120 chic fashion looks were expertly styled by Catherine Condell with fashion from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Marks & Spencer, Avoca, Magee 1866, AndTate and Dundrum Town Centre …
At this year’s Look the Business fashion show at The Gloss Gala 2023, 120 chic fashion looks were expertly styled by Catherine Condell with fashion from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Marks & Spencer, Avoca, Magee 1866, AndTate and Dundrum Town Centre. The thirty gorgeous models who marched down the runway with polished ponytails, glossy skin and perfect make-up (hair was by Christian Shannon and make-up by Dearbhla Keenan, both at Brown Sugar) gave the show a truly international flavour. How would we describe the looks? Elegant and high-functioning. Just like the women in the audience. These are clothes we can see ourselves adding to basket without delay and indeed, some guests were actually shopping online in real time! Scroll below to see the highlights – and watch the video …
Brown Thomas opened the show by showcasing designers Max Mara, Prada, Carolina Herrera, Celine, Dries Van Noten, Balmain, Valentino and Victoria Beckham – in other words, the contents of a dream wardrobe. The camel coat took centre stage with iterations from Prada and Max Mara storming the runway (name a more covetable classic), the perfect foil to XL dramatically tailored suiting by Saint Laurent, while a chocolate leather coat by Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe was the definition of modern luxury. It wasn’t all about daywear, though. Dazzling dresses fused elegance with contemporary craftsmanship: a black feather cocktail dress by London Irish designer Richard Quinn wowed the audience who responded with spontaneous applause. A heart-stoppingly beautiful red chiffon dress with bow, by Dolce & Gabbana, took eveningwear to the next level.
Work and post-work event dressing looks must hit the sweet spot between contemporary style and timeless appeal. This was the case with the edit of Arnotts womenswear collections, all of which nailed the brief for what women really want to wear. Contemporary and cool, brands like Second Female and Essentiel Antwerp were shown alongside do-it-all dresses by Rixo and Stine Goya, and a versatile jumpsuit by Tara Jarmon. Equally, the classics held just as much appeal: Weekend Max Mara (the perfect go-to for polished pieces with an off-duty sensibility) featured a Prince of Wales check coat with Fair Isle sleeves, a gorgeous riff on a classic, while Polo Ralph Lauren’s burgundy wool coat and matching satin dress channelled serious festive glamour.
Magee1866 showed clothes to cherish – both this winter and for seasons to come, with traditional fabrics like houndstooth and herringbone providing practical solutions for your wardrobe. Opening the show was the Klara tweed wrap jacket in black and white houndstooth: with its deep shawl collar and waisted belt, it’s one of those outerwear pieces that will always feel warm and luxurious. Equally as notable is the art of layering – an oatmeal polo-neck sweater chimed perfectly with a camel and grey box-check peacoat, while a Liberty print blouse was subtle but striking underneath a cable-knit sweater and a khaki houndstooth coat. These are traditional pieces with wear-anywhere appeal.
Avoca has expanded its range of fabulous fashion with labels like Tommy Hilfiger and French now available at the much-loved Irish retailer. Opening the segment was a striking plaid coat which is designed by the Avoca team and woven at the Avoca mill in Co Wicklow – a piece for the shopper who wants to buy pieces she’ll keep forever. There was an emphasis on versatility, vital for a working wardrobe: statement outerwear was worn with casual-cool staples such as denim shirts by Selected Femme and nostalgic wide-leg denim trousers by Tommy Hilfiger. And then there were the joyful buys. Velvet! Sequins! Lurex! Lavish pieces like Blank’s cropped velvet kimono jacket and Part Two’s champagne sequined jacket are perfect for an event, an occasion or just a drink. Our tip? Buy the matching sequined camisole and skirt: the time for glamour is now.
The M&S collection is always inspirational, and this show displayed the depth and breadth of the store’s fashion, from brilliant elevated everyday pieces to serious, sparkly glamour. And it majored on the bold use of colour. Certain ones ruled the roost; namely, black, red, and chocolate brown. We will always endorse black and loved Marks & Spencer’s cool faux leather blazer, a faux fur coat and a black sequined column dress rippling with after-dark glamour. Chocolate brown – the shade of the season – also featured, with a chestnut faux shearling coat paired with silver and taupe sequined shirt and matching trousers, delivering a lesson in magic mixing. The final piece, a red bouclé coat, had the audience Clicking to Add in real time.
If you are wondering how to do all-out dressing up this season, look no further than AndTate. The creation of celebrated Irish fashion designer Sharon Hoey and Richard Tate, the brand has fast become a go-to for the considered dresser who likes flattering elegance in a high fashion silhouette. It would be difficult to choose between the smoky lilac Eclipse top with its bateau neckline and belle sleeves and the Carolina plum crepe and satin dress with a satin-tie neckline. Our favourite piece? The black Anastasia taffeta ball skirt is memorable. Forget fleeting trends – these are the items you call upon when you are seeking something truly special. And you will have them – and wear them – forever.
Dundrum Town Centre closed the show – and it was a striking finale. From Hobbs came a faux fur coat worn with a black lurex polo-neck sweater and pleated satin skirt, from Mint Velvet, khaki satin bomber jackets, sculpted sweaters and tailored cargo pants – the kind of pieces you actually want to wear in your downtime. Meanwhile, there were no shortage of options for those seeking something ultra-smart to wear after work. A chocolate Prince of Wales check coat by LK Bennett struck a chord with the audience, 16 Arlington’s black feather top was suitably decadent and the scene stealer – a black ballgown in fabric of the moment, taffeta, by Pinko at Harvey Nichols – was pitch-perfect.