Sample sales and vintage victories

Paris has started with a bang. A buying bang. That is, once all the bureaucratic faffing was out the way and access to a functioning French bank account with money in it was gained. Then there was a bang. Think of it like a firework and you’re waiting for it to explode but there’s some technical hitch which Dad is trying to sort out; he’s wading through paperwork, waiting on letters, setting up transfers, waiting on transfers to take effect and then BANG, we’re off!

So, once said access was gained, I entered the world of Parisian journalist perks and the treasure trove of vintage wonders that the city of lights has to offer. First up, Sonia Rykiel sample sale. Sonia Rykiel is not a brand that has ever popped up on my radar too much (aside from her gorgeous Poor Boy sweaters, featured in British Vogue when I was working there), and so it was without much expectation that I went along to the sale with my colleague. What was the lesson learnt? Do not ignore Sonia Rykiel. Beautiful coats, butter soft leather bags, and a pair of maribou feather heels which in fact feature on a picture which I’m looking at hanging on my wall as I write this (thanks to my lovely ex-boss). It was a dream, and quiet to boot meaning ample touching and feeling time before leaving  with a gorgeous necklace, having been my most restrained self. I could have left with a navy blue ponyskin bag – too impractical – or a gorgeous, minimalistic camel coat – waiting until I can afford a cashmere one – not to mention a wealth of other beauties, but control was exercised. Needless to say the prices were fantastic, and my colleague nabbed herself a ball gown and left feeling like a thief for having paid such a good price.

Saturday brought with it more bargain promise, and it dealt up the goods. First up, a “vide-robe”, literal translation a “wardrobe empty”. People registered to come along and set up a stall where they sold their unwanted clothes. Simple. Being Paris, this wasn’t unwanted Primark and Topshop (although there was a lot of Zara on offer), no, clothes ranged from two season-old YSL blazers, to €1000 vintage Hermès bags, with a lot of Maje and Sandro on the way. I won the shopping award, scooping up a delicious military green Equipment blouse for just €40, a bargain seeing as they can cost up to €400 and mine is unworn. Equipment is a French brand, run by the husband of Carine Roitfeld, ex-Editor-in-Chief of my current employer, Vogue Paris. They specialise in silk blouses and are, in my humble opinion, the leader in this particular niche of the fashion world.

Rubbing my hands with glee, I headed further into the Marais under the guidance of my lovely colleague Holly, to explore what ancient treasures lay in the many vintage shops. The discovery was not what I expected. Spoiler alert: vintage shops in Paris are amazing, and cheap. The layout is generally hectic and you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty and do some digging, but, my friends, the rewards will be plentiful. If you’re in the market for any type of sheepskin or shearling jacket, the Parisian vintage world is your oyster. Unfortunately, this savvy shopper saw the shearling jacket of her dreams on the back of someone as they walked out the shop having purchased it. Not one to dwell on what might have been, I quickly snaffled up a very loud, printed shirt, an oversized men’s navy corduroy shirt (new favourite item) and a top so Nineties, only Buffy (the Vampire slayer) would wear it.

So there you have it, the first forays into the Parisian shopping scene for Fashion(Ed) in London. I wonder how many people have read to the end of this and not given up, wondering why there are no photos…

Fashion(Ed) In London Returns

After a brief hiatus during which much time was spent in the library,  I am back in the world of Fashion. What a wonderful feeling! So here are some of the things that have been going on while my head was stuck in books, essays and poetry:

Sign your allegiance

New York boutique Les Plus Dorés have released a range of varsity-style t-shirts sporting the names of your favourite designers on the back, meaning we can show the world our brand loyalty. Not only do they have their names, but the numbers correspond to the year in which each particular designer was born. Nifty. So now in the Simons at Dior vs. Slimane at YSL debate, you can proudly show your team loyalty. Available here.

images from LPD website

Fashion Goes Disney

New York department store Barneys has collaborated with Disney to produce a film named Electric Holiday; the film follows Minnie Mouse dreaming her way to Paris Fashion Week. Along the way, she meets some of Fashion’s biggest names: Anna Dello Russo, Alber Elbaz, Carine Roitfeld, Franca Sozzani (long-standing role model for this blogger), Emmanuelle Alt, Juergen Teller, Pat McGrath and many more. The film looks very cute indeed but unfortunately it can only be seen in store. Let’s hope it’s released to a  wider audience later on!

images from Vogue

Thanksgiving Parade Re-imagined

John Januzzi has created a series of drawings depicting big fashion names as huge balloons in the illustrious Macy’s’ Thanksgiving Parade. A fun (and probably very popular) idea!

images from becauseimaddicted

And Finally…

It’s that time of year again: sample sale time! This week boasts Erdem, Christopher Kane, J.W.Anderson, Alexander McQueen and Nicholas Kirkwood sample sales.

Erdem: Tuesday 4th December 8.30am – 8.00pm
Wednesday 5th December 8.30am – 5.00pm

The Future Gallery
5 Great Newport Street
London
WC2H 7HY

Christopher Kane: Friday 30th November 12.30 – 8.00pm

The Mercer Street Studios
16 Mercer Street
WC2H 9QE

J.W.Anderson: Friday 30th November 4.00 – 8.00pm

37-75 Shacklewell Lane
Lighthouse Studios
Dalston
London
E8 2EB

The Joy of Sample Sales

This week has been mostly dedicated to attending sample sales – Erdem, Joseph and Christopher Kane – as well as one ‘Fashion Jumble Sale’. The sample sales were all fantastic and very different. The Erdem sale was held at The Future Gallery in Covent Garden and was full of sales assistants drafted in from the store. The clothes were on neat rails arranged by size and divided into dresses, skirts, trousers, shirts and jackets. It was incredibly well organised and made for an extremely pleasant shopping experience. Of course there was a communal changing area but there were 2 or 3 big mirrors and more helpful sales assistants giving advice. In fact it was just like being in a shop, to the point that oen sales assistant took my items off my hands and took them to the changing room so that I could browse more freely. I was extremely tempted by a pink silk chiffon shirt (pictured below) for £160, but ended up resisting the temptation and moving on to the Joseph sale on South Molton Lane.

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