When Shopping In Manchester The Words Less Is More Apply
So where should every self respecting fashion blogger head if they have a couple of hours in Manchester to kill? Well, if like me you’re always conscious of time and love gadgets that help you blog but look like they are an integral part of your latest look, then a fashionable time piece and camera is a must. Glossy colourful accessories and up-cycled fashions are also de-rigueur. With this in mind I highly recommend a visit to the swatch shop in the Arndale Centre on Market Street, where I found the staff are warm and very knowledgeable. The knowledge that the Swiss designers of swatch are so highly secretive about each new design, makes a trip to the shop the equivalent of visiting the vault at Gringotts - well for me anyway! The breadth of the range is vast, shoe designers don't come close.
If you're a fashion blogger up north that enjoys being playful with your style, swatch’s recent collab with American fashion designer Jeremy Scott might be for you - choose from the Double Vision swatch watch that looks like a pair of cartoon spectacles and can quickly move from one zany time piece to two swatch’s with the addition of an extra strap, I like the idea of having one coloured strap on one side and a black strap and face on the other (rather than opting for a black watch) great for Kooples wanting to share their time together!
Scotts other watch, the swatch portrait watch in black, features a removable ornate picture frame. The swatch’s I'm lusting after are both by Japanese designers, the first is a doll faced lady (Blue Wrath) by Hideaki Kawashima and the second is Uma Wang’s Pretty Bohemian, which has a real Mexican flavour.
Next destination for those not familiar is the wonderful world of Lomography, which has much in common with swatch’s culture and ethos, great prices, light weight plastic design and the option to change your camera to suit every occasion; from what I lovingly dubbed the Elvis camera (whilst chatting to store manager David Tester) in white and gold, to a stunning faded looking canvas Egyptian camera that left me swooning with the romance of it all, to enough bond type camera gadgetry for those with a tendency to spy on their neighbours and last but not least Lomo’s newly launched deck chair clad cameras which are just so chic its untrue.
|Lomography - Gold Edition|
I Feel Witty And Pretty And Gay, repeat after me!
Dizzy with print I next plunged headlong into a riot of colour and fancy at Parisian label Pylones. Here you will find everything from a witty kitty umbrella, to scissors that look like ballerinas with attitude - I love that they have taken the mundane and made it beautiful and funny, to me that's art in action.
|Pylones nail scissors|
Last but not least anyone that can take a pair of net curtains and transform them into a garment that looks like it were stitched from genuine lace has to a be an up-cyclist extraordinaire. Charlotte, owner of Junk my final Manchester shopping destination, is a down to earth friendly fashion designer who wants purchasing up-cycled items to become as common place as a visit to your local Topshop. As someone who has featured many independent designers and ethical labels on my fashion blog, I was very impressed by the quality of her tailoring and the creative use of fabrics, there were some really standout pieces, I will definitely be back!
I would give my best china and a big slab of mocha brownie to design either a Swatch watch or Lomography camera and have the honour of naming it, just putting it out there....