I had kind of wondered what had happened to Heatons. They fell off the press radar for a while there and stopped having shows at the start of the new season for over a year. And then I got an invite to the AW16 showcase from a brand new PR company and with a very different vibe. I guess the company saw the way that Dunnes had rebranded, grown and evolved into something more relevant and on the pulse of things and decided to do the same because everything about the new season is more luxe than ever before.
Heatons have been doing beautiful, affordable homeware for years now and while the clothing collections had cute highlights, the overall vibe was a little dowdy and not so fashion forward. With AW16, they've clearly sought to change that and they've done a damn good job. The overall aesthetic remains a little understated in a way that embraces the older, existing clientele but sprinkles the collection with on-trend statement pieces, pretty party dresses and edgier garments to create something a little more diverse and interesting.
A boho theme runs vaguely throughout much of the collection through pretty details like embroidery, tassels and fringing but the rich palette of burnt oranges, taupes, beiges and browns makes things wearable, Autumn appropriate and a little less costumey than some iterations that we've been seeing on the highstreet. Similarly, 60s tailoring and outerwear and 70s silhouettes and fabric choices are prevalent, as key trends next season, but are adapted in a wearable, non-alienating way that makes the garments easy to integrate into existing wardrobes. Another strand running through the collection is more youthful and streetwear inspired - with pieces like a very solid bomber in two shades and a sporty striped sweaterdress - and, again, while these are very on-trend, they are also perfectly suited to be adopted into the wardrobes of many different individuals.
Heatons have done a really good job with this season in creating something very on the button but also very luxe-feeling and user-friendly that will please new audiences while still embracing loyal customers. It is a savvy, clever, elegant collection and I already have my eye on personal highlights such as the bomber, cape, grey belted coat and the pyjama sets, which are so cute that I would totally adopt them as daytime blouses.