Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Simply Shopping: Village England

Morning All. Wednesday on the blog and time for a recent British designed discovery. 

This week has been London Fashion Week where the coiffed of the fashion world stand in queues in their expensive shoes outside glamourous venues in London to see the new collections for the autumn from the biggest designers in the capital. Visit for the latest shows.

I always enjoyed the spectacle of the shows and was fortunate for a little while to be invited along. It was the feeling of being invited to an exclusive party [lucky me!], then being told you're not allowed in the VIP area [humph!]. There was a distinct hierarchy to proceedings and everyone was expected to know their place; upset the system at your peril. 

I loved the excitement, anticipation, sheer glamour of the week, but always felt a little uneasy with the inherent judgement that went along with the fashionable proceedings. From the seat you occupied, to your handbag and haircut, you were assessed by the assembled photographers, editors and buyers. I was reminded of this by the usual tabloid tutting about celebrity outfits on the red carpet of the recent BAFTAs [here]. Rather than focus on the incredible achievements of these powerful women it's easier to judge their sartorial efforts in what I think is a really lazy form of journalism. Why do we not make the same superficial judgements of men? Emma Thompson is the only person to win both an Oscar for acting and for writing. Truly a female icon, but it's deemed her outfit wasn't up to scratch - what a shame this is what we focus on.

Perhaps my unease says more about my insecurities than everyone else, because there were also friends and colleagues [probably much like Emma Thompson] who sailed through the four weeks of shows without concern for fashion top trumps, but instead took prodigious notes and photographs for their style notebooks, asked all the right questions, and kept their stylish but understated heads down focusing on their work rather than the furore. 

I've recently discovered a great British hand bag that would have gone down a storm at fashion week with my stylish but understated friends. Village England designs great quality bags with an eye on modern design without sacrificing on the practical demands of a busy life, which is my favourite kind of style. The bags come in a great selection of kid-safe neutrals [blacks and browns] as well as summery brights, so cover the different wardrobe demands of the fickle British weather and promise to age well; always the sign of a great accessory.

I've chosen a few of my favourites which might seem pricy, but with this kind of everyday essential it pays to shop at the top end of your budget whether that means asking family to club together for an important birthday or saving a few pounds each week of your own hard-earned cash. The best things in life are definitely worth waiting for, perhaps a bit like those queues at fashion week!

1. Cranleigh in orange - SHOP NOW
2. Datchet in yellow - SHOP NOW
3. Burton Agnes in red - SHOP NOW
4. Much Marcle in pale grey - SHOP NOW

1 comment :

  1. I'm so with you on this Amy, Emma Thompson should be celebrated and yet our focus so often glides over such achievements or worse still, sometimes because of them! Thanks for saying so, especially on a blog about style. K x


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