Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

BT2 A/W 2013 at City Assembly House on South William St

BT2 showcased its A/W 2013 collection against a backdrop of photographer James Fennell’s Vanishing Ireland series

Wed, Aug 21, 2013, 07:30


It’s a funny thing about Ireland that you rarely meet someone once, or talk about a new exhibition once, or cross a doorway once; things seem to come all together – you meet someone for coffee, having gone years without seeing them, and then you bump into them, over and over; or you go to an exhibition only to receive a postcard from that same gallery the next week. Maybe that’s life, not just Ireland.

In any case, I was just reading about City Assembly House last week on – the very next day, these photographs, from the BT2 A/W 2013 photocall, landed in my inbox. Then on Monday, I went to visit Burtown House, a country house and gardens in Athy, tied in with a trip to Kildare Village, which is just a 15-minute drive from the house. In the café downstairs, an incredible space converted from the original coal store, is an exhibition of the very same photographs that currently stand in City Assembly House. It turns out that James Fennell, the photographer, owns Burtown House – and has done, at least in his family’s name, since the 18th century. Small world, isn’t it?

All that aside, it is a very grown up BT2 woman we meet in these autumn/winter shots – there is a certain austerity to the photographs that we don’t often witness, at least not in a photocall starring a former Miss Ireland (in the form of Holly Carpenter, recent alumnus of Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model).

There are checks, but no loud, neon, House of Holland checks; there are heels, but they come in kitten form; there are graphic prints, but they peek out from beneath the sleeves of a cape.

This MSGM sheepskin coat (€945) on Joanne may well be my favourite A/W piece so far – the texture! The colours! The block patterns, reminiscent of Céline’s S/S 2013 collection but simultaneously feeling entirely new and modern.

If I were to cite inspiration sources, I’d talk about Isabel Marant, about the off-duty style of Daria Werbowy, about Miranda Kerr, Paris, Victoria Beckham and perhaps even our own Lennon/Courtney and their return to an austere vision of sartorial history.

This MSGM floral dress (€520), incidentally, is not one of my favourites – but I couldn’t resist the chance to show you more of James’s incredible photographs, part of the Vanishing Ireland series. You can buy the books here.

A/W is at BT2 now. New labels for 2013 include Superdry, Etre Cecile, Finders Keepers, Needle & Thread, Five Units, McQ, Rag & Bone and Clover Canyon.