A New York Warehouse

Blame it on the bite in the air, blame it on the pre-holiday excitement, blame it on the blinkered haze that descends on all around you as the countdown to a trip to THE city begins but it’s all Carrie Bradshaw and ‘oh my gawd’ around these parts at the moment. Ah, New York, New York… do you ever lose your magical appeal?

Irene O'Brien Vintage Stylist Dublin

Should the allure of the city ever threaten to dissipate, a sure way to rekindle the flame is to visit with a first-timer. In this case, two first timers… my only brother, The Enquiring Barista and my beautiful sister-in-law, The Consummate Australian, the latter celebrating a very special birthday which will be marked by the impending trip. In a month’s time they will leave their Melbourne home and head to San Francisco (where Mama & Papa will await) followed by New York (where I, among others, will await. And no, it hasn’t crossed our mind that they might want to be alone for their trip… we’re fun!) The trip is made all the more exciting by the US of A being virgin territory to them both. The downside of a life lead the other side of the world means that ultimately, all of your ‘holidays’ are spent travelling home to this side of the world. The downside of a life lead with someone from the other side of the world is that destination Ireland becomes your ‘travelling’ mantra. Alleluia for milestone birthdays! Of course New York can be new every time you go; the sheer volume of places, nature of encounters and variety of people mean that every experience is new. However, knowing absolutely all of it will be for the first time for your loved-ones, makes the prospect infinitely more exciting. I cannot wait to rediscover the city that leaves such an impression on me, once again, through new eyes. And let’s face it, they literally have no idea how fat they’ll be leaving the US after 3 weeks.

Irene O'Brien VIntage Stylist Dublin

As I fill my evenings with Sex And The City, starting from Season 1 (the talking in to the camera was just weird, right?), I transport myself to the NY streets on which my heels will walk, I taste the cocktails on my tongue, I hear the music to which I’ll dance and I feel the butterflies that will take up residence in my stomach for the entirety of the trip. Ok so the maturity of some years brings the realisation that Carrie was actually quite the self-indulgent moaner, the clothes weren’t all that great and Big was a bit of a prick but in all honesty, I’d still give my right arm to be part of their gang. The joy of SATC for a 30-something, is the combined flawed character of the protagonists’, their constant search for security and the mammoth mess that they make of every element of their lives. Sure Girls is where it’s at in 2013… but they’re in their early 20s for God’s sake. They have their whole lives ahead of them to wise up. It’s simply disconcerting to realise you relate to folk that have almost a decade on you. I’ll continue using the yard-stick of the original foursome for comfort thanks.

Irene O'Brien Vintage Stylist Dublin

On Tuesday morning my mind was full of NY as usual but as I made my way in to the Morgan hotel, I purposefully zoned back to reality and focused on the event in hand: the Warehouse Spring Summer 2013 preview. Dublin Irene, you’re in Dublin.

As I entered the penthouse and scanned the window-framed pieces, each benefiting beautifully from the morning city light, I felt instantly energised by the brightness on display throughout the room. We may have a love-affair with the Autumn Winter fashion season in this country but after enough dark mornings to make you believe you’ll never want to rise from bed again, it’s blooming marvelous to look forward and think of our imaginary summers. I viewed, touched and got to know the collection through its own Warehouse appointed trends: Arizona, Architect, Rock Muse, Iconica, Totem, Monochromania, Ionian and Layer Cake. The latter should really have been my favourite due to my love affair with the 60s and, although it was suitably fun and rebellious, there were pieces from Rock Muse and Iconica with which I identified with more. The biggest impression left on me however, was from the overall collection as a whole which, when viewed as one eclectic entity, screamed to me: New York!

Warehouse-Dress, Oversized cateye sunglasses € 24 Warehouse-Belted jumpsuit €90, shiny tassle belt €18 Warehouse- Seascape print dress €78

The images were shot in Shoredidtch, the preview was shown in Dublin and the prints were distinctly tribal, but it was definitely the big apple that was called to mind when envisaging the wearers (no not just this wearer, honest). I was transported to street style blogs from the city, observing brunch-goers in Williamsburg and channeling diners in the newest NY eateries. Even the girliest and simplest of pieces have unexpected edge with cut out backs, hook and eye ties and exposed zippers done with fresh appeal.

Warehouse-Double buckle biker jacket €75, Wide stripe trs €63 Warehouse- Colourblock panel pencil dress €88

The aptly named Monochromania pleased greatly also, surprisingly enough. Not that I’m averse to the trend, I just struggle with one that is so big we have it shoved down our throats to such an extent that we run the risk of being over it before it has even begun. Yes we know it’s going to be big dear magazine/ blog/ programme…  just stop ruining it for me in the meantime? Due to the blanket adaptation of the trend, my assumption would be that nothing representative of it will engage me greatly at this stage but in fairness to all that is black and white, Warehouse’s take made me look again. The Beetlejuice-esque stripped pants may scream literal but cut and detail made me covet in a pretty major way. The white and navy graphic structured cut dress hanging in front of me required a second look and greatly benefited from the inclusion of a model in the look book. It hangs beautifully and nods to the trend whilst adding personality through its shapes. My other issue with monochrome is, was it ever away? As far as I’m concerned it’s a sleek, brave, minimalist look that has been adopted by the stylish for years. Perhaps this season it is just spelt out more, allowing even the most confused dresser amongst us, know how to rock it with confidence.

Warehouse-Dial print graphic top €33 Warehouse- Mixed print playsuit €46

And then it was the Carrie in me, the grown up that sometimes still likes to dress like a little girl and the professional that likes to channel her inner hippie, that found love elsewhere in the collection. From the Rock Muse blue print mini-skirt that I’d swear I wore in dress version when I was 7, yet makes me think of desert festivals, to the multi-print blue play suit that makes me think of climbing trees, the clothes, much like today’s muse, represent perfectly the colorful ‘anything can happen’ spirit of the city I shall give my heart in March.  Oh to hell with it, forget what was said before … Bradshaw, I still love you!