Fashion: a quietly confident guide to getting dressed this autumn and beyond
Quiet luxury has dominated the fashion narrative this year, with a shift towards investment pieces that will endure
Quiet luxury has been the defining trend of 2023. It’s easy to grasp, being shorthand for understated elegance, neutral tones, quality fabrics, sleek tailoring, and – perhaps most importantly – the avoidance of visible labels, logos or any glimpse of ostentation.
Indeed, quiet luxury has dominated the fashion narrative this year to the extent that is has ceased to be a trend. Rather, it’s an attitude that looks likely to feature for years to come.
The concept of quiet luxury encourages us to seek out investment pieces that will endure, and in this regard brings us back several decades to a time where clothing was intended to be worn as many times as possible.
Today there is cachet in being seen in the same thing twice, and even greater kudos in being the woman with the best, most beautifully cut coat in the room.
The only sticking point, naturally, is price. As ever, the smart money is spent on coats and footwear. Jeans, trousers, and dresses needn’t decimate your overdraft. Sweaters should be the best quality possible, and it’s better to have one good bag than ten average ones. The quiet luxury look only works when each piece is well-made.
Arguably the most comprehensive – and certainly the most refined – place to shop quiet luxury is at Kildare Village, where it has been, the buyers tell me, an exceptional year to date.
At least one new boutique has opened each month, and each with the same premise: luxury fashion at reduced price points. The result is an experience where among 100 boutiques the options span Maje, Sandro, N.Peal, Eleventy, Boss, Ba&sh, Claudie Pierlot, Peelo, Prada and Jimmy Choo.
Expansion has similarly afforded greater breadth to homegrown brands including Sinead Keary, Kilkenny Design’s Christmas store, and the ever-evolving Curated at KV, where the Irish design roster includes Paul Costelloe, Roisin Linnane, Caroline Kilkenny, Loulerie jewellery, Emma Manley and the brilliant Banshees of Savile Row.
“That’s something we’re committed to,” says Valerie Forde, the PR and communications director at Kildare Village. “Combining that mix of luxury international brands with the opportunity to showcase exceptional local design.”
Several routes to the quiet luxury trend are explored in this shoot for the Business Post Magazine, from classic cashmere worn with wide-legged denim, a colour-blocked look in plum, and several takes on an autumnal palette of soft cream, rich russet and tobacco brown.
In each case, prices listed are at Kildare Village only, making the especially high end of the market comparatively accessible.
There are a host of other reasons to visit the Kildare outlet this season, Forde suggests, including a rolling calendar of on-site events (Style Sessions, taking place every second weekend, are consistent sellouts), recent beauty boutique openings from Charlotte Tilbury and Sculpted by Aimee Connolly, plus luxury extras unique to the Irish retail landscape. A personal recommendation? Try ‘Hands Free’ shopping, where you simply scan as you shop to find all purchases bagged up and waiting for you at the concierge desk on departure. It’s the little things, especially for those with little people in tow.
“We’re focusing strongly on the idea of retail-tainment,” says Forde, “where shopping becomes a special experience. Since opening The Lounge, our social and events space, brands are bringing their stories alive each week, and adding more incentives for customers to shop in real life.
“Virtual shopping has its place, but we’re bucking that trend by championing physical stores and real world experiences.”
All clothing featured available at Kildare Village at listed prices at the time of going to press. For more see kildarevillage.com