Fashion week isn’t just for the luxury designers to show off their collections anymore, I love that some high street fashion brands are taking the plunge and placing their products alongside that of Mulberry, Burberry and the likes, and AllSaints really impressed me with their clever presentation, which was styled to perfection, and left me wanting absolutely everything come autumn/winter!
I love discovering new handbag brands, because there is no such thing as too many bags, and I love it even more when it is discovered through the power of social media from a great conversation, and I adore it even more when the brand is British. So let me introduce Village England, a new-ish British accessories brand that is on the quest to design the perfect bag and I think looking at the autumn/winter 2015 collection they have cracked it.
What I love about this label, other than the fab styles, has to be the passion of the founders, Eddie Knevett, the former head of accessories at department store House of Fraser, and Julia Dobson, the former UK boss for LVMH-owned French brand Céline, who both really just want to make quality bags that are not only functional but also fashionable, oh and I have to say I love that they like me love pockets!!!
I kindly got a preview of their up-coming AW15 collection and I basically fell in love with everything, from their use of the dreamiest full-grain natural leather, it is that sort of leather that you just know is going to age beautifully, to the little details such as the stirrup buckle and the fact that each bag is named after a village in England.
The collection is huge – you have everything from cute mini cross-body bags in an array of gorgeous colours to slouchy bucket bags that will carry everything and even classic totes. The beauty isn’t just in the styles, the colours or the quality, but also the fact that the majority of Village England’s bags sell for less than £300, which when you feel them you will understand is a bargain.
The brand also has a cute ‘Made in England’ collection, which is dreamy, a little more expensive than the other pieces, but hey dreamy doesn’t come cheap!!!
It is hard to pick a favourite from the new collection, I love the stirrup detailing on the cross-body styles and pouches that red saddlebag beauty has to be mine, but I think the styles I loved most had to be the cracked mirrored leather ones. I don’t think my photos do this beauty justice, but it comes in a rucksack **want**, a tote **want**, a cross body pouch that has a detachable strap to turn it into a clutch **want** and a gorgeous bucket bag **surprise, I also want**. What surprised me the most, not that I liked the finish, I am a magpie I like anything shiny, but how soft it was, you look at it and think it will be rough, maybe because it looks like broken glass, but it is the complete opposite and basically it meant I loved it even more.
What I think Village England does beautifully, other than the quality, has to be the fact they have considered all ages, I think there is something that would grab the attention of most women, yet they haven’t strayed away from their core values of making a bag that is functional yet pretty, because let’s be honest no one is going to buy a bag that is ugly yet practical. I do love a brand that isn’t afraid of colour, as yes we all love black handbags, but we also want bright beauties as well.
Have you discovered Village England yet? I would love to know your thoughts on the British brand.
There is something special about Osprey London, not only because it makes great handbags that I adore, or the fact that it really does champion British manufacturing and design, but because it is very much a family run business with founder and creative director Graeme Ellisdon at the helm, his wife Alex curating the amazing jewellery collections, and even his son Jack is on hand in the store’s Saddlery Cafe.
Much like the brand’s St Alban’s store, the Regent Street store utilises the amazing Grade II listed building, which was once a Barclay’s bank, to showcase the eclectic mix of leather accessories, jewellery, interior pieces, even knitted toys and food. Everything about the store interior is divine – from the solid oak doors at the entrance to the exquisite chandeliers and the stainless steel staircase and that’s without talking about the brand’s diverse selection of interior pieces such as gorgeous arm chairs, antique picture frames and a fun choice of cushions.
There is very much a “home” feel to the store, which is apparently the vibe that Graeme was going for, with the upstairs set out more like a fashion store with its walls covered with gorgeous leather bags and display cabinets filled with handmade jewellery, while downstairs brings a slice of the countryside into central London. I love that the store is a destination, I think I could have spent hours just picking up every last item, there is really so many things I didn’t even know I wanted for the house!!!
As well as buying gorgeous handbags and pieces for the home, the flagship also houses an informal cafe area in the style of the Saddlery Cafe at St Albans, think cute bone china tea cups, delicious cakes and one of the best hot chocolates ever. I also love that the sitting areas are situated within the former bank’s vaults – super cosy and I can’t wait to do tea and cake there soon.
If you are down the Piccadilly Circus end of Regent Street then trust me you have to pop by for a look, not only will you probably leave with a new handbag or necklace, but you will pick up lots of pinnable ideas for your home, I have my eye on a £5k multicoloured sofa.
How cure is Boris? This beauty was knitted in the UK and I love how each one comes with their own mini Osprey London cross-body bag. I seriously need one of these beauties.
Love these metallic handbags – so different for the brand but they really do make a statement.
Osprey London, 27 Regent Street, London (on the corner of Regent Street and Jeremy Street, opposite Lilywhite’s).
Each season Primark seems to be developing its offering, it is a high street store that is no longer just for picking up basics such as boyfriends tees, or a statement piece of jewellery for a night out – this is a shop that is has really upped its game to bring shoppers the latest trends at affordable prices.
For most, me included, trends can be a little scary, they are mostly out of people’s comfort zones and you are never sure how long they are going to last. What I love about Primark is that it is a place where you can test out a trend, save a few bob along the way, while still looking good.
For autumn/winter 2013 there are several key trends to look out for – from the pink invasion to 90’s grunge, sporty and minimal, as well as punk. Some are easier than others, for instant adding a touch of pink to your wardrobe is probably the easiest to wear, and I love that Primark has a lovely selection from sugary hues to vibrant bold pinks, so whether you want to make a statement in a pink coat, or add a touch of pink with a gorgeous jumper or a tailored pair of trousers – there will be a lot of options.
Minimal and sporty is also a trend that’s easy to master, you will probably already have a lot of options in your wardrobe as it is a continuation from a spring/summer trend. In Primark you will find pieces with an elegant edge – from block coloured dresses, to coats with contrasting panels, as well as some cute sparkly trainers.
One of my favourite trends for autumn/winter has to be the return of the 90’s grunge, think lots of tartan, crackled leather, lace up boots, and statement jewellery.
Whether you are updating your wardrobe with some key staples or adding a few statement pieces – trust me pop into Primark you may be surprised with what you come out with!!!
What are you thoughts on Primark’s autumn/winter 2013 collection?
For more pictures from the Primark autumn/winter 2013 preview head on over to my Facebook page.