Fashion: Inspired by cherry blossom
Pink infuses Louise Kennedy’s spring collection – and it’s one of her best
With so much pink infusing the spring season, the colour’s power has never been so forceful in fashion
Craftsmanship lies at the heart of everything that Louise Kennedy does, and her spring 15 collection, one of her finest to date, is a showcase of how she masters and controls the smallest detail.
Inspired by a Japanese woodblock print of cherry blossom on a card she found in the Chester Beatty Library, it has the lightness, femininity and feeling of spring that such flowers symbolise.
Delicate embroidery embellishes her familiar shapes and accessories throughout, while the fabrics are luxurious: double georgettes, wool crepes, silk jerseys, silvery tweeds and organzas.
With so much pink infusing the spring season, the colour’s power has never been so forceful in fashion.
Kennedy’s hues and tones, from spun sugar to deeper corals, in lace dresses, soft pink cardigans and printed prom dresses, do wonders for Irish complexions, as do her tunic shapes for less than perfect figures.
A winning combination, for example, is a tunic called Pari, in hand-embroidered wool crepe, which has an added charge when worn over bright-red wool Christa cropped trousers and stilettos.
Equally impressive – and perhaps more enduring than a summer season – is a series of flattering French navy and white separates and dresses sprinkled with pearls or beading.
Prompted by a visit to the Big Sur in California, some of the showpiece items are elaborate – one gown is composed of 30,000 to 40,000 tiny sequins and crystals hand-appliquéd in India – but a simple backless dress without any adornment makes an impact in a different way.
Other notable navy dresses include one in silk jersey with pearl-trimmed sleeves and another in soft double georgette with a smocked and pearled bodice. Summery but more casual are a pair of navy culottes worn with a navy and white striped top, perfect for travelling. The designer wears a lot of navy herself.
Catering for a wide, well-heeled clientele both here and in the UK, Kennedy’s sky-blue coats, lace dresses, splash-printed fit and flare dresses seem aimed at spring weddings, special occasions or summer cocktails.
A lot of thought and effort has also gone into accessories such as new bags, jewellery and scarves, while a navy and while silk kaftan, with a bold equine motif handprinted by Mel Bradley in Drogheda, is a stylish holiday item.
Kennedy’s new bridal collection includes a dress in white lace scattered with beadwork: the fabric is from the French mill that supplied the lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding, the beading was done in Delhi.
Kennedy has been working with Sophie Hallette lacemakers in France for the past 16 years and presented the gown at the finale of her recent show adorned with a headdress made of cherry blossoms encased in tulle.
The business continues to expand. Kennedy is launching two new concessions in London next year and is currently in discussions with estate agents and investors for her US project.
In the meantime, she is putting more resources into her online site and developing a digital marketing programme.
The pieces from the collection featured here are on sale now in her Merrion Square and London flagships as well as in Brown Thomas.