Yesterday morning, Karen Millen held a press preview of the brand’s S/S 2013 collections in the Cliff Town House on Stephens’ Green – and the big news for this season is that KM is going casual! Now, for staunch devotees of the brand this doesn’t mean they’re getting rid of any of their bestsellers: the occasionwear, suffice it to say, is staying. But alongside your tailored pencil skirts, embellished dresses and standout coats you’ll be getting boyfriend jeans, denim dresses and leopard print jeans (my faves, above right).
The major stories for S/S are threefold: we’ve got a very bright, casual but graphic tale, with monochrome forming the collection’s mainstay and a lot of clean lines (gone are the soft florals of seasons past); a look at animal prints, structured and tailored denim (see above) and great separates in trousers and tops; and then, of course, the standout “going to a wedding” dresses that you might think of when first you hear the name Karen Millen.
Monochrome! The maxi dress on the right was gorgeous, as was the circle skirt on the left – although a part of me really wished it was done in navy, for more of a Roman Holiday feel. I do love, however, how KM has gone more understated on its handbag hardware; remember the days when the bags used to scream “KAREN MILLEN” at you from across the bus? Long gone.
More casualwear, the type of stuff I’d imagine wearing to a job interview for a creative role, or on a first date – basically, what I’d imagine the woman who goes out in that LBD (left) wearing to pick up the kids from her Range Rover. Is it me? Probably not, but it’s definitely a certain type of woman and I can see it selling really well, especially that super-flattering (but not sloppy) black printed tee.
The monochrome story was punctuated by bursts of colour (my New Year’s resolution being not to say “pop of colour” any more!) in the form of orange, yellow and coral. The right-hand dress also comes in white, if I remember correctly, and was gorgeous in real life, if a leeeeettle short.
Lastly, bodycon! And honestly I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this is (a) what I think of when I go into Karen Millen and (b) the reason I don’t shop there. I don’t have the body of a supermodel, so I don’t want to wear skintight dresses, and not only do I find a lot of stretch satin in KM, I find that even the 16 (I’m usually a 14) won’t go near me. Irritating!
That said, the new collection did make me determined to go and have a second look, and maybe even brave their fitting rooms again! (Last time I went into a Karen Millen fitting room, I was mortified while trying to zip a size 16 dress up my obviously enormous back. The helpful sales assistant took one look at me and said, “would you like to try that with a heel?” HONESTLY – the mind boggles!)
Are you a fan of Karen Millen? What do you think of the latest duds, all of which are coming in store now – but for specifics on any particular item, leave a comment and I’ll double check for you!