There’s no denying that I love fashion and I love a good bargain. So when my friends suggested a pit stop at Bicester Village on the way home from our spa break, I was there in a heartbeat. Bicester Village is home to over 130 boutiques of famous designer brands, situated in the heart of Oxfordshire. The historic market is perfect for those who wish to make discount designer purchases and equally ideal for people seeking fashion inspiration in a luxury setting. Bicester really has it all: from Sandro, Celiné and Gucci to Karen Millen, Balenciaga and Tod’s; making it’s extremely easy to be overwhelmed if you’re not hunting for something specific. Out of every boutique, for me there were two stores that blew me away from the moment I walked in.
Furla, an Italian luxury accessories brand created by the Furlanetto family in 1927, is situated near to Prada and Pandora in a small, quaint boutique. Inside lies the most stunning of stores. Marble floors and white walls are the backdrop to vibrant, dynamic bags; from shoulder styles to tote handbags, colourful pom-pom key-rings and delicate bow accessories. Each and every bag is handmade in Italy and they scream of cool, smooth lines and a varying colour palette. It is clear that Furla’s inspiration is taken directly from the catwalk and poured in to high-quality pieces that I would happily squeeze into my wardrobe.
Iconic British women’s clothing brand Karen Millen always stands out from the rest; being classic, ultra-feminine and sophisticated in every single way so I expected a lot from the store and it did not disappoint. As I stepped into the boutique, elegant dresses hung upon delicate railings, with each and every design more irresistible that the last. There is a particular aspect I have always loved about the brand and that is its vibrant colour palette as the design team isn’t afraid to play with different shades and hues. Yet from vibrant reds to electric blues, a Karen Millen design always remains classic and beautiful.
So if you ever find yourself at a loose end in Oxfordshire then Bicester Village should be top of your list. A shopping experience like no other, Bicester provides a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of London’s busy high streets or sterile mall environments. Peruse the village at your own pace, indulging in the rustic feel of the designer boutiques and complete your day with a trip to the Farmshop restaurant and cafe, created exclusively for Bicester by the masterminds behind Soho House.