Phoebe Philo’s Celine at Bicester Village

One of the many benefits of being freelance (aside from swerving endless budget meetings and the rush hour commute) is the freedom to drop everything for an impromptu visit to Bicester Village. And so my London Fashion Week of shows and soirees ended with a jaunt to Oxfordshire hosted by the Bicester Village online team. I’ve always had great experiences at Bicester Village, possibly because I avoid bank holidays, Christmas and weekends. I head straight to Ralph Lauren, Smythson and Burberry to stock up on basics and this time I discovered the Burberry outlet has been split into two more managable stores while Ralph Lauren has added Ralph Lauren Home to the mix. This is excellent news if like me, you like your abode furnished to the rafters with Ralph bedding, photo frames and candles (including the intoxicating Jamaica candle).

Prada has ousted Ralph Lauren as my absolute must-go-to at Bicester Village. Not only did I spot a lip-print dress and tons of SS11’s jolly striping (hats, clutches) but this is shopping nirvana for Prada’s prudish schoolgirl coats and sensible knitwear at a hefty discount. Having something of a navy jumper fetish, I zoomed in on the men’s navy merino crew necks to wear with a Cece Toppings shirt collar and Asos collar tips. New to Bicester Village (and causing quite a commotion Twitter) is Phoebe Philo’s Celine, although as expected the prices are still sky high and wayyyyy out of my price range. I did enjoy inhaling the bags and stroking the shoes though…

Yves Saint Laurent at Bicester can be hit or miss. This season it’s a hit with a rail of Edition 24 goodies including a boxy tuxedo jacket and silk-lined little black cardi. I was nearly seduced by a naughty see-through plastic cape but came to my senses and conceded that (alas) I can’t really justify one of these in my life. Ditto the jazzy tartan cigarette trews and kilts on offer at D&G (might there be a rush on D&G now the brand is being folded into the mainline?).

Valentino as usual proffered some beautiful finery in the guise of spotty bourgeois blouses, scalloped organdie dresses and my favourite studded shoes.

Talking of shoes, Rupert Sanderson is a soon-to-come, hotly anticipated addition to Bicester Village’s shoe offer…

On my last trip to Bicester Village, I  lucked out with Marni’s bottle green mohair knit. This time, Consuelo Castiglioni’s delightful pyjama-stripe shirt went home with me. I’ll be wearing it unbuttoned like a jacket over an ancient Agnes B tee or buttoned up boy-girl style with my Minä Perhonen scarf. Thank you Team BV!