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Thursday, May 24, 2007

On the High Streets

I am back from the most amazing London vacation of my life!

I shopped until I dropped on several days during my brief stay in London and I got a taste of the high street and street market shopping. For inexpensive and trendy fashions, Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, and Covent Garden were my favorite London shopping areas. The five-level TopShop flagship on Oxford Street was amazing, and I had tea at the cafe there, which was so refreshing and convenient. I also stocked up at Primark, which had inexpensive basics and kitschy accessories. Each day that I shopped, my arms were heavily laden with shopping bags as I made my way around the city later in the day, visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, Savile Row, and many other London landmarks and places of interest. On the weekend, I shopped at the Portobello Road Market, the Old Spitalfields Market, and Brick Lane. During my stay, I also visited Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, Bath, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford University, and the Tower of London. Warwick Castle was my favorite because of its sheer beauty, size, and its morbid dungeon. (Please see previous post for more on this.) I will post more of my vacation pictures in the next few days...I took over 600 photos and have lots to show you!

During my stay, I also shopped in Knightsbridge, along the High Street Kensington, and I had tea at Harrods. The food halls at Harrods were a never-ending array of meat, seafood, cheese, biscuits, candy, chocolates, tea, wine, tapas, and anything else you could possible consume. This store was like a dream fantasy for a shopaholic like me!

Some of the predominant trends that I saw represented on the streets and on the shop racks include:
  • neon - yes it's back!
  • perspex footwear
  • chunky wedges and slingbacks in cute prints such as florals and polka dots
  • flat scrunchy boots (I bought 3 pairs - white, green, and gray)
  • graphic print dresses and tunics
  • lightweight trenchcoats
  • metallics and sequins (this is a huge trend still!!)
  • taupe, khaki, and other neutral hues
  • babydoll and trapeze dresses (with pockets)
  • corset-style, high waisted jeans (in both narrow and wide-leg styles)
  • high-waisted short shorts
  • 1980s hip-hop imagery (cassette players, boom boxes, roller skates, etc.)
  • brightly colored denim
  • studded clutches
  • straw hats
  • large beaded necklaces
  • brogues
  • slouchy boyfiend-fit jeans
  • neon tights and printed leggings
  • balloon-sleeved poet blouses (this is a huge trend)
  • scarves with fringe tied in various manners around the neck (I saw hundreds of women rockin' this trend)
  • anti-war statement T-shirts
  • vintage patches sewn onto handbags
  • metallic leggings (I saw some at American Apparel for 25 pounds but passed because that's almost $50!!)
  • yellow (it's the next hot color, and perfect for summer!)
  • Turbans - thanks, Miucca Prada! (I bought a silver metallic turban from H and M that I'm excited about)
  • Fruit-themed jewelry (I will post photos of this trend later)
  • Large printed tote bags
  • Ballet flats (very popular on the streets with skinny jeans)
  • Playsuits (they look like overalls, but are more sophisticated and look great when worn over a bikini for summer!)

I shopped at several vintage stores in the Brick Lane area and picked up some one-of-a-kind items at the street markets. My favorite high street stores were TopShop, Primark, Oasis, River Island, and New Look. I am so excited to wear my new high-waisted jeans from TopShop, my printed poet blouse from Oasis, my kitschy jewelry from TopShop, my knitted beret from the Old Spitalfields Market, and my white ankle boots from New Look.