In the good old days, when Dunnes was the brand leader for the high street, if you were wearing a nice item and someone admired it and wondered where you got it - the response of the day was either ‘Dun-nez Store’ or ‘Ben’s Boutique’, much the same as the response to that same compliment morphed into “Penneys!” So much so, the story goes that foreign students (Spanish and Italian in particular) actually thought that this was a form of thanks for receiving a compliment in Ireland. Anyhow, suffice to say that Penneys cornered that particular market.
Dunnes Stores has re-branded in recent times, and I am just not sure how well this has worked. We see in Dunnes now, a higher quality selection of new ‘designer lines’ with significant but somewhat modified price-tags to go with it. That’s why I would hesitate to spend big money. They have very impressive designers including Paul Costello, Carolyn Donnelly (LOVE her highly patterned designs), Peter O’Brien, and Michael Mortell. But it is Joanne Hynes that I would like to mention in particular as she recently launched her Autumn/Winter collection for Dunnes Stores. Last Saturday morning I happened to hear her being interviewed by George Lee on The Business. I like how passionate she is as a designer and how emotional she is when it comes to actually designing a new line. What I was most impressed with though, was her brief, "to be herself", from Dunnes Stores. What a fantastic carte blanche to be given and a freedom that I think is reflected in her collection, which features a very varied and quirky selection of clothing. The line is not, I think, to everyone’s liking. It is colourful, geometric with big shapes, and mixes which are quite challenging. I look forward to seeing what some of you fashionistas style some of these items with!
I rambled into my local Dunnes Stores in Roscommon recently, to see what they were favouring this season. Dunnes has always been a great spot for sourcing good basics that will take a good few wears and last the season. I was greeted by a row of TREGGINGS! What are treggings, I ask you, or maybe you might ask me? Curiosity got the better of me. What could these strange trouser/legging items be? The end of leggings and trousers? No, they are actually a very useful item, made with a nice soft stretchy (beware!) fabric. They seem to only come in black but could be life-line in a gal’s wardrobe! The difference between these and the beloved ‘jeggings' is that they have a loose leg. They're more trouser width at the end, not tight like jeggings. I’m thinking that they might work well with a nice pair of loafers. Whilst I dislike intensely these word combinations, be it jeggings, treggings, or whatever, I guess they ‘do what it says on the tin'! At an even €20, treggings are definitely worth a try!