Look - no pearls!

 

THIS is a first look at the latest collection from Irish designer Louise Kennedy. Her spring/summer range has been captured by English fashion photographer John Swannell, who's currently causing a stir with his pictures in the centenary edition of County Life - they show women wearing pearls but absolutely nothing else.

For his Louise Kennedy shoot, Swannell allowed the model to wear slightly more clothing. "They were really lovely and easy to photograph," he says of Kennedy's work. "It's a good sign that Louise has got it right."

Although the designer continues to offer devoted customers the kind of crisply tailored suits and separates with which she first made her name, as this photograph indicates, she is also providing a softer style in tune with the present mood for delicate fabrics and prints.

Ever since Louise Kennedy provided the ensemble worn by the President, Mrs Robinson, at her inauguration in 1990, demand for Kennedy's designs both at home and overseas has grown steadily. Already stocked by British department stores such as Liberty's, Fortnum & Mason, Simpsons and Austin Reed, her latest coup is to be taken on by Harvey Nichols which will carry the Kennedy line from next autumn.

AND as if she wasn't soaring high enough already, Louise Kennedy has now been awarded the contract to design new uniforms for Aer Lingus staff. Since these are not due to come into use until 1998, it will be some time before we can bring you a first look at the next Kennedy range.