Spend an hour with me and you’ll realise I’m more at home slugging a pint of milk (metaphorically though, I don’t actually drink milk) and a sausage roll on the daily walk from Centra in my pjs than swanning about through unmolested fields in a ladylike dress. Ever since my favourite cream broderie anglaise dress reached its end through a cruel twist of fate (a plate full of piping hot curry thrust upon it and thus purging its purity) enacted by the poor man’s answer to Faulty Tower’s Manuel, I’ve been of the opinion that it’s better to be under-dressed than over-dressed. I once procured a severe case of stigmata after wearing some six inch heels on a night out. I have borne scars resembling those inflicted by Medieval torture weapons as a consequence of wearing a boned corset. When the fashion world embraced Vetements (helmed by Balenciaga’s new creative director, Demna Gvasalia), I rejoiced. ‘Finally, the rest of the world has caught up with me,’ I thought. It is now officially cool to look like you’re cleaning the toilet after a heavy night binging on Strongbow and Johnny Blues. So, why then, does it suddenly seem less appealing? Perhaps because I spend so much of my time actually toiling through domestic chores that when given the chance, I’ll ditch the it-status DHL t-shirt for a little Desperate Housewives inspired glamour? And although I adore the grunged-up underground aesthetic and ethos of Vetements, there’s something quite tragically un-authentic about buying a DHL logo t-shirt for €245 when you can get the real thing for close to €20.
I once performed in a play where each character had an avian alter-ego. Mine was the cuckoo. Or the swan. I can’t really remember. What I do recall is that my character would traverse downstage, locate the spotlight and perform a monologue comparing herself to afore-mentioned bird while sleazy saxophone music played in the background. Although I was extremely dedicated to researching my role, going full Daniel Day Lewis (never go full Daniel Day) and spending an entire day in rehearsals as a swan (or cuckoo, does it really matter?), I never really related to that bird. But the magpie, however, is a kindred spirit. Like the common Irish garden bird, I too, am brash, loud and renowned for my noisy harsh sounds. I love rummaging through discarded rubbish bags left for the council binmen and I am drawn towards shiny objects. It seems, too, that my fash-pack friends J.W. Anderson, Nicholas Ghesquiere and Hedi Slimane feel the same way and this spring summer 2016 saw designers go full metal jacket to the shiny side. From Saint Laurent’s 80s inspired asymmetic mini-dresses to the ruched foil futuristic details at Louis Vuitton, it seems that everybody is starry-eyed.
Pleats were a big story this season and Stella McCartney came up trumps with her metallic asymmetric hemlines in bold hues. This green midi dress reminded me of a cross between my sisters debs dress in the 80s and the new Gucci collection by fashion’s newest darling, Alessandro Michele. I’ve been told I ‘have Africa’ in my eyes (thanks Paddy) when I wear green and I do enjoy embodying continents so this Topshop dress was a must-have. Paired with this Hermes pleated scarf, I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille.
Photography: Matthew Reilly
Styling and concept: Me
Drop-down bracelet: Om Diva
Boots: Public Desire at Siopaella, buy them here