Words by Nicole Thomsen
March 8th, 2016
“Sexy, sporty, playful and powerful.” That is how Emma Manley, Creative Director of her own eponymous line describes the true Manley woman, and the new collection certainly delivers for this customer.
Taking a slightly different approach for spring, the SS16 collection from Manley packs a punch with bright, vibrant colour blocking in luxurious silks and, of course, leather. Toning down some of the embellishment that is synonymous across the Manley line (which can be put down to Emma’s time as an intern on the embellishment team for Alexander McQueen), this collection sees the adornment being left to the accessories. Instead, the womenswear range took on a more contemporary and minimal design ethos.
The collection features midi skirts, metallics, Peter Pan style tees, a leather wrap skirt that you really need and, of course no current collection is now complete without them, culottes. With almost every piece created in more than one playful colour, there is plenty of options to suit every taste whether you’re a bubblegum pink girl or midnight blue fan.
Structurally strong, the clear stars of this collection, however, are the Boxter tees. Available in four colour-block combinations, the leather t-shirts are boxy in shape (the hint is in the name) and sit neatly across the body. These tees are effortlessly cool with an on-trend sporty vibe, affording the wearer the opportunity to dress them up or down, which is an attribute that Emma loves about the t-shirts. “I love being able to dress them down for a day in the Manley studio but switching into a Manley Skyler leather skirt for evening.” The perfect ‘office to cocktails’ wardrobe piece.
Of course, while the clothes took a more pared back approach this season, something which Emma described as a “big challenge” for her, the jewellery did the opposite. Featuring multi-tonal and textural collars and necklaces in this season’s vibrant colour palette of bubblegum pink, Kelly green and cornflower blue, the accessories are just what you come to expect from Manley with its trademark embellishment. For those of you who prefer clothes that are plain and uncomplicated, the jewellery can inject some colour and texture into your wardrobe without having to deviate from your preferred style.
And while jewellery has been extremely popular for Manley, for SS16 bags have been introduced into the collection with massive success to date. Speaking to maven46 about whether she will expand Manley even further in the future, Emma said, “I think I need some time to explore our current accessories offering and really nail them, then and only then shall we move onto the next. There are so many possibilities of what we could do next, I’m excited thinking about it already!“
So it seems the future of Manley is as bright as its SS16 collection. As a member of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, Emma Manley’s designs attract not just Irish customers but also those abroad in the UK and even in places as far flung as Egypt and Australia. Her laid back, cool aesthetic appeals to both a young and older audience, and that is not an easy task. When asked who she would like to style in Manley, Emma chose Saoirse Ronan in the Cori 2Tone dress. As a young star with an edgy and growing sense of style, it seems like a good fit but also one that would suit an older woman. It’s all down to how you style it. As Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman expertly put it, “The magic of a wonderful collection is something that nobody can define. It’s one of those creative moments where somebody’s vision just speaks to the audience.” We think Manley’s SS16 collection does just that.
Have a peek behind the scenes of the collection below!
You can shop our top picks below (including my absolute favourite, the Cara tee in apple green) or you can browse Manley’s entire SS16 collection at Manley.ie.
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