Brown Thomas SS24: The power shoulder is a definite trend in a diverse and dramatic spring show

Expectations were high as spring fashion shows are early indicators of the new season and new beginnings, uplifting the spirits after the long winter

The Brown Thomas spring-summer fashion show took place this week in a spectacular location – the award-winning Exo Building on Dublin’s North Docks, the highest office building in the city. From the 15th floor there were panoramic 360-degree views of the city.

Expectations were high too as spring fashion shows – like snowdrops – are early indicators of the new season and new beginnings, uplifting the spirits after the long winter.

This time a feeling of nostalgia suffused many a collection with references to the 1990s along with classic tailoring and more daring statements. According to Shelly Corkery, buying director of Brown Thomas, “they showcase a diverse range of trends with wide audience appeal”.

Some 100 outfits were opening with Dries Van Noten’s soft, sandy separates – sweeping floor-length coats and trousers – and closing with studded black leather skirt suits from Prada.

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Though there were any number of dreamy ballerina and tent dresses in floral prints or pleats (Dior, Balenciaga), others were tiny frilled minis (which looked coquettish topped with a navy jacket at Miu Miu), spare, close-fitting shifts (Oscar de la Renta, Versace) to long blowsy rose prints (Richard Quinn, McQueen, Erdem).

A look from the Brown Thomas SS24 show.
A look from the Brown Thomas SS24 show.
A look from the Brown Thomas SS24 show

A lot of black was noticeable with oversized baseball shoulders creating a more forceful, military look. Geometric and angular, the power shoulder was a definite trend throughout but not one that suits every shape and like those in the 1980s, can quickly date.

There were collections that captured the modern spirit in different ways – Issey Miyake stood out this season free of its more conventional pleats; from the first pink draped dress of Grecian elegance to a simple white double-breasted coat, one piece was more beautiful than the next.

Equally alluring were three outfits from Oscar de la Renta, a black dress with a Puritan-style white lace collar, a strapless yellow floral number and a white T-shirt dress, its only ornamentation a bold green flourish.

All these suggested a life of leisure and ease, but when it came to more sporty looks, Celine’s tweed or leather jackets worn with jeans, Balenciaga’s denim jumpsuits and Prada’s stylish cowboy-fringed jackets upped the ante on more street-smart dressing.

Elsewhere, Victoria Beckham’s asymmetrically cut white slip dresses and dusty blue ruched silks tend to suit toned bodies like hers, while Erdem’s overprinted tweed jackets and pleated skirts were a stylish modern take on English country staples.

Strategic cut-out dresses and barely-there tops and skirts gave way to the more dynamic and sexy offerings from Dolce & Gabbana – gorgeous, soft, transparent black lace dresses that revealed as much as they concealed.

It was left to Richard Quinn to end the show with a heart-stopping finale of ethereal gowns, silvery white mini dresses and feathery rose-printed shifts to set the girlish heart a flutter.

As Corkery promised – and delivered – this was a spring show that was diverse, delicate, romantic and dramatic with many new silhouettes and multiple choices for the forthcoming season.