John Lewis; sheepskin-lined bovver boots and dresses worth die(t)ing for...

>> Saturday, 10 July 2010

I'm not a natural shopper. It's a big effort for me to go out and spend on stuff that I don't need yesterday (other than on clothes for the Boys, where for some reason money trickles through my fingers like water...). I suspect this is based on some deep-seated subconscious memory of there not being a lot of cash to spare whilst growing up (credit cards? What were they?) and painful shopping trips with my mum, looking for clothes for me and where we had vastly differing expectations of the outcome...

I'm not one to hold a grudge, you understand, but to give you an example there was that time she had one idea about what I was going to wear to the 3rd year end of term party (involving taffeta and burgundy), and I had another (involving funky knickerbockers, high heeled boots and a tinsel-threaded scarf, with possibly a glittery band worn Adam Ant-style around my forehead). No need to say who won, I suspect - but I remember the slippery feel of that taffeta to this day...

One of the few shops that seems to escape this unconscious embargo however, and which I am happy to wander around in is Peter Jones, the John Lewis flagship store on the Kings Road. For some reason it seems to be one of the few places where I can almost always find what I need, so when JL offered bloggers the chance to get a preview of their Autumn/Winter Christmas range last Thursday I jumped at it.

Can I just say now that it's a good thing I'm spending most of my time in Russia at the moment? Otherwise I think most of my disposable income would be headed straight for the JL Partners pockets. In the kitchenware department I saw an ingenious soup maker that also blends and crushes ice (Cuisinart, £139), a bread maker that also bakes cakes and makes jam (John Lewis, £60), a cup-cake maker that resembles nothing so much as breville sandwich toaster in the way that it works, and a speaker system that streams from it's own console or alternatively from your i-phone, internet or for all I know, the kitchen sink (Sonos S5, £349).

Then the nice people giving the tour took us down to where the fashion buyers had assembled a limited range of the gorgeous numbers they'll be selling this winter, where I had dark and lustful thoughts about Barbours with English Eccentric linings, a Celia Birtwell dress that looked like it could stylishly disguise the evidence of any pre-Christmas mince-pie excess (£80), and any number of pieces in their Russian Military range (but especially the sheepskin lined Dr Martens which sound awful but aren't, and which would be PERFECT for the snow and ice of the school run in down-town Moscow in January...)

And that's not all. There was a new line by Mint Velvet, some gorgeous 'lounging about' lingerie (which of course has no place in my life but I can dream, can't I?), and lots of reasonably priced evening wear that would even be worth die(t)ing for. Not to mention the 'casual sparkle' pieces to spice up JL's Rebel Rebel themed line which should probably be worn by fresh-faced teenagers and 20-somethings, but which definitely will appear in the wardrobes of some 40+ ladies who should know better (myself included), and a pair of Henry Holland-designed JL tights which feature Big Ben as a motif. (I am a London girl at heart, after all).

And then - and then - they took us to the home-wares section where bloggers from across the land made plans to acquire an Allegra bedspread which was a thing of great beauty (at £60), various pieces of gorgeous Ercol furniture, and a skinny artificial Christmas tree to show-case some Nordic themed tree-decorations.

I would love to have some fantastic photos or footage of all this stuff, but whilst I didn't lie when I told the lovely ladies at reception that I do know how to use the Flip Mino camera they so kindly gave me on my arrival, it turns out - on viewing what I did film - that I'm not actually very good at recording anything worth seeing. Instead I've lifted this photo off it as the best I can offer, which whilst it isn't moving pictures is at least a good illustration of how easy it is to get high quality stills off the hd movies that the Flip takes. Sorry JL - I'm sure that's not at all what you had in mind when you handed it over...

Oh well; maybe by next year I'll have learnt how to use it. And look at the pretty colours!


TheMadHouse 10 July 2010 at 19:46  

It was great to meet you again and I too loved the English excentric selection, but that is how people dress in N Yorkshire anyhow!

Potty Mummy 10 July 2010 at 22:10  

Really MH? All those pretty linings? I KNEW those Yorkshire-folk had a secret... Lovely to meet you again too btw!

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