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HomeYouThe Chic List: Why nostalgia is so now

The Chic List: Why nostalgia is so now

Sitting on a rainy afternoon with a crisp glass of chablis in the bar of The Shelbourne hotel in Dublin – an Irish institution visited by the likes of John and Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor – I waited for a colleague I hadn’t seen for 16 years. 

When I did the maths, the ocean of time that had passed since we last met came as a shock. Where on earth had all the years vanished to?

If, like me, you move countries halfway through your life, it’s incredibly hard to measure time. When you go back to where you came from – as I do often to Cork and Dublin – my brain plays a trick and expects everything to be exactly the same as when I left. But, of course, it never can be.

Living in a world obsessed with hurling ourselves forward, we often forget to stop and look back. 

Nostalgia, I believe, is very good for the soul, and Irish people are particularly skilled at the art of reminiscence and storytelling. During that evening in The Shelbourne, the news broke about Sinéad O’Connor’s passing.

DRESS, THE FOLD. SUNGLASSES, GUCCI. SHOES, Malone Souliers  Dress, The Fold, Sunglasses, Gucci, Shoes, Malone Souldiers DRESS, THE FOLD. SUNGLASSES, GUCCI. SHOES, Malone Souliers  Dress, The Fold, Sunglasses, Gucci, Shoes, Malone Souldiers

Dress, The Fold, Sunglasses, Gucci, Shoes, Malone Souliers

My old colleague and I remembered what it was like to interview Sinéad – as feisty and unpredictable as she was astonishingly talented – agreeing that we were always in awe but also slightly terrified of her.

He told me of his own experience. ‘Sinéad famously had a thing for male journalists – she dated a few over the years. 

When I showed up for the interview, she answered the door with a cigarette hanging from her mouth and gave me a long sultry look up and down and said in a husky voice: “They don’t normally send them in suits – come in.” I did but I was absolutely shaking in my biker boots,’ he said.

No industry loves and thrives on nostalgia more than fashion. This is why Gap has seen a huge demand this summer for its 90s T-shirts and jeans – and why everyone’s excited about the return of former Chloé and Celine designer Phoebe Philo in September.

Black coats and court shoes make their sober presence felt, along with classic white shirts and 80s-style corporate looks with big-shouldered pinstriped suits and smart ties Black coats and court shoes make their sober presence felt, along with classic white shirts and 80s-style corporate looks with big-shouldered pinstriped suits and smart ties

Black coats and court shoes make their sober presence felt, along with classic white shirts and 80s-style corporate looks with big-shouldered pinstriped suits and smart ties

Philo defined a new way for women to dress at Chloé in the early noughties and presented her final collection for Celine in 2017. Now she’s launching her eponymous brand with 150 reported styles.

In fact there’s a strong nostalgic feel to all the autumn collections – the good news is that you’ll have lots of these things in your wardrobe already.

Black coats and court shoes make their sober presence felt, along with classic white shirts and 80s-style corporate looks with big-shouldered pinstriped suits and smart ties.

Treasured memories

If you ask for the story of a woman’s life, she’ll tell it to you in jewellery,’ says Irish designer Chupi Sweetman, who is based between Dublin and the UK If you ask for the story of a woman’s life, she’ll tell it to you in jewellery,’ says Irish designer Chupi Sweetman, who is based between Dublin and the UK

If you ask for the story of a woman’s life, she’ll tell it to you in jewellery,’ says Irish designer Chupi Sweetman, who is based between Dublin and the UK

‘Growing up, I remember seeing stamped jewellery boxes on my grandmother’s dressing table. 

If you ask for the story of a woman’s life, she’ll tell it to you in jewellery,’ says Irish designer Chupi Sweetman, who is based between Dublin and the UK.

Her wonderfully nostalgic designs are inspired by life’s cherished moments.

Bags of space!

The trend for impractical pochettes is finally waning in favour of handbags that can hold the kitchen sink The trend for impractical pochettes is finally waning in favour of handbags that can hold the kitchen sink

The trend for impractical pochettes is finally waning in favour of handbags that can hold the kitchen sink

The trend for impractical pochettes is finally waning in favour of handbags that can hold the kitchen sink.

Trench polish

British heritage brand Barbour is launching a new collection of lightweight trenchcoats to prepare you for chillier autumn days British heritage brand Barbour is launching a new collection of lightweight trenchcoats to prepare you for chillier autumn days

British heritage brand Barbour is launching a new collection of lightweight trenchcoats to prepare you for chillier autumn days

British heritage brand Barbour is launching a new collection of lightweight trenchcoats to prepare you for chillier autumn days. Or rainy August ones. Here’s a taste of what’s to come.

JOANNE’S COLUMN WILL BE BACK ON 3 SEPTEMBER 

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