A fashion story

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I FIRST came across Natalie Coleman at her final-year degree show at LSAD (Limerick School of Art & Design) in 2006. Even back then, I loved her work. A few years later, in 2010, she set up her own womenswear label, and NATALIEBCOLEMAN is now one of the most exciting and successful fashion brands working out of Ireland. And it’s not just me saying that – the Monaghan native has a loyal following of celebrities, including (deep inhalation of breath) Mary J Blige, Marina of Marina & The Diamonds, Lily Cole, Suki Waterhouse and Laura Whitmore. And hey, Irish fans will all remember the momentous occasion when the lovely Sharon Corr wore a pair of equally lovely gold trousers by NATALIEBOLEMAN on ‘The Voice’.

What makes Natalie’s work stand out is its dichotomy, its differences, its ability to meld alternating looks. It’s strong yet flattering, edgy but fun, a kind of ‘grunge meets romance’ mash-up. Close attention is paid to fabric, finish and detail. Most importantly, though, each collection has its own very personal story to tell, stories which  seem to reach out to women the world over. Because we all love a good narrative, I guess. Even the titles of Natalie’s collections are intriguing: consider ‘I Belong To Me’, ‘Sarah’s Suitcase’ and ‘All The Jewellery I Never Got’…wouldn’t you turn the page on those collections?

I’ve seen some sneaky peeks of Natalie’s autumn/winter 2014 collection (brilliantly titled ‘Get Your Own Mistress’) and it’s fabulous. No surprises there then. Hitting not just THE mark but EVERY mark, it manages to combine relaxed sportswear, neat tailoring, sexy silhouettes, slogan tees, leather trousers and big knits. Most importantly of all, it’s wearable and very, very gorgeous, a superb new chapter in this fashion designer’s narrative. I’ll report back in a few months’ time, when I have more information and images.

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Sadly, of course, as with all things designer, Natalie’s current collection is, financially, way out of my league. BUT…and I do love a designer who lets me say that…her online store has a great sale section, where you can purchase items from previous collections at knockdown prices. Here you’ll find everything from plunging swimsuits (below, €70) to brightly-hued peplum skater skirts (below, €165) to gold zipped lambskin biker pants (also below, €300), with prices starting at a very jolly €30 for brilliant, digitally printed vests.

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I am, however, very happy to be able to give all you lovely Greedy Edie readers an exclusive (kinda!) heads-up. My aim is and always has been to find great designer fashion at affordable fashion and, well folks, here it is. Tomorrow evening (Friday, February 21) at 9pm, Natalie will be hosting a flash sale on her site, with all items €100 for one hour only. That is, without doubt, one of the most exciting sales I’ve ever come across. To shop, you’ll need the code, which will go live at 9pm, so be prepared, glass of wine in hand, credit card at the ready, etc etc.

Once you’ve added some past-season NATALIEBCOLEMAN to your wardrobe, consider checking out the new autumn/winter 2014 collection live – Natalie will be showing at the Fashion Innovation Awards in Galway on April 17, as the special guest designer. Not surprisingly, there’s a twist to this story too – Natalie won the ‘Fashion Designer of the Year’ accolade back in 2012, so this is a return, of sorts, to where it all began! Early-bird tickets, priced €25, are currently on sale. For more, visit www.goldenegg.ie.

For more news on NATALIEBCOLEMAN, visit www.nataliebcoleman.com, or follow her on Twitter. The flash sale will take place tomorrow night, Friday, February 21 at 9pm.

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