The Chloe spring/summer 15 collection showcased that ethereal Gallic chic that stills my Breton-loving heart, imbued by achingly cool French girls sans makeup. The collection was Haute Hippie to the max; voluminous white dresses worn with gladiator sandals, cheesecloth tunics and denim jumpsuits – accessories were nowhere to be seen. While my sartorial aspirations lie very much within the spirit of the Chloe girl, in reality I am more Dot Cotton than Gaby Aghion (Chloe’s founder, to whom the collection was dedicated).
The Chloe girl is the epitome of effortless, laid-back Bohemia; carefree and serene, she exudes femininity, sophistication and an intangible charisma that seems to ooze from her every pore. I am the perennial wench; caterwauling my way through life, the slightest hint of a breeze creeping up my neck and I’m on a one-way ticket to Whinge-ville. My hobbies include bemoaning the Irish clime, lamenting my lack of monetary stability and bewailing the every ache and bruise my not-even-middle-aged body has had to endure. No gripe goes untouched.
I’ve always been somewhat of a style chameleon. I’ve dabbled in copious trends I am not proud of. Faux dreadlocks with Dax wax to complement my Kangol hat and corduroy flares was a particularly shameful moment in my beauty regime. I like to think I have experimented with fashion throughout the years. There was the Champion jumper and Levi’s 501s stage; the tie-dye t-shirts and floral leggings phase and the bandage dresses decade that erred on the wrong side of spray-painted. And chain belts, remember chain belts?? There was even a Swarovski-encrusted pink bandana (you might laugh but it caught the eye of my first boyfriend – a real life American!). One wardrobe staple, however, that clings to my sartorial repertoire is the humble army jacket. Except instead of buying it from a man with a handlebar moustache and an undecipherable Waterford accent (complete with pitbull terrier at his heels), I now buy mine on the high street, from stores that actually stock women’s clothes.
Though I habitually reach for the gaudy colours of my wardrobe, favouring maximal looks over normcore staples, as is my whim, I sometimes crave the minimal clean lines that is embodied in this look. And while I admire those style savants that propagate a kind of everyday uniform, I hate to alleviate the option of dressing like I’m an extra on Timmy Mallet’s Wacaday on say, a Monday or a staunch Suffragette (on her day off, obviously) of a Tuesday and by the weekend I’m dressing like a goth-gone-corporate-boss in an all black power suit. Because. I. Can.
If I did adopt a signature style, I’d like to think I’d look to such insouciant beauties as Lauren Hutton, Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot, lounging around the South of France in white floaty dresses, bad-ass denim flares and bed-tousled hair. Unfortunately, I would need a) a personality transplant and b) a drastic change in circumstances before I could ever consider such impractical modes of dressing. So, I think I’ll go on embalming my corpse like a schizophrenic schoolteacher-cum-Russian spy and throw the occasional spanner in the works when the sun shines and the moon is whole. I’ve said too much.
Dress: Topshop, €50 available in store and online here.
Gladiators: Aldo, €80, available in store (Grafton Street) or online.
Photos by Patrick Murphy of Whispered Photography.