Brown Thomas a/w19: dramatic and diverse season showcased in Trinity’s Exam Hall
Items that caught the eye included Arans from Isabel Marant and a strapless Prada dress
Brown Thomas unveils the brand new Autumn Winter 2019 International Designer Collections. Photograph: Tom Honan
“We wanted to shake things up a bit and show in different surroundings,” said Shelly Corkery, fashion director of Brown Thomas explaining the decision to present their autumn/winter collections in the lofty surroundings of the Exam Hall in Trinity College rather than the usual instore venue.
“This is a season of diversity, a celebration of femininity with fresh updates to tailoring and a nod to the 70s,” she said, dressed head to toe in Prada.
A series of high yellow arches installed in the building provided a dramatic backdrop for the season’s offerings – a mix of dark floating floral dresses counterpointed by severe black tailoring often offset with slashes of sequined décor, jewelling or in one case, an elaborate silvered snake motif (Balmain) or in the case of Versace with gold safety pin detailing. All the big luxury brands were represented – from Dior, McQueen and Valentino to Miu Miu, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Chloe, Stella McCartney and Dries Van Noten, some 90 outfits in all.
A black and white check tailored jacket and culottes from Dior were first on the catwalk its modernised 1950s teddy girl look mixing practicality with a touch of boldness while at Alexander McQueen a houndstooth fit and flare midi dress acknowledged the return of tweed in another way as did Victoria Beckham’s mannish check blazer and black pants, easy pieces for everyday wear.
Balmain’s sequin embellished metallic tweed blazer with oversize shoulders and a matching glittery mini dress played with tweed in a more extreme way. Coats varied from snakeskin trenches (Bottega Veneta) to oversize quilted duvets from Balenciaga, elaborate shearlings (Loewe) and a Victorian style black number with ruffled back details from Valentino.
Flowers blossomed in profusion from romantic long flyaway dresses in dark shades to placement prints, most notably at Prada showing skirts with magnified roses and at Richard Quinn who presented flamboyant décor on his voluminious opera coats to Dries Van Noten’s desiccated, offbeat blackened blooms. Some of the loveliest silk dresses were those by Stella McCartney with flyaway ribbons and the scalloped edged mini dresses of Valentino.
A baby doll black boudoir number trimmed with black feathers (16 Arlington) was not for the faint hearted though a standout metallic mini dress embellished with sparkling paillettes by Paco Rabanne was destined for the limelight.
Other items that caught the eye were the innovative Arans from Isabel Marant, a strapless black dress from Prada, a languid lavender floor length dress from Dries Van Noten and a supremely elegant if monastic looking navy gown from Jil Sander along with a foxy little three piece from Chloe comprising a cotton jacquard jacket, crushed velvet pants and a silk blouse.
The accessories told their own story of the season’s trends; saddle bags and top handles continue their popularity and in footwear the delicate sculptured mules and kitten heels to tough biker boots and tractor soles illustrated the same mix of femininity and masculinity expressed in the clothes. Best of all were the black stretch knee highs with shiny silver sequinned toes and heels – maybe not that practical, but oh, how glamorous and desirable. Welcome to winter; this was a great show.