My Trip to New York 2

Part 2 – The Fashion

In New York I had a great time finding shops I had previously heard about as well as stumbling into new places and walking in just to take a look and find unique pieces. Of course, I visited a huge amount of shops, but for the purposes of this blog I’ll try and keep my count down to the best four.

Catbird

This is a lovely, dinky, homely jewellery shop in Williamsburg. Here I finally found a pinky ring that wouldn’t make me look like Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. They have an incredible selection of once-in-a-lifetime pieces that will leave you marvelling at their cases and windows. With designers and brands such as Jacquie Aiche, Dream Collective and Marian Maurer, they sell an array of delicate objects, ranging from jewellery to beauty products, home ornaments, cards and cosmetics. Here’s what I bought:

My pinky ring.

Catbird.

Jewellery display.

Flying A

This SoHo store is the epitome of cool and Michael there was very kind, helpful and warm. What more could you want? Along with their own brand, they retail plenty of vintage piece and brands like American Vintage, Hope, Marimekko and Fjallraven, the result is an indie look with European names. Here I bought an amazing red vintage dress with a geometric little pattern that looks like polka dots from a distance. My dress was placed in a clever, red zip bag which I now use every single day to carry my packed lunch to the office.

Flying A.

A wonderful vintage dress with a floral upper half.

Assorted bracelets.

My dress.

The dress collar.

A gorgeous embroidered purse.

Scarves.

A big selection of men’s shirts.

Stella Dallas

Easily the best vintage shop I’ve ever visited. It is based on the edges of Greenwich Village retail ‘40s–‘60s clothing and, despite it being quite small, and with a dated décor of yellow walls and tatty shelves, I found four – 4! Different pieces here: a warm Norwegian jumper which I’ll have to defend against my boyfriend’s grubby mitts, a flattering dress, a beautiful burgundy beaded silk top and an amazing, gorgeous floor-length, ivory rayon bed dress that is bound to make history. It features rather wide, lacy shoulder straps which continue as a pattern in different inserts on the chest. Never seen such a charming, timeless piece of underwear like it, vintage or not. I had to have it!

Stella Dallas is a bit tucked away.

A delicate, beaded evening jacket.

A huge collection of fur coats.

Tokyo 7

I believe this is somewhat of an institution in the East Village. Tokyo 7 is a huge consignment store that sells all sorts of high-end designer names such as Emporio Armani, Prada and Marni, all at very sensible prices. I bought a near-to-new pair of black Vivienne Westwood ankle wellies, which I’ve already used three times since – I do live in London after all.

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Marni at H&M Sale – Sometimes They Come Back

Firstly, I would like to apologise and say that I know I’ve been terrible for not writing in an age, but I do have a couple of good excuses. Some of my absence can be put down to me being a little poorly. Nothing serious, not kicking the bucket just yet, only nagging little pains that stole all my time as I took partial residency in my doctor’s waiting room. The rest of my time has been absorbed by the editorial internship I’ve been doing at the great Kings Chelsea Magazine, which is launching in June. Yay!

Admittedly, I discovered that adjusting to a full-time shift job and a part-time internship is harder than anticipated, particularly when those two workplaces and my house are based respectively in the south, west and east of London, but it’s definitely worth it. This internship will go on until mid-August, so I am afraid that until then I’ll probably be a little out of sight. But bear with me and after that I shall be even better (or I’ll try, at least). I wish I were doing something a little more senior with my few years of experience as an editor, but sadly, fashion publishing regards itself as a different kettle of fish, and unless you have relevant fashion experience you need to start from the bottom again. So, full to my eyes with humble pie, I ping-pong across London for the best part of my days.

With that out of the way, in the UK, H&M have collected all the neglected leftover Marni stock from the back of their warehouses and placed it on sale. This reminded me how I actually did go on a mission on the line’s launch day and took pictures to write about the collection, but ended up doing nothing with them.

I remember getting to the flagship store on Regent Street at 9 am on the dot, its opening time, and asking what the queuing system was. It soon transpired that I was way too late for their manically organised schedule, and that all the wristbands (colour-coded depending on the time you were supposed to get in) had all already been given to people queuing outside since 7 am.

Anyone with an entry bracelet was placed in a group of a dozen people and had 15 minutes to enter, explore and ransack the designated Marni area, which was a cluttered, crowded, poky little affair of about 2 m2 with naturally very little room to roam around. A man with a headset microphone would aggressively shout “Ten minutes left!” “Five minutes left!” (why the shouting, crazyman Michael? You’re wearing a microphone). Two bouncers were at the edges of the cordoned-off area trying to keep us as far away as possible. Despite sounding like the opposite of offering customers what they want, this schizo approach seemed to work, and by 9:32 another batch of collars was called up as the previous bunch had sold out. For us, bracelet-less civilians, there was little to do but wait until 2 pm, when all the chosen ones had already munched their way through the collection like mice through Edam and we were left with the red wax.

As you can see from the picture, at 2:30 pm the queue outside the Oxford Street shop was still remarkable, despite the poor selection left by hurricane People. I managed to take a few pictures of the whole process but can tell you this is probably the last H&M designer collaboration I am planning to attend.

Sadly, the quality of the pictures is not up to scratch as I also forgot that picnik.com was going to be shut in April. Has anyone got another similar, free website to suggest, please?

Marni for H&M 2012 – Something to be Looking Forward to

Another fashion post and yet another collaboration. On 8 March 2012 H&M will present its new collection jointly with Italian-Swiss high-end designer Marni. This exciting range will include all the staple styles and elements of this truly eclectic designer house. With strong utilitarian shapes, the new men’s and women’s collection will include on-trend block heels and wedges, precious-looking ethnic accessories next to plastic ones, colour blocking as long as big, playful, clashing prints juxtaposition and bold African-inspired prints.

The Marni brand was launched in 1994 by Lugano-based couple Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni as a side business from Gianni’s fur company. Since then they have created a modern yet classic look that is constantly chic and at the same time cool and have had their collections photographed by many big names, among which Mario Testino.

H&M has previously collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Jimmy Choo and Lanvin. Their current collaboration with Versace is in shops now and the Marni collection will be sold in 260 stores worldwide and online.

Despite generally feeling wary about H&M designer collaborations, which I often find overpriced and of poor quality if a little overrated, I am sure this new collection is a breath of fresh air and definitely something to be looking forward to.