By Janine Kelso
Calling all fashion lovers! If your wardrobe is in need of an autumn update, there’s no better place to rev it up than with a trip to Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush, with more than 300 shops. I visited the mall last week and was wowed by the hot buys for autumn 2012.
Label lovers can find the latest trends in Westfield’s The Village where you’ll find all manner of luxury lines, from Burberry to Versace, but I made a beeline for the more wallet-friendly shops.
Those in the know are saying that black is back and that it’s time to show your rebellious side by going gothic with studs and crucifix details – or keep it feminine by sticking to velvets, feathers and silk. My top picks included a sumptuous black faux fur coat by Biba at House of Fraser and a rock chick-style studded black bag at Karen Millen.
Also making fashion waves right now are digital prints, with geometric and precision patterns leading the way. I popped into River Island where I found lashings of leopard print and tartan, with stand-out pieces including tartan trousers with black leather-look side panels and black boots with a zebra print heel. Fierce! “Leopard print has been popular for a while and everyone’s wearing lace and black at the moment,” River Island Shop Assistant Loren-Jai told me.
I swung by super-cool bimba & lola where I found a whirl of gorgeous brocades and embroidery, inspired by different cultures. Famed for its edgy designs, this Spanish fashion brand had some particularly gorgeous animal print fur coats and embroidered jackets, as well as scores of lovely leopard print loafers and ballet slippers, making it my favourite shop of the day.
When it comes to footwear, opulence is the order of the day with bejewelled shoes in fashion favour right now: think pointy studs and plenty of bling that will give any outfit instant wow-factor. I sneaked a peek at Dune’s footwear offering and was dazzled by polka dot court shoes embellished with sequins, heels covered in metal studs, and crystal beaded court shoes for a truly bling-tastic look. There was even a spiked studded toe cap court shoe, which I wouldn’t like to encounter down an alleyway on a dark night!
Preferring to wrap up my tootsies in something cosier in the upcoming chilly months, I checked out UGG Australia, home to what is probably the world’s most famous comfy boot which I was told is like “wearing a teddy bear on your foot” by shop assistant Rudy. My fave shoes were fluffy flip-flops and bejewelled fluffy boots that Rudy said were “inspired by the Queen’s Jubilee and the Royal Wedding”.
And as for men, Reiss appear to have nailed the English gentleman look this season with its stylish suits and range of pocket squares – a handkerchief folded in a special way that’s placed in the breast pocket of a suit. “Old school stuff is coming back and our suits are very James Bond-style,” shop assistant Dewayne told me, working the accessory du jour himself with a fetching pink pocket hankie dashingly peeping out of the breast pocket of his dark blue suit jacket.
Janine was a guest of Westfield