Fashion: Here comes the summer

Inspired by a super-stylish woman she met on holiday, designer Carolyn Donnelly has come up with a simple, easy-to-pack collection in understated colours

 

With the June bank holiday looming and thoughts of free time blooming, now’s the time to start thinking of holiday dressing and summer getaways. Last year when designer Carolyn Donnelly was on holiday in Marrakesh she noticed a super stylish woman at her hotel who never wore anything but khaki, black and white. “I thought she looked amazing and so understated and by sticking to those colours, it must have been an easy way to pack”, she says. That gave her the idea for her summer collection photographed here in the more floral and flamboyant surroundings of the hothouses in the Botanic Gardens. Donnelly’s colours are less strict, but also low key with khaki, black and white, joined by navy, taupe, grey and oyster.

Most of the clothes - but not all - from black t-shirt dresses to cropped trousers and shirts are simple shapes in natural materials, 100% cotton or cotton/linen mixes. The black dress, for example, is in black jersey bordered with linen and the white linen top is backed with jersey, touches that make the difference. Trousers in cotton/linen are either cropped or drawstring and dark sarongs make useful cover ups. The “Holiday” collection does not have swimwear (that will be included next summer), but includes leather espadrilles in silver or black (good), black and white patent flats though the leopard print loafers in ponyskin are more cumbersome. Some items have unnecessary details like the elaborate ruching on white silk tunics and it’s a pity that all the print dresses had v-necks (why not round or collared as well?), but the real Breton tops are good ( 100% cotton) as are the blue chambray and navy dresses. Speaking of denim, Savida in Dunnes has a great denim tunic dress in 100% cotton, a simple flattering shape for 45.

There are additional sarongs, kaftans (in viscose) and a particularly good leather bag for 189 all in selected Dunnes Stores and online at dunnesstores.com “Next year I am going to expand this collection a bit more because people like it”, says Donnelly. Wrapped or rolled, most of these affordable items, except for the very heavy linen trousers, are easy enough to pack.

All by Carolyn Donnelly , The Edit

Photographer James Gould, model Eve Connolly at District, Hair David Cashman, Makeup Christine Lucignano, styling Carolyn Donnelly

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