A global field guide to shopping, style and hidden gems
est. 2007

Archive: Aug 2008

  1. Wee finds at TK Maxx

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    I can count on one hand the amount of times I've set foot inside a TK Maxx store.

    When I first arrived in the UK, I made a beeline for this shop. It was, apparently, where "savvy shoppers" head to unearth a designer gem. Heck, I thought, I'm a savvy shopper. So off I toddled, dedicating a decent amount of time to digging around in a bid to bag a designer bargain [note to self: go easy on the alliteration]. But after a few visits yielded zero startling finds, I gave it up as the stuff of legend.

    But there I was this afternoon, back at my local Lewisham branch, trawling the racks in desperation for a bikini. I know. It's the end of the season. I've missed the boat. BUT, I'm flying off to Sardinia next month and I have a bad habit of leaving bikini buying 'til the last minute. That's because it's a demon task from hell. Still, I thought I had nothing to lose and dutifully made my way around the shop floor.

    Not surprisingly, there was zilch in the way of swimsuits BUT, I did end up in the scarf section (yep, miles away from bikinis) and found a rather choice selection including a See by Chloe cotton print scarf (£19), a striking orange and black silk McQ by Alexander McQueen scarf (£99 – down from £500), a dancing Olivia red silk Moschino scarf (£15) and a woolen tan and cream scarf by Michael Kors (£19). I also discovered a bunch of pretty Calvin Klein and Elle McPherson bras for around £6 over in lingerie. Cheep cheep!

  2. London shopping: Sunday & Rex

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    Pop-up galleries and shops is where it’s all happening in London right now. I do like a bit of a pop-up myself – something about its temporary nature and implied sense of urgency spurs me to actually get off my arse – lest I ‘snooze and lose’.

    And popping up in East London on Friday is Sunday & Rex, a gallery showcasing art, furniture, contemporary jewellery and designed objects from up-and-coming designers from Australia and Europe.

    Stewart Brooks and Georgie Morgan are the Aussie expats behind Sunday & Rex, and together they’ve curated a cracker line-up of design talent. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the tasty gems on offer …

    Lucy Folk's sterling silver popcorn ring.

    Lucy Folk's sterling silver cornchip necklace.

    Lucy Folk's gold popcorn necklace.

    Gregory Bonasera's ceramic bowls.

    Vaugh Shannon's branch table.

    Vaugh Shannon's happy lamp.

    Krista McRae's odd-shaped earrings.

    Krista McRae's gem studs in silver, oxidized silver and 24ct gold.

    Nina Ellis's bowls.

    Sunday & Rex
    Pop-up gallery
    30 August-14 September
    90 Redchurch Street E1 6LA

    18-21 September
    Tent London
    Truman Brewery
    Brick Lane E1

    Click here for more shops in E1.

  3. London shopping: Repetto 60 Ans

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    It’s all about tulle, tutus and tortured toes at Dover Street Market right now, and I couldn’t stay away for a second (OK, I made it over there yesterday).

    Repetto design by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons.

    I was there to check out Repetto’s 60 Ans exhibition, which opened in London on Monday. The iconic French ballet shoe company has just turned 60, and to celebrate they invited 60 sparkling luminaries from the worlds of dance, film, art, fashion and design to customise a pair of ballet shoes.

    Bardot ‘Strass Rouge’ – limited and individually numbered by Repetto.

    I’m not sure that I saw the entire line-up – perhaps they’re showing different designs over the exhibition period – but highlights included Vanessa Beecroft’s blood-spattered white leather flats (she got murderous with some thick red paint), and a French ballerina’s satin pointe shoes that had been hand-embroidered with a charming pas-de-deux design. By contrast, Carla Bruni’s silver star and moon design looked positively bland.

    There’s also a line-up of customised tutus and leotards, including Rei Kawakubo’s flirty and fun French-maid version with a shorter white ‘apron’ frill over a longer black skirt. It also plays with the difference between the classic shorter tutu and the romantic mid-calf version.

    Repetto design by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons.

    My only (tiny) complaint was that at times it was difficult to discern who actually designed what, as the labels were attached to each shoe and often tucked underneath. And a good sprinkling of “Do not touch” signs made me reluctant to turn them over. I would have loved to have seen the shoes designed by Chloë Sevigny and Kim Gordon.

    All designs in 60 Ans will be auctioned in October, with proceeds going to Unesco to fund select educational establishments.

    Repetto 60 Ans
    Monday 18th August to Saturday 13th September
    Dover Street Market
    17-18 Dover St,
    London W1
    Tel: 020 7518 0680

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm
    Thursday 11am-7pm

    Nearest tube: Green Park

    Click here for more shops in Mayfair.
    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
    All images courtesy of Dover Street Market.

  4. London shopping: Beyond the Valley sale

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    Looks like it will be pop-up shop au-go-go in the Carnaby area over the next couple of weeks. While you're checking out Urban Craft Stars' pop-up shop, don't miss Beyond the Valley's countdown sale on nearby Ganton Street, starting Friday 22 August (just around the corner from the main BTV store). Prices start at £30 and will reduce further by £5 every two days until they're cleared. Most items are one-off or in limited supply. Well worth checking out.

    From Friday 22 August to Monday 1 September only
    2 Ganton Street
    London W1F 7QL

    Nearest tube: Oxford Street

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 11am – 7pm
    Sunday 12.30pm – 6pm
    (Closed Monday 25 August)
    Cash and cheque only