Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Save Your Eley Kash-imoto

Holiday gifts. Photo credit: Randy Son of Robert. C.C. License.Looking for a few holiday gifts? Unimpressed upon realising the VAT cut won't actually save you much cash? Eley Kishimoto are here to help.

The print-loving brand is having a sample sale this Thursday and Friday from 10.30 am to 7 pm. Show up at The Smokehouse, 44-46 St John Street, EC1M for gifts starting at £5 apiece. Credit cards and cheques are both fine.

You can get clothes, you can get accessories, you can get shoes. But the adorable Westie at left won't be included.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let the Fashion Insiders Lead You

Visiting the East End. Photo Credit: fabbio. C.C. License.When you think of London and you think of sightseeing, you might envision a double-decker bus tours with lots of people wearing backpacks snapping pictures of Big Ben. As much as we love that clock, there's more to London than that.

Enter Urban Gentry, the innovative tour company that hires culture "insiders" to show visitors and locals around the hippest parts of the city. Picture small, private groups trotting around boutiques and galleries that only the painfully in-the-know could locate.

There are special routes for curious types interested in fashion, shopping, design, art and architecture, and the company founder, Kevin Caruth, caters to specific and nontraditional requests when he can. Recently, he found an insider to introduce a couple to London's Danish furniture scene. Seriously.

May we humbly recommend the East End Hip tour, and possibly a side stop in This Shop Rocks on Brick Lane?

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Monday, November 17, 2008

This Just in from Heaven

Vintage Dior at the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale. Copyright Angels. All Rights Reserved.If you find yourself needing some vintage YSL or Biba, and if you also find your bank account sufficiently malnourished, then you'll be thankful to know the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale will set you back no more than dinner and a few drinks at Pizza Express.

Europe's biggest film and theatrical costume company is clearing out more than 30,000 pieces of vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery. All of the pieces (from European or British couture houses or high-street labels) have appeared in TV or film during the past 50 years.

This is the first time in 160 years that Angels has organised a big sale. The organisation took on the BBC Resources Costumes earlier this year, leading to a bit of an overstock/duplicate-garment situation.

So you're going, right? Here are the details…

Date: 6 December

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Place: Angels Warehouse, First Floor, 3 Boundary Road, Wembley HA9 7ND

Rules: Buy a medium-sized bag (£10), super-size bag (£20) or jewellery bag (£20) and fill to your wardrobe's content. Don't worry - you can buy more than one bag.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme for H&M: Hurry Up

Comme des Garcons. Photo Credit: yusunkwon. C.C. License.The woman who designed this now wants you to shop at H&M. Immediately. Rei Kawakubo of the Japanese line Comme des Garçons has created a capsule collection for the high-street retailer, available today at 200 stores worldwide.

The 50-piece collection is heavy on black, white, navy...and polka dots. There's both women's wear and menswear in stock, plus accessories and a unisex scent. Prices peak at £200 but start as low as £15, making Rei's gothic and boundary-pushing style credit-crunch friendly.

Previous H&M collaborations (with designers including Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney) have sold out in days. Shoppers went wild when the Comme des Garçons collection debuted at the retailer's new store in Harajuku, Tokyo, on Saturday. Especially those who had been waiting outside since Tuesday.

Get to the Oxford Circus Tube stop immediately.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Gareth Pugh Gets into the Spirit

Gareth Pugh Design. Photo Credit: Rebecca Cotton. C.C. License.Does it seem ironic that the man who created this is playing Father Christmas for Westfield London? Designer Gareth Pugh has created a custom Christmas tree for Topshop's new location in the shopping centre, and as can be expected, it's anything but ordinary.

The 2.8-metre tall tree uses 60 white neon bulbs to mimic branches, and there's no green or red in sight. "This neon tree is my interpretation of the traditional Christmas tree shape, putting a super-slick and modern edge to it," Gareth told Vogue.

"I think the simple melding of tradition and modernity aptly suits the mood at the moment; we are all looking to a brighter future."

Gareth's Christmas tree will also be displayed at Topshop's Oxford Circus flagship. And no, this doesn't mean that he'll let you sit on his knee and tell him your wish list.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Walk in Twiggy's Shoes

Mary Portas' donation to the Barnardo's charity vintage shop. Copyright Barnardo's, courtesy of Property4Media. All right reserved.Literally. The iconic '60s model is just one celeb who's donated footwear to a pop-up vintage shop for the children's charity Barnardo's.

Open for the month of November only, the shop near Carnaby Street is crammed with retro shoes, handbags and accessories from top designers. A bit of bargain-priced Mary Quant or Vuitton, anyone?

Besides Twiggy, donors include the likes of Rosamund Pike, Peaches Geldof, Trudie Styler and Dame Helen Mirren. Geri Halliwell pitched in heels from the Spice Girls reunion tour, Christian Louboutin handed over some blue sequined stilettos, and Queen of Shops Mary Portas donated autographed Stuart Weitzmans.

The Barnardo's store is at 69 Broadwick Street, so get that holiday shopping started. Everyone on your gift list should be happy to know their presents are helping more than 100,000 children fight poverty and inequality.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stuart Semple for Selfridges

Stuart Semple for Selfridges Cult of Denim. Copyright Stuart Semple for Selfridges. All Rights Reserved.You know Selfridges already has art on display if you've ever walked by the Jonathan Saunders displays in-shop. But for the next month, the department store its taking its cultural range a step further with Cult of Denim, a Stuart Semple collaboration. One of the UK's hottest pop artists, Stuart is set to show his paintings - on jeans fabric - from 17 October to 15 November. Levi's, Diesel, J Brand and Seven for All Mankind have all teamed up for the project, which could allow you to become a travelling art gallery on your weekend walk to the Tube.

Cult of Denim will sell Stuart's artwork, limited-edition print denim and graphic tees, along with eight pairs of hand-painted jeans. Just be sure to protect your wearable paintings from the crazy London weather.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Harrods After Hours

Boris Becker and Sandy Meyer-Wolden at the FORM launch at Harrods. Copyright Piers Allardyce. All Rights Reserved.Harrods hosted the launch of FORM, an exclusive menswear line by Formula 1 legend Bernie Ecclestone's daughter Petra. Alexa Chung guest DJed, Princesses Bea and Eugenie showed up at the party, and even Jamiroquai's Jay Kay stopped by. (Go to LondonNet for more pictures.)

Boris Becker and his girlfriend, Sandy Meyer-Wolden, also checked out the collection. What do we think of the look Sandy chose to look at the clothes?

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Designers, Discounted

Prada Bag. Photo Credit: (nutmeg). C.C. License.

Free for an afternoon? Need to go shopping but frustrated by all that credit-crunch business? London has some great sales lined up for the next few weekends.

Check out the Regent Street Festival from noon to 7pm this Sunday, when lots of retailers in the area are knocking 10 percent off their prices. The festival also has a James Bond show, if that's a draw.

Then there's the British Designers Sale (Kings Road, SW3) on 12 and 13 September. Get a dose of UK style pride - and as much as 80 percent off Jenny Packham and Alexander McQueen - at Chelsea Town Hall. Show up and save from 10am to 7pm on Friday or 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday.

For those planning really far in advance, the Designer Warehouse Sales (5-6 Islington Studios, N7) is scheduled for 19 to 21 September, to give you Prada and Chloé for about as much as you pay for your monthly mobile bill. Friday, the sale's on from 10am to 8pm, and it runs Saturday from 10am to 6pm or Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pound It

Money, money, money. Photo Credit: Manuel Delgado Tenorio. C.C. License

If you happen to be sitting on a large pile of cash and if you also happen to be fretting about your insufficient wardrobe, then you might want to solve the problem now. Fashion retailers and suppliers are bracing for price increases of more than 6 percent for spring 2009, according to Drapers magazine.

The majority of companies buy their goods in US dollars, even when it comes to sourcing in Asia, and the pound continues to weaken against the dollar. As of this morning, it's £1 to $1.77. That's a 10 percent drop in just a month. At this rate, the scale is sliding back faster than Jude Law's hairline.

On the bright side for British companies, the levelling of currencies could make it easier to sell their goods in America. So the next time you pop over to Disney World, take a side trip to a boutique or two and try to spot your favourite brands.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Portobello for PCs

One of the city's favourite -- and most famous -- shopping spots has jumped inside your computer. Portobello Market is now on the Web, which means you can snag a new pair of earrings or a vintage cocktail dress without actually leaving your living room.

Pretaportobello.com attempts to get all the best of outdoor shopping (lots of styles, new designers) with none of the worst (rain, crowds that bump your bags, rain). The site marks items worn by celebrities so you can secretly copy pieces from their wardrobes and claim you had them first.

Miss the bargaining action of a real market? There's also a "Let's Trade" section for shoppers to haggle for clothes and accessories. You can put in three bids a day for one-off samples and discounted pieces. To make shopping even easier, Pret a Portobello also has trend cheat sheets to help break down summer looks.

The main question is: If you shop online, how are you supposed to get a cupcake from Hummingbird?

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