Respected style icons such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O wore the ladylike silhouette with tremendous success, and, decades later, we still defer to their eye for impeccable tailoring, fabrics and grooming to achieve that timeless aesthetic.
"There's a fashion obsession with all things ladylike," says Portlaoise designer Heidi Higgins, who interprets the elegance of yesteryear with a modern twist.
Heidi's autumn/winter 2012 collection looks to a myriad of creative and influential women, from contemporary architect Maya Lin to Italian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, famous for her use of shocking pink.
The dresses with sleeves and a variety of matching jacket and coat options offer an attractive understated elegance that suits all ages.
The 'Elsa' dress explores hard and soft contrasts, with delicious insets of silk georgette set into wool crepe. The 'Tabea' dress (named after contemporary viola soloist Tabea Zimmermann) has a simplicity yet also a drama, the oversized single pleat sitting off centre on a plain dress in punchy purple.
The 'Rianne' dress, with its flattering V-neck black lace top, is ideal for special occasions, especially when accessorised with a hat from Galway hat genius Mark T Burke.
However, for a more low-key event, the raspberry-pink 'Gina' dress has no need for jewellery; the subtle pleating on the neckline and sleeves saying it all.