I was shopping with a customer on Monday for her S/S 10 wardrobe and we had a really fun day – she was trying on peg-leg rolled up crops, linen military inspired jackets and kaki sleeveless tees with ribbon necklines, all of which were lovely – but something seemed wrong. It felt weird because… yet again… it was snowing outside!! The day started off ok – one flake here… another there. But by the time we were power walking from Bond Street to meet her husband at Oxford Circus late afternoon laden with bags, the snow was so bad it was settling on my eyelashes and I could barely prize my hands off her purchases to hand them over because my hands were so cold!
I thought how on earth are potential shoppers supposed to feel inspired to shop for pastels and florals when it’s sub zero outside? Personally, I can see past the weather – I’m just gagging for something new at the moment as I’m oh so tired of my winter clothes… and if I can wear said item with a pair of black tights or skinny jeans now, then fantastic! But if not – my wardrobe will look more interesting and help me remember that Spring will come again… even if it doesn’t appear to be any time soon!
However, apparently I’m not the only one thinking S/S – we went into Karen Millen and found a really lovely item called the “Crinkle Cloth Coat” which was belted with a full skirt in tones of grey (it made my client’s waist look tiny!). On the website this is the description: “Italian cotton and metal trench coat with subtle light to dark effect and crinkle texture” (£250 at www.karenmillen.com). Cutting a long story short when we asked for my client’s size they’d almost sold out of all size 10s and 12s already in London and it’s only early February and snowing! They printed out a list of stores where sizes were available – there were a few stores in the UK; but most were in far off places such as Moscow and Dubai (I never knew Karen Millen had so many stores in Russia and the Middle East!)!! So girls, the message is if you’re looking for that special S/S outfit you’d better put on your Uggs and get out and brave those sub-zero temperatures… You won’t regret it! I often find these early “drops” in store to be best as you get longevity out of an item – as stock delivered later in the season is often more “high-summer”. (Actually, my client was in luck – after leaving empty-handed we spotted the “crinkle coat” in the window and it was a size 12 and it fitted like a glove!).
But what else is out there to buy from S/S that’s appropriate for this time of year? Well there are military-influenced pieces everywhere – kakis, beige, mocha, cappuccino etc and lots of nude. All of which are great with black and layered up with other items to avoid an overly Summery look (also, after a trying on session, the nude colours are actually more flattering than I thought, especially with darker colours – so don’t be afraid to experiment).
I’ve also noticed that there are loads of distressed boots in the shops at the moment – many of them resembling something out of Oliver Twist (they’re great to make more Spring like pieces look acceptable when it’s snowing outside as they’re a heavier look)! I actually quite like them but as I’ve got size 8 feet I have to be careful with the “Dr. Marten” style – I may look more Bill Sykes than Nancy! I’ll never forget being in Dolcis aged about 12 and desperately wanting some of the above DM’s – in a beautiful shade of yellow. I can’t believe they were in fashion! Anyway, the sales assistant handed me the size 8s and actually laughed in my face when I laced them up – I’m sure the sight of 12 year old pipe-cleaner legs sticking out of giant banana boots was hilarious… but steady on, he could have scarred me for life!!). However, I’ve moved on a little since then and last week found myself some slightly more lady-like “Nancy” boots from Office for £80 called “Office Middle Drimmie Black leather” (www.office.co.uk), which make my feet look quite small actually (this is obviously relatively speaking!).
By the way do you remember I bought the new Chanel Particulière nail varnish last week and after initially saying I wasn’t sure about it, I now really love it (www.chanel.com)! It looks especially sophisticated with all the army shades that are in stores at the moment… so if you can get your hands on a bottle, give it a go – but don’t panic if you can’t get hold of it, the Sunday Times Style magazine is suggesting “Mink Muss” by Essie (www.essie.com) as an alternative… Phew!!!