Model collage showing catwalk looks from Spring Summer 2020 shows

There is no doubt that seeing a spring summer collection for the first time on a dull, wet January morning can alter your mood. We may arrive in the heavy coats of last season or if you have one, a very fancy raincoat, but that is promptly forgotten once we see first model come down the catwalk in a bright, fresh springtime hue. The bi-annual Brown Thomas press show is something I very much look forward to. For me, it sets the tone for the season, from which I will decide on my styling (work-wise that is) from now until about July. I want to see the clothes I’ve seen in JPEG form up close, admire the impeccable styling from the in house team and peruse a comprehensive set of show notes that outlines what we see. There is something extra special about this though. Yes, I get to be around these kind of collections at fashion weeks, but I don’t usually get a ticket to say Victoria Beckham in London or Bottega Veneta in Milan, so by having this show in my home town, I get to appreciate them with my eyes in real time.

spring summer 2020 – the trends…

If you are a magazine lover, you will have seen all kinds of seasonal previews with images of shows alongside images of pieces to help you understand what will hit the shops floors. But for the sake of the designer preview, Brown Thomas’ buy is succinctly assembled for the discerning fashion lover. Every season there is some kind of a decade revival and for SS20, we are heading back to the seventies and eighties. Now I am a mega fan of 70s style; the florals, the shapes the tonal colour blocking. From fluid silhouettes at Victoria Beckham, decade-driven florals at Valentino and a shade of blue that would inspire you to redecorate your whole house in it from Sportmax. This is an elegant portrayal of an era that has repeatedly given us fashion inspiration. Moving forward, Balenciaga and Balmain punctuate their collections with oversize shapes and plenty of clean lines, blurring the lines between this trend and another dominant theme, minimalism. You may have been familiar with the ‘Pouch’ bag of Bottega Veneta (instagram was awash with them last season), well as one of my favourite design houses, I will always champion whatever they do. However, I fell for the simple elegance of this collection. Seek out this as well as newcomer Nanushka for your workwear pinterest board.

Valentino Belted Crepe Dress, €2490
Bottega Veneta Nappa_Shoulder_Pouch_Bag €2200
Bottega Veneta Nappa Shoulder Pouch Bag, €2200
Prada Mixed Print Dress, €2300

Standing out amongst all the other trend is what Brown Thomas is called Neo Victoriana – to translate, puffed up sleeves, high necks and some drama. Dries Van Noten opened the show with a spectacle of detail coupled with a nod to sustainability with reworked taffeta thanks to his collaboration with Christian Lacroix . Some more subtle accents of this came through from blouses at Miu Miu, oversize silhouette from new label Khaite (pronounced Kate I established not Kite), romance from Zimmerman and decadent prints from Erdem.

Valentino Cady Giraffe Print Dress €2490
Balenciaga Pleated Magazine Mini Dress €2290

I’ve been attending these shows for nearly ten years, and this year was profound I felt. Ethereal, liquid fabrics moving down a catwalk in the modern setting of the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College; and a catwalk marked out with 96 crates of white sand made me excited. Fashion needs to do that. It needs to inspire, send you home burgeoning with ideas and spark a thought process. This did exactly that.

Images provided by Brown Thomas

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