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Evenings are hectic at this time of the year and I can't be everywhere, luckily my style spy Stephen Mahoney is always on the lookout for a good fashion report and this one is absolutely great:
OK, we all know the world is in major recession, so it was refreshing to see fashion houses, take the lead and show the light, by opening new stores.
First up, was Bill Amberg, located, smack bang in the heart of Mayfair, 9 Shepherds Market, W1J 7PF.
The store is spread over 3 floors.
On the ground floor, Bill showcased his spring summer offer of luxury leather goods in every conceivable form for men, from travel bags, attache case's with polished silver metal handles, laptop and mobile phone holders, in masculine Oak wood brown, midnight blue and black.
On the 2d floor, he launched his first female collection, in an a limited range of products in a eye-catching Canary Yellow. And on top floor, ranges of goods for everyone
Though, for young Lilli Ashley, the grand daughter of the late great Grand dame of Britain's fashion, Laura Ashley. It was Mr B's leather rucksack, that caught Lilli's eagle eye and with her dad Nick on hand, testing its quality, there was mutual thumbs up on the bag. Then Nick blurted out, he's going back into retail with his wife & their opening a store in London.
l thrust my card into Mr N Ashley hand and left, to head off to Covent Garden Piazza, for the grand opening of the first ever pop up boutique in London, for French heritage outerwear apparel brand, Aigle. at 3 The Market , The Piazza, London WC2.
There, amid the Gotex jackets, heavy knitted sweaters and wellington boots, I met partners in crime Eddie Prendergast and Stephen Davies.
Eddie and Stephen explained to me that they've been flagging up a "Guy Fawkes" tongue in cheek window display, of the superb Aigle products, in their modern cult menswear lifestyle emporium, Present,140 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JE.
Can this mean E&S will be serving up brie, instead of their excellent caffeine fix coffee, over the festive season, for their perspicacious clientele?
I grab a couple of tasty le boeuf hors d'oeuvres and legged it with Eddie's elegant wife Lindsey, to 1a Earlham St, WC2H 9LL, for the 3'd and final shop opening. This was for dynamic fashion design duo, Stuart Trevor and his wife Kait Bolongaro, owners of bolongarotrevor label.
Just like the previous two bashes, it was packed to the gills, and it was equally impossible to examine all the clothes, leaving me to chat chat with the Justin Deakin shoe designer, after he'd did his photo call with Mr S Trevor.
Over a glass of bubbly, Mr Deakin let it slip, "I'm opening a shop next Thursday and I'll send you a email invite tomorrow". Thanking him, I returned to pounding the pavement and reflected on tonights escapades & it made me smile, knowing all these new a la mode outlets can accommodate most of our retail therapy cravings, and just before Christmas to. Yippy.
By Stephen Mahoney Fashion Editor