What’s not to love about Peter O’Brien’s collaboration with Dunnes Stores?

Few Irish designers have enjoyed such international acclaim as Peter O’Brien who for two decades worked in some of the world’s best-known fashion houses: Dior, Givenchy and Chloé as well as creative director at Rochas.

For years, I have lusted after any Peter O’Brien item of clothing; unfortunately, they were always on my wish list and never made it to my wardrobe. I have felt the gorgeous fabrics and drooled over the flattering and dramatic designs and walked away. But not anymore!

Last Thursday, he launched his first collection with Dunnes Stores to a sea of VIPs, many of whom have followed him from his couture days. I really enjoyed listening to him speak with Deirdre McQuillan (The Irish Times) who interviewed him about his journey and his collection. Self-deprecating and witty, I was intrigued to learn that he uses the same factory as he did with his original label, so quality and finish is still key. The 21-piece collection (mostly in navy and black, while red and orange add pops of colour) is theatrical and very much in keeping with his aesthetic.

Let us say you will not be able to hide in a corner if you wear a Peter O’Brien piece. His classic and elegant designs with a modern twist make a statement and you wear them with attitude. As one of the main costume designers at The Gate Theatre for years (the campaign photos were taken there), it is hardly surprising  that there is drama in every piece, be it a frill or a flounce and that he pays as much attention to the back as the front. Exits are as important as entrances after all!

You will be impressed by the weight and high quality of the fabrics which, of course, allow the clothes to hang and move with you beautifully.  I fell in love with the fit-and-flared black coat with oversize pockets (below €350) which made me want to twirl non-stop.

I was also tempted by the Oxford Bags-styled wide trousers ( €150) pictured below with a wonderful trapeze style orange top (€110) and might put in an early order for my birthday…if there are any left.

You could not remain unnoticed in the belted ruffle coat below (€370).

The  show-stopping dresses below priced at €220 proved very popular.

A printed silk scarf in three different designs at €85 would make a perfect Christmas present.

To see the full collection pop online – www.dunnesstores.ie – or into selected Dunnes Stores – Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green Centre and Cornelscourt.

This is not fast fashion; whatever you buy from this collection will stand the test of time.