Arnotts spring fashion show – a brand spectacular


'Tis the season for S/S 2017 show – last week, it was Brown Thomas, and this week, the Arnotts spring fashion show was the highlight on the fash pack calendar. (Don't you just hate when people say things like that earnestly, like "the fash pack" is somehow a group of individuals, as distinct from, say, "journalists whose jobs are flexible enough to let them swan off to fashion shows during the day"? Anyway, I digress.) Previously, the Arnotts spring fashion show has taken place off-campus, so to speak: one year, it was in the Round Room in the Rotunda (which is an incredible space and which, next week, will play host to Debenhams' S/S 2017 show); another, it was in the Morrison Hotel's art gallery space. This year, though, Arnotts came home and hosted the show, Brown Thomas-style, on the accessories floor.

It's a smart move, really – a visual reminder of what Arnotts is. And what's that? Well, it's a Dublin institution, for one but, more than that, it's the country's largest department store and, as a result, has a massive selection of brands and products. The Arnotts spring fashion show is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that.

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

Things started out with some beautiful monochrome ensembles – a soft, dusty pink trench layered over soft three-quarter length trousers (are these a trend? I hope so; they're far nicer than culottes), followed by a cornflower blue get-up and all accessorised with very fresh, dewy makeup and undone hair (that's the thing, then – Brown Thomas did the same).

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

Then we had a trend shift into "the new nautical", and Arnotts' strength and weakness are revealed simultaneously. On the one hand, there is really something in the store for everyone, from your granny to your baby niece (on which note, the childrenswear section is actually incredible and has so many brands); on the other, it can be slightly tough to pinpoint exactly who the Arnotts customer is, which makes the Arnotts spring fashion show a very eclectic affair.

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

In one fell swoop, we see casual office attire in the form of a bomber and slacks combo; in the next, it's an embellished jumpsuit from Miss Selfridge* (a relatively new addition to Arnotts, I think, which makes sense as it was one of the main brands on the ground floor of Clery's before its closure) – both relatively Millennial-appropriate rig-outs.

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

Following on from those fresh, young ensembles, we have a distinctly more grown-up pencil skirt and soft knit combo, before revealing what was my absolute favourite – a sequined co-ord by Ganni*. The rub? The outfit will cost you roughly €1,000, which places the Ganni customer in a completely different realm to, say, the Miss Selfridge customer.

Arnotts spring fashion show Rosemary Mac Cabe

And y'know what? Though it might make for a somewhat confusing theme where the Arnotts spring fashion show is concerned, it's no bad thing. Unlike, say, River Island*, Topshop* or even somewhere like & Other Stories*, no one would ever say "oh, Arnotts just doesn't suit me" or "I'd never find anything I like there".

In fact, now that both Charlotte Tilbury* and MAC* are in situ in Arnotts; Joe's is now stocking Alchemy's kale crack; and you can get some of the best pizza ever in Cotto, I may never cross the Liffey again...

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