opened its dedicated …

Tue, Jul 31, 2012, 10:30

   

Harvey Nichols held its A/W press day and photocall last week, showcasing what’s new for the Dundrum store this season – and the focus is very much on occasionwear, which is not surprising considering Harvey Nix just opened its dedicated “occasionwear area”. I feel as if it has spent a couple of seasons trying to get Irish customers  - perhaps, more accurately, Dundrum Town Centre customers – to buy into its particular brand of London cool, but with this new drop it has kind of given up.

And that’s not to say this is a bad thing: the customer is, after all, always right, and if Irish customers want occasionwear in the form of Beulah London (above, with an Edel Ramberg hat), beloved of one K Middy, well, Harvey Nichols is going to give it to them. I had a wee bit of a chat with Charlotte Southern, womenswear buyer at Harvey Nichols, about what’s going on for A/W and what we should be looking out for.

What were the main influences Harvey Nix was looking at for the season ahead?

We were inspired by opulent colours, prints and brocade with a ladylike silhouette. A luxurious and rich look – a backlash against austerity.

With the strong focus on occasionwear, do you see people going for more high-end or statement pieces for special occasions?

Even though customers are being more careful with their spending, they are still spending on occasionwear – be it for a day event like a wedding or the races, or an evening function. Our customers are looking for investment pieces that will last, rather than one-off wears. The Duchess of Cambridge, after all, has taken the stigma out of wearing an outfit twice!

Tell me a bit about your pick of the new labels at Harvey Nix.

Fee G is an Irish brand, and it’s great to be able to stock a homegrown brand that offers wearable pieces at a very accessible price point. Their speciality is day occasionwear that’s perfect for a wedding or a day at the races.

Philip Armstrong is a brand from Liverpool design duo Philip and Tony and it has been a runaway success in our Manchester and Birmingham stores. Harvey Nichols is Ireland’s only stockist. The brand is a favourite with celebrities from Colleen Rooney to Katy Perry.

We are really excited about hats from Jane Taylor Millinery. Jane has a devoted following of high-profile clients and members of the royal family. Having trained under the Queen’s milliner, Marie O’Regan, and worked with Bruce Oldfield to create tailor-made pieces. The Duchess of Cambridge is a loyal supporter.

What should customers be looking out for at Harvey Nix for A/W?

An A-line, skater dress or skirt silhouette, printed or brocade trousers and peplums.

Who is Harvey Nix’s customer?

We’re buying for a broad base of customers in terms of age and lifestyle. But what they have in common is a desire to look stylish, either in the current season’s trends or in classic, luxury pieces.

So there you have it! Right from the buyer’s mouth. Is Harvey Nichols a store you’re interested in? Do you regular check it out, or is it not on your radar? If you need convincing, check out more pics from the photocall after the jump.

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