I could start with all the usual clichés – that the Brown Thomas AW 2016 press preview is a highlight of the season, and a tantalising glimpse at what’s to come in fashion… But while that would be true, it’s a whole lot more than that. First at foremost, the Brown Thomas show is a press preview – so it’s a chance to sit in the same room with a whole host of people from the same industry, catch up and get some good gossip. (Although, I have to say, yesterday was high on fashion, low on gossip.)
We arrive, we drink tea and coffee, then we sit – in an allocated zone (1-8), a new development in the last two seasons. There’s great fun to be had trying to figure out whether or not the seating is hierarchical. The bods at BT swear not, and as I was seated in zone 8, I desperately want to believe them, but I remain suspicious.
The show starts at 8.45am – it’s down to start at 8.30am, but this is Ireland, where nothing starts on time and, frankly, I’m shocked that it’s kicked off before 9am (it’s a good thing I didn’t take those extra 20 minutes in bed) and we bed down to get a good look at what we can expect from A/W 2016.
Though the show itself contains a wide array of looks – 90, to be precise – the tone is set in terms of décor, which is sleek and modern, with warm amber accents, and the beauty look, which brings a cohesion to the fashion which, otherwise, would be wildly haphazard. This season, we’re looking at a kind of 1970s-cum-1990s boho Gothic: think dishevelled, matte textured hair with Farrah Fawcett bangs (but, rather than perfectly curled, these tresses are unwashed and hanging heavily in a nod to 90s grunge); bleached-out brows; and a warm, burnt orange shadow, winged out towards the outer corners of the eyes.
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A photo posted by Shelly Corkery (@shelly.corkery) on
In terms of what we can expect from our fashion this A/W, there were a few welcome surprises. Most winter seasons bring with them an abundance of khaki and a strong military theme, both of which were absent from this show. Instead, florals are getting a dark, grungy makeover, and there are influences from both punk and urban streetwear filtering into the mainstream – take your 1990s layering and add a super-cool, Scandi touch and you’re on the right track.
I adored this quirky Gucci look (above) for its playfulness – Gucci’s doing that very well right now – and the fact that I can see little touches filtering down on to the high street with very little effort.
What’s new and noteworthy?
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Peter Pilotto is a label that can be relied on for futuristic, robotic screen prints – which is why this season’s added details, in the form of embellished and adorned collars and cuffs, made such a welcome change. Where, in seasons past, there was no need to check the label, this had me questioning, “is that really Peter Pilotto?” But, y’know, in a good way. I want everything.
Can we please not with dresses over trousers again? Haven’t we suffered through this trend before, and been very, very sorry back then, too?! Say it ain’t so! (Totally love this adorable photograph, mind you, by young overachiever Aaron Hurley.)
And… the Brown Thomas AW 2016 finale
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One of the nicest surprises of the day was the addition of a new brand to the fold – Maticevski, an Aussie-based designer who makes a great addition to Brown Thomas’s eveningwear stable, in the form of beautiful gowns with origami detailing. LOVE.
The post-show digest
Afterwards, of course, is the almost equally important aspect: breakfast! We mooched upstairs to the third-floor restaurant for brekkie, fashion-style (no bread): smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, or poached eggs with pear, walnut, blue cheese and avocado (a taste sensation I’ll definitely be repeating). And, y’know, some all-important photo taking on those gorgeous geometric tiles. Once an Instagrammer, always an Instagrammer…
I was invited to the Brown Thomas AW 2016 press show as a guest of Brown Thomas. This is not a sponsored post; all opinions are my own. For more on my attitude to freebies, sponsorship and advertising, check out my disclaimer. And please, do let me know if you liked this post, or if you’re bored reading about fancy events that journalists and bloggers get invited to. I want to create content you want to read / watch / listen to!