Brown Thomas launches special occasion clothing rental service

“Fashion tastes like flesh this year,” Shelly Corkery comments on the Spring 2022 collections. throat and racerback show a lot of torso”.

The notable trend is towards shorter lengths, especially in 1960s-style sets of skirts with mini, micro mini, or knee-length in leg-flattering A-line shapes. Cropped bandeau tops add a sporty modern twist to this familiar retro jumpsuit, but for those who want an instant wardrobe update, Corkery suggests a shrugged 1990s biker jacket over a ruffled dress or 1970s flares adds a tough edge. “I like fashion when it’s contradictory like that,” she says.

The new season is buzzing with bold colors – “there’s an explosion of color because it makes us feel good after the pandemic and is so upbeat after a time when everyone lived in activewear and denim”, she says.

Alessandra Rich green and white printed dress, €755

Erdem floral shirt dress, €1,750

Erdem floral shirt dress, €1,750

Postcard mini dress, €795, at Zimmermann

Alexander McQueen pink suit jacket, €860

Alexander McQueen pink suit jacket, €860

This is well illustrated in the latest store video by Perry Ogden which was shot in the wind of Fuerteventura in January with its seaside range of perfectly fitted pink pantsuits (Alexander McQueen), tacky green and yellow dresses (Etro and Victoria Beckham) or puffy color-block kaftans from Dries van Noten, Roksanda Ilincic and Balmain, making even functional khakis glamorous.

What can hasten the heart’s desire are summer dresses, too numerous to mention. They ranged from Erdem’s floral-print coat dresses (with matching flamboyant head coverings), spiky green and white puff sleeve numbers, Alessandra Rich’s drop-waisted numbers to Alaia’s black sheers and to fresh bohemian whites from Chloé and Alberta Ferretti.

If there was one dress that epitomized the carefree sunny days ahead, it was Zimmermann’s tonal-print “Postcard” linen mini dress with a sweetheart neckline and pearl tassels.

Those heading to previously postponed weddings, race meetings, communions and other social events in the coming season will be spoiled for choice, although many will debate the cost of a purchase. punctual and will consider rental alternatives. Now, for the first time at its newly opened store in Dundrum, Brown Thomas will offer such service to customers who want something special at a rental price.

Corkery says the offer will be a diverse range of second-hand clothes, some 65 pieces in all sizes from eight to 16, a mix of contemporary and designer brands in an offer that she says will increase over time. The rental cost will be based on a percentage of the retail price and customers will be able to rent for three to four days, eight to 10 days or even for a two week vacation. Buying will also be an option.

The move is part of the emerging taste for renting. In 2019, the global clothing rental industry was worth a total of $3.9 billion (€3.4 billion), with Europe and the Americas holding 80% of the market, according to research by the clothing company. Statista data quoted by the London magazine Courier. The size of these two markets is expected to more than double by 2025.

“It’s very exciting,” says Corkery. “You read it everywhere. It is therefore important for us, on how we can be more sustainable, to see how circular fashion can develop. It’s great to try it – we have to explore it. Let’s see how it works.”

This Eoin Greally can be hired from the Brown Thomas store in Dundrum

This Eoin Greally can be hired from the Brown Thomas store in Dundrum

Khaki playsuit, €1,990, at Balmain

Khaki playsuit, €1,990, at Balmain

Green trousers, €755 and top, €575, at Dries van Noten

Green trousers, €755 and top, €575, at Dries van Noten

Photography: Perry Ogden, assisted by Catherine Walsh. Stylist: Darren Feeney, assisted by Roisin Haines. Hair: Dani Rull. Makeup: Ria Cardosi for Charlotte Tilbury. Models: Aria Lilith and Levi Achthoven of The Hive Models, and Judy Kinuthia and Josephine Adam of The Monster Management.

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