Saturday, 24 May 2014

British Designers Collective: Bicester Village

The last time I visited Bicester Village was about 11 years ago, when I studied at The Univeristy of Birmingham. My family used to make a day of it at the start of every term, and break up the journey with a little designer outlet shopping. Back then, the highlight was the Ralph Lauren factory outlet, and we might find something in Karen Millen if we were lucky. 

How things have changed.

First off: there's somewhere to eat other than Pret - from Jamie Oliver to Villandry, a much chicer way to enjoy a spot of shopping. There are also amazing stores: Celine, Valentino, Prada to the stores we all really want to go in: Sandro.

I went to Bicester for the British Designers Collective, an initiative in its fifth year now, whereby NewGen designers are beautifully curated in a pop-up store, allowing shoppers to browse and purchase exclusively selected cool, emerging and established British designers (Michael Van Der Ham, Lulu & Co and Jonathan Saunders are just a few of the brands you'll find) at an outlet price. 

Curated by my style guru Yasmin Sewell and celebrated by Ellie Goulding, the morning was a hub of creative talent.

LOVED this outfit on the mannequin...
Nicholas Kirkwood block heels - these are still one of my favourite styles
Yasmin Sewell wearing JW Anderson - you'll see a load of pics of her on my 'Style Stalking' Pinterest board
Celebrating the fusion of music and fashion with Ellie Goulding as the Designers Collective Ambassador, the pop-up shop will also combine the Art world, featuring work from the Royal Academy in-store which you can also buy. I had my eye on a Gary Hume piece - but at £1800 unframed, I had to leave it behind...

Claire Barrow hand-painted jacket (we saw Susie Bubble investing in one of these)
Peter Pilotto dress
Mary Katrantzou piece
Richard Nicoll heaven
Ellie Goulding
I did have a little time to browse the stores too, and stopped by Sandro (for research reasons only, obviously):

The range of New Gen British brands is an exciting initiative for Bicester, and definitely adds a good degree of variety to the outlet village. 

And what did I buy? I had my eye on a Prada hibiscus print wallet, but decided it was better to return when I had time to appreciate all Bicester has to offer. I know my sister would love to visit, so maybe we'll make a day out of it. Watch this space.

One day it will be mine...


  1. I have a yearning to visit Bicester. I live fairly close to Cheshire Oakes but it just isn't in the same league. I, too, would be drooling over the Nicholas Kirkwood shoes and would probably be asked to leave for making a mess. :-) H x

    1. Haha - Cheshire Oaks is good....but doesn't have the same calibre of brands, I agree. I'd camp out in the Prada store, if they'd let me!

  2. That stamp print dress is amazing... how much of a discount are we talking here?!


    1. Sadly I think it's still around £1000....but down from £3,000??!!


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