Ahead of the French Connection Summer party, we nabbed one of the high street favourite’s top dogs to talk us through the best of the new season collection…
Name: Sarah Reid
Position: Junior Assistant Manager
Who is your style icon?: It’s really hard to pick one person. I’d have to say Michelle Keegan as she always looks absolutely stunning; she wears high street clothes quite often which means I can afford to replicate her look. Millie MackIntosh is another favourite; I follow her on Instagram and Twitter and she’s great at putting her own twist on trends- she also wears a lot of high street pieces. They’re both really different but I’d wear Michelle Keegan’s look for night time and Millie McIntosh’s for day time.
Tell us a bit about your event tonight: It’s a French Connection Summer Party which is aimed at both existing clients and customers as well as those who wouldn’t necessarily shop here. We’re one of only five stores in the country who’ve been chosen to do it so we’re really excited! We’re hoping to create a great party atmosphere with a DJ playing and a big fashion show; we’re having a mixture of colleagues and friends modelling for us to show off the best pieces for our different customer types. We have such a diverse customer base that the shop is merchandised to suit many different types of women and men so we’ll be highlighting that with the different looks showcased.
We’ve got Toni and Guy on board who will be doing all the hair whilst some of our girls are trained makeup artists so they’ll be doing the makeup looks on the night. We’ve got goodies from Molton Brown, Kilehl’s and Hotel Chocolat and we’ll be running a social media competition to win a £500 French Connection gift card.
Can you talk us through the different looks you’ll be promoting?: Of course; there will be eight looks in total, four for men and four for women. We’re hoping this provides a really good opportunity for our different customers to see what styles can work for them and inspires them to try something a bit different. Womenswear will be promoting each of the different looks we’ve got in for the new season. The first look is probably my personal favourite; it’s got a holiday, poppy vibe to it with lots of bright clashing colours and prints. I know some customers might shy away from this trend because it is very bold but we want to show that it can be wearable if styled correctly. Next we’ve got our citrusy themed line which also features poppy prints. A standout piece for this trend is the little playsuits which at first glance look like dresses; they’re actually culottes and we want to showcase this on the runway. Our third trend is monochrome; this is always really big at French Connection and we’re going to utilise the trend to showcase our tailoring, too. We’ve got a gorgeous white suit in at the moment which will be a big feature, along with the classic FCUK stripes and, of course, the nautical trend. Our last look is called Millie and is inspired by Millie McIntosh. This range has got a really nice tweed look suit with a jacket and little shorts; the style worked really well for us this time last year so we’ve revamped it for this season. There are also the classic trenches and cricket jumpers which will be making an appearance. Finally, we’ll be finishing on statement party dresses for the long awaited summer!
Sounds like a brilliant range! You said you have quite a diverse customer base; will there be something for everyone?: Definitely! Our core customer tends to be the young professional looking for work wear, then we’ve got the more mature customer. And then there’s the ladies looking for occasion wear or an outfit for a night out; and the yummy mummies! We don’t have a lot of teenagers who come into the store but we’re hoping to change that; we’ve based a lot of the looks for the show around the younger woman and we’ll be using some teenage models as well.
And in terms of the guys, what have you got in store for them?: For menswear we’ll be showing off as much print and colour as we can; it’s really nice to see guys in colour and not playing it too safe. We’ve got some really nice different prints this season, for example camo is doing really well.
So what are the key trends you’ll be focussing on for them?: Our safari look pulls in much of the camo prints I mentioned, along with a sort of army vintage look. This looks great teamed with the burnt Sienna colour which we’ve got in a lot of our chinos and shorts. This safari t-shirt has been one of the best sellers so far in the company and works really nicely with a simple block colour bottom.
And what are your favourite pieces for ladies wear?: I love this pink poppy dress, it looks great with all different skin tones and the shape of it means it’s really flattering on the figure. The little pockets are such a cool touch as well! And the matching citrus suit as a two piece is really cute together but looks great separate as well- I just love that print!
Be sure to head along to the Edinburgh George Street store between 4-8pm for the French Connection Summer Party; if you can’t make it, don’t forget you can shop the entire collection on Mallzee now!