In a major break with tradition Brown Thomas today released a 20-minute fashion film showcasing their autumn/winter 2020 luxury collections, a virtual alternative to the usual live catwalk presentations and a creative way of dealing with Covid-19 restrictions.
“Adaptability is the key trend this season and we are very agile,” said fashion director Shelly Corkery, who explained that the project had been planned behind closed doors during lockdown.
Directed by Perry Ogden, with music by Josh Marshall and styling by Darren Feeney, some 80 outfits from top international designers were filmed in August with six models in locations across the country on a road trip that took a week to complete.
“We wanted to use Ireland’s stunning landscapes to display the allure of this season’s collections, as well as celebrating our beautiful country,” Corkery said, as the film opened with sweeping views of Connemara. A model standing in a long grey military style coat on Glassillaun beach set the tone of the show. Locations included the Burren in Co Clare, Mayfield House in Lismore, Co Waterford, Delphi Lodge in Leenane, Co Galway, Huntington Castle in Clonegall, Co Carlow and the Carlow Visual art gallery.
The reinvented format echoed the theme of reimagined classics running throughout the collections and a look of strong femininity in an Irish setting. The revival of vintage, craft and heritage was expressed through reconsidered proportions, particularly in tailoring and updated silhouettes enhanced with vibrant colours.
Get out your tweeds for winter was the message – the double-breasted tweed coat appeared in various guises, most notably in pink houndstooth from Balenciaga (€2,790), sleeveless at Dior (€3,700) with traditional fit and flare shapes in Glen checks from Prada (€2,700), Dolce & Gabbana (€2,450) and Alexander McQueen (€2,490).
Less conventional coats included a tiered hem wool number from J W Anderson (€1,250), Max Mara’s camel coat with sloping shoulder and puffed sleeves (€1,790) and one in floral quilt from Dries Van Noten (€1,900).
Modernised tartans and checks had a cool new vibe at Miu Miu – which were presented in tableau in the drawing room of Huntington Castle – in a Black Watch tartan coat with a velvet collar (€2,650) and a black and white skirt (€950) topped with a demure lace collared mohair cardigan (€1,190).
For women interested in a modern tailored suit, J W Anderson’s flared panel check blazer (€890) and ankle bowed trousers (€490) were a new take on a familiar combination such as Balenciaga’s fitted check jacket (€2,250) with a nicked hem skirt (€750). Knits varied from the red sculpted sweaters of Alexander McQueen (€974) to finer alternatives like those from Bottega Veneta in lemon or black (€689) and cropped jumpers from Prada (€950).
And then the dresses. From a foxy leopard print mini (€2,300 from Prada) to Erdem’s long romantic florals (€1,560) and Dries Van Noten’s bold printed silk dresses (€1,125), this will be a winter of prints, the most daring and different the rose and daisy motifs of Richard Quinn (€450 & €695) and the black and blue florals (€595) of newcomer, Belgian designer Bernadette, a mother and daughter team.
Elsewhere fluttery silk logo print dresses from Balenciaga (€2,490) and Valentino (€3,290) could be warmed up with ochre puffa jackets from Bottega Veneta (€1,850).
Unlike a live show, the fashion film format, a combination of image and sound, in a mobile friendly culture allows the viewer more time to see clothes in motion and up close. At a time when fashion is facing a moment of change, it may be a more effective and democratic medium to communicate looks than the traditional runway.
This beautiful Brown Thomas film, free of artifice, can be viewed online from Saturday. Visit brownthomas.ie for more details.