In this, our first Style post since the wilderness years began back in April 2020, I find myself nothing if not contemplative. We’ve come a long way since we decided to take TMCM Ireland on sabbatical, and pivot into our new brand Beirt, and plenty has happened in the intervening years that have prevented us from returning to our light-hearted takes on style and fashion.

In late 2020 and all of 2021 I basically had no interest in anything to do with fashion, apart from choosing my bridal party looks, which I hoped would stand the test of time rather than succumb to any trends. There were no movie premiere red carpets to unpick, the Met Gala was dead in the water, the fashion seasons were reduced to sad little online shows. Put simply, no one was in the mood. I certainly wasn’t.

Aoife’s bridal party – photo by Memento

Things began to claw their way back in 2022, but still any interest in it passed me by. I just didn’t care about trends or outrageous outfits or whatever it was the industry was doing to r4egain its relevancy in the public consciousness; it all felt so passé and boring to me. But, like the brave little snowdrop bud breaking through the cold, hard earth in the depths of January, fashion began to find its feet again.

Maybe it was just a light in me being switched on again after a couple of years of darkness, but suddenly I discovered my interest returning. I actually started this article last September, when things were looking up in the fashion world with the return to a normal schedule of shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, but I still couldn’t manage even a passing interest in it.

Then along came February’s fashion month and somehow a match was lit again. Which was nice! While I don’t buy in to (or literally buy) fashion trends as I might have before, I found it encouraging and motivating to have a spark of interest in something I’d thought I’d given up on, even something as low-stakes as fashion watching.

As far as I’m concerned, the fashion industry has done its job in overcoming the effects of the pandemic. It obviously has work to do in other areas – sustainability, obviously, inclusion, rights and fair pay for garment workers, to name but a few issues that badly need to be dealt with. But on a surface level, it’s fun to enjoy clothes, to recognise artistry, to hone personal style and cultivate a look.

Agree, disagree, remain indifferent? This Style slot is open to conversation, discussion and discourse – get in touch!

  • Aoife B. Burke

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