Today was the longawaited opening of the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Savile Row. I recall a few months ago plenty of speculation as to whether it was a wise move to open an Abercrombie in the current retail climate. Well, clearly these guys have nothing to worry about. The shop does not even have a sign but it was packed to the rafters. In a colossal building with room upon room of rainbow coloured logo tees and sweats throbbing loud music created just the right amount of chaotic buzzing energy. The staff look like they stepped out of the sexy-but-wholesome photographs on the wall and they’ve all been briefed to do the “Hey, how are you?” thing you get in New York. Although prices are equal in pounds to dollars it seems they had no trouble amassing sales. The question is, will the UK chavs adopt it as their own?
The Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ bag went on sale today at the Anya Hindmarch stores. As usual, there has been masses of hype, the website crashed and Vogue.com ran a puff piece on it to create even more of a frenzy. Although the bags look lovely and certainly worth more than £5, and are for a good cause (although that would be the last of my reasons for buying it) I am still in two minds whether to get caught up in the hype. On the one hand I really like the style of the bag and it looks like a collectable. On the other hand, it’s canvas and will get dirty so will not be in a collectable state for long. Is it the hype that is making it so desirable? I don’t need any more bags. I get bored easily. If I go out of my way to get a bag now, will I still be using it in three months time? I think I will wait until April when they are in Sainsbury’s. If I’m not sick of the sight of them by then and manage to get one then that will be the deciding factor.
Another trip to Portobello yesterday in almost-spring sunshine and minus the Saturday crowds. I went to One Of A Kind, the vintage shop I have never been into before. Guess what? I liked it! I ‘ve deliberately avoided it til now being anti-hype and it always seemed a bit too…up itself. But it had some great stuff, and nicely displayed but pricey. Under the Westway I saw some cute velvet bowties and by Acklam Street a selection of very-nice-indeed saddle bags and not too expensive either.
Then I saw it. A very Desperately-Seeking-Susan-style cropped snakeskin-print suede jacket (you know, the scene where she goes in the vintage store and he says ‘that jacket belonged to Jimi Hendrix’). Very Antony Price but it had four real fur tails hanging from it. I really am a hypocrite when it comes to fur. On the one hand I know it’s cruel, even if it’s vintage. There’s just no excuse and I know wearing any kind of real fur sends the message to impressionable people that it’s ‘OK’. It’s not even to keep me warm (the usual excuse I trot out when I wear my ‘extreme weather’ Russian fur Ushanka). On the other hand, although it’s wrong sometimes I just can’t resist it – say what you like, fake fur just isn’t the same. So I tried on the jacket and the shoulders were a mite too big but hey, it was £35! I deliberated for all of two minutes. Now I’ve got it home, tried it on with my Nudie Slim Kim jeans and Tony Mora ocelot cowboy boots (oops, more fur) I think I can make it work. I just need to take the shoulders in …and get rid of the mothballs stink.
So what do we think so far of the Giles-New Look marriage? I went to the launch last night not planning to buy (even though it was 10% off) but more for the spectacle. Celeb count was low – I saw Daisy Lowe – but fashionista count high-ish for a high street do. Katie Grand and Katie Hillier (she of the Marc, LV and Luella jewellery) were in attendance to support bezzy mate Giles, model-of-the-moment Agyness was happy to pose for everyone’s digicams and scenester Molaroid was just there to be seen. Sadly no sign of Giles fan Sue Pollard or Drew Barrymore who modelled the pics. However the music was great and champagne free flowing. Reactions to the collection have been decidedly mixed. The print shoes were my favourite but apparently people in out of town stores have been pointing at them and laughing (Peasants!). The clothes are OK but if they didn’t say Giles you wouldn’t think they were anything special. I had high hopes for the goody bag but oh dear, a cheap pendant on a tatty chain do not a thrilling gift make. Poor Giles! I wonder how Madonna’s collection will fare when it launches this month?