When did Gucci get cool? (And other fashion questions)

On fashion questions, and forgetting...

There was a time, not all that long ago, when I could reel off the names of every single designer who mattered, without a second's hesitation – after all, I was responsible for writing the fashion blog at irishtimes.com, and it was not a responsibility I took lightly.

My sister, a clothing designer who has worked with Marni, John Galliano and Diane von Furstenberg, and I used to scoff at the interns who'd come through her doors and have no clue what Miuccia's surname was, or no ideas about who should succeed who at Balmain (pre-Kardashian, obviously).

But of late, I've moved slightly out of the realm of fashion – or, rather, kept one foot in and dipped the toe of my other into a few different ponds: feminism, lifestyle features and even motoring. In a way, it was a move borne of necessity; I've always loved fashion, but personal feelings about my body (more on which maybe later, when I'm feeling confessional) and its inability to fit the mould, along with that kind of disillusionment that comes (sometimes) when you work at what you love and just feel plain ol' burnt out, resulted in my falling off the fashion wagon for a while.

It's probably no coincidence that my rediscovered love of – and interest in – all things sartorial has come at the same time as my newfound ability to fit into said items. It's a fairly obvious truth that it's a whole lot easier to take an interest in fashion when you can actually wear what you're looking at. I might even be ready to go back to London Fashion Week...

All of that leads to this point: it's as if I've emerged from a bunker after two years in isolation, and am looking at the fashion world with a fresh pair of eyes. And, let me tell you, two years of not paying attention has left me with a lot of fashion questions.

When did Gucci's bags get so cool?

gucci spring summer 2016 fashion questions

Bear with me on this one, because yes, Gucci still makes some fairly run-of-the-mill, logo-laden monstrosities that I wouldn't hold with someone else's hand, but the S/S 2016 collection also contained some serious gems. The Dionysus, for one – all lightning bolts, ruffles and OTT sequins. It's like a Gucci bag that's suddenly gained a sense of humour. Then there's the Bamboo collection, which is very un-Gucci in its subtlety, and all the more beautiful for it.

Will Self Portrait ever fuck off and die?

self portrait maisie williams fashion questions

When dress rental shops – you know, where Irish celebrities go to find floor-length sequinned maxi dresses that neither suit nor fit them, for fashion awards ceremonies they'll go on to inexplicably win – start to sell knock-off versions of what's already a fairly mid-market brand, attempting to tart itself up as something more, you know the fight is over. Maisie Williams, stand up, because you're the only woman who ever made Self Portrait look cool. Everyone else, sit down.

Where did Les Petits Joueurs come from?!

les petits joueurs fashion questions This one is kind of easy to answer; founded in 2010, Les Petits Joueurs is the super-fun hi-fi fashion accessories label founded by Italian Maria Sole Cecchi – and stocked in Brown Thomas. According to Stylecaster, they became must-haves back last year, which shows how much attention I've been paying, but I like to think that, by entirely missing the hype, I liked them before they were cool. In a way. In my head. I first spotted them in BT's gorgeous new accessories hall – a shining light of bright colour and cartoonish shapes in a sea of, well, black and beige. It was love at first sight! (#stillsaving)