The fantasy of fashion can offer much-needed distraction

Here’s some different ways of putting colour and print together and how shorts suits can work when the cut is right

 Easter Sunday is  a time traditionally associated with rebirth and renewal, and in fashion – fresh and new ideas for spring

Easter Sunday is a time traditionally associated with rebirth and renewal, and in fashion – fresh and new ideas for spring

 

“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere” Séamus Heaney.

It’s Easter weekend, a time traditionally associated with rebirth and renewal, and in fashion – fresh and new ideas for spring. Banal though highlighting trends in the present climate may be, clothes, like other aspects of cultural life can lift the spirits in times of crisis, a distraction from more worrying preoccupations. The jewelled and embroidered face masks on the catwalks and on Billy Eilish at the Grammy Awards made their own comment on present times.

Rereading Theodora Fitzgibbon’s account of living under siege in war torn London and Paris in the 1940s, waiting for bombs to drop at any point, is a reminder that fear can be experienced and fought in different ways. Just look at the defiant quarantined Italians and the way music and comedy have been used to cheer people up, ease anxiety and relieve tension in these disquieting and unprecedented times.

Unlike today, ordinary citizens in the 1940s knew only the barest of facts of what was happening (though they could keep together – no social distancing then) “and rumours only increased the feeling of oppression and fear” wrote Fitzgibbon. “And fear had its grip in Paris in June 1940. Events happened so quickly”. Yet there was time to don her mother’s old sequined dresses from the 1920s, dance away the night and forget about the looming horrors ahead.

How to wear colour: Yellow knit € 550 Isabel Marant, floral linen trousers € 230 Faithful the Brand, pearl drop earrings € 485 Alighieri, chain bracelet € 95 Kenneth Jay Lane, yellow strappy sandals € 105 Who What Wear
How to wear colour: Yellow knit €550 Isabel Marant, floral linen trousers €230 Faithful the Brand, pearl drop earrings €485 Alighieri, chain bracelet €95 Kenneth Jay Lane, yellow strappy sandals €105 Who What Wear
The perfect summer dress: white asymmetric print dress € 1,575 Roland Mouret, white croc boots Paris Texas € 500, gold drop earrings Alexis Bittar € 320, gold cuff € 320 Alexis Bittas
The perfect summer dress: white asymmetric print dress €1,575 Roland Mouret, white croc boots Paris Texas €500, gold drop earrings Alexis Bittar €320, gold cuff €320 Alexis Bittas

This shoot was planned before Covid-19 became a threat. The idea was to show some of the new season’s offerings and how to wear them. Without downplaying the seriousness of what is happening, this may seem irrelevant to many, but to others at least it’s a chance to dream and enjoy some beautiful and distracting imagery – think of it as armchair fashion.

Price points may be high in some cases, but there are always ways in which the looks can give ideas as to how pieces can be put together in other ways for less. However, at a time when many are thinking more seriously about sustainability, the idea of investing in something that will last rather than a throwaway notion is a strong one.

How to do tailored: Lemon linen blazer € 300 Remain, white ribbed vest € 75 Dries Van Noten, lemon linen trousers € 160 Remain, blue leather clutch € 2,100 Bottega Veneta, chain link bracelet € 95 Kenneth Jay Lane, chain link earrings € 100 Kenneth Jay Lane, nude mesh shoes € 690 Bottega Veneta
How to do tailored: Lemon linen blazer €300 Remain, white ribbed vest €75 Dries Van Noten, lemon linen trousers €160 Remain, blue leather clutch €2,100 Bottega Veneta, chain link bracelet €95 Kenneth Jay Lane, chain link earrings €100 Kenneth Jay Lane, nude mesh shoes €690 Bottega Veneta
White shirt € 225 Vince, floral full skirt € 995 Dolce + Gabbana, gold cuff € 325 and gold drop earrings€ 270 both MaxMara, flat leather sandals € 490 Celine
White shirt €225 Vince, floral full skirt €995 Dolce + Gabbana, gold cuff €325 and gold drop earrings €270 both MaxMara, flat leather sandals €490 Celine

Styled by Sinead Keenan, here are some illustrations of how to reboot a tailored suit without too many literal references to the 80s, what to put with a full skirt, how shorts suits can work when the cut is right, different ways of putting colour and print together, mastering utility in a fresh way and why the trenchcoat (a first World War creation) continues to be a fail-safe staple.

How to wear luxe leathers: tan leather trench Sportsmax € 2,245, tobacco silk shirt Vince € 225, mustard yellow leather trousers, Remain € 330, hoop earrings € 50 Kenneth Jay Lane, python bag Chloe € 1,590
How to wear luxe leathers: tan leather trench Sportsmax €2,245, tobacco silk shirt Vince €225, mustard yellow leather trousers, Remain €330, hoop earrings €50 Kenneth Jay Lane, python bag Chloe €1,590
The trench; key investment piece. Pleated trench € 550 Weekend MaxMara, blue oversized shirt € 280 Acne, white trousers € 235 Solace London, tortoiseshell hoop earrings € 50 Kenneth Jay Lane, woven bag € 295 Weekend MaxMara
The trench; key investment piece. Pleated trench €550 Weekend MaxMara, blue oversized shirt €280 Acne, white trousers € 235 Solace London, tortoiseshell hoop earrings €50 Kenneth Jay Lane, woven bag €295 Weekend MaxMara
How to wear shorts: Mint trench € 1,195 MaxMara, pastel green blazer € 600 Acne, blue silk shirt € 290 Vince, pastel green shorts € 300 Acne, white woven bag € 1,500 Bottega Veneta, white woven mules € 990 Bottega Veneta,squared hoop earrings € 40 Baublebar
How to wear shorts: Mint trench €1,195 MaxMara, pastel green blazer €600 Acne, blue silk shirt €290 Vince, pastel green shorts € 300 Acne, white woven bag €1,500 Bottega Veneta, white woven mules €990 Bottega Veneta,squared hoop earrings €40 Baublebar
70s elegance: Pink ruffled blouse € 690 Victoria Beckham, cream flared trousers € 385 Victoria Beckham, tan sandals € 135 Carvela, gold drop earrings € 270 MaxMara
70s elegance: Pink ruffled blouse €690 Victoria Beckham, cream flared trousers €385 Victoria Beckham, tan sandals €135 Carvela, gold drop earrings €270 MaxMara

Photography: Oliver Pearce assisted by Craig Teunissen; styling Sinead Keenan assisted by Katie Grogan, hair by David Cashman, make up Rebecca Loughlin for Charlotte Tilbury; model: Hanna at Elite, location: Bond Street Studios.

All clothes can be purchased online from Brown Thomas, Dublin. www.brownthomas.ie

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