Having been a seasoned fashion show goer, there’s an aesthetic I always expect. White and bright, rows of benches painted in the same hue, plastic covered catwalks providing more glare than my anti-glare glasses can bear, fashionistas and editors milling around to find a seat while balancing phones, bags, multiple sheets of paper with press releases, and amongst that a cup and saucer of much needed caffeine. But there has been a shift. Walking into the transformed Designer Rooms at Dublin’s most iconic store, I needed a torch and not my sunglasses. A demure, sultry, dark-gets-gothic setting met my eyes with pure intrigue. BT was going rayless. To channel the undercurrent of their AW18 buy, the setting was a complete contrast to the BT shows of past seasons. And another welcome surprise, a paperless show. Guests were provided with an individual ipad to read show notes, the running order and the mood board illustrating this season’s looks. Honestly, I was a bit glued to the interior and could hardly believe where I was. There goes retail messing with my head again. But seriously, it’s so clever and if its aim was to spark a talking point, then it created a choir. Brown Thomas Autumn Winter 2018

Rather than go through the defined trends underpinning the buy, I’d rather talk through the stand out moments for me (aside from the interior and sultry music). In terms of designers, hitting the mark for me are Loewe, Dries Van Noten and Gucci for very different reasons. I’m having a love affair with JW Anderson at the Madrid based fashion house right now – mainly because of its version of suiting. No office wear wardrobe should be without. Dries has never been my thing, but this time I’m enraptured with his checks. Gucci never fails to entertain my fashionable mind; I love the busyness, the hectic styling; you don’t know which part of the look to digest first. That’s what fashion should be. Jeez, Alesandro keep up the good work. 

Brown Thomas Autumn Winter 2018

Black will, undoubtedly, be a thing. For next season check out Givenchy’s tassles and  asymmetric ruffles from Valentino for inspiring additions to the LBD. Making its mark is Off-White’s athleisure inspired looks (I way prefer the menswear btw); it’s an exciting time for Virgil Abloh as he also takes on the reins of menswear at Louis Vuitton. This is a brand that will resonate for a long time and I love the balance of off-duty wear versus feminine staples. Off-White are also champions of the return of the logo. Get ready to tell everyone who you are wearing, whether it’s a Versace denim mini, or a Balenciaga rain coat. Designer names need to be displayed on every available surface. Hello to the 90s. 

Brown Thomas Autumn Winter 2018

As well as my own sartorial observations, there are also many a classic piece from Victoria Beckham, Givenchy, Stella McCartney and Roksanda. But what floats my boat is the newness and this makes me very grateful that we have such a mecca of fashion at our doorstep and that Shelley Corkery is at the helm. 

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