The last time I was at Bicester Village must have been before I moved to New York 5 years ago. So when I got an invite to attend the opening of the Harper’s Bazaar pop-up boutique this week, I saw it as a clear sign from whichever deity had my back on the day, to attend, and of course shop.
Even more curiously, the last time I saw Justine Picardie, the new Editor-in-chief at Harper’s Bazaar, I was sitting on her mother’s sofa in a cottage in a village outside Cardiff. I was at school with her sister Ruth, and she raised an eyebrow as she caught us busily discussing dyeing our hair blue with crazy colour, (which Ruth ultimately did in time for our ‘O’ levels, and had to take at least one exam in a separate room from the rest of us for being such a rebel!)
Clearly Justine had sartorial elegance pegged way back then, as that raised eyebrow now oversees the inspirational Harper’s Bazaar. Fast-forward to this week and our paths crossed again, but, (spoiler alert) there was no crazy colour involved.
After a bit of ribbon cutting and a mid morning biccie, the assembled ‘A’ team shoppers, who included model Jodie Kidd, blogger Emily Johnston from Fashion Foie Gras, Laura Jackson from C4’s Freshly Squeezed and stylist Angela Scanlon, were unleashed on the bustling outlet stores.
So why the collaboration between the esteemed Harper’s Bazaar and Britain’s fave shopping destination? Simple, it’s all about celebrating the Christmas spirit through the medium of a luxury gifting boutique. For the upcoming Christmas shopping period, the Harper’s boutique will be stocking Brit based brands including Aspinals of London, beauty brands ESPA and Ila, as well as Linley and Leathersmith
Armed with a site map, my recon trip of the stores began. First up I noted there have certainly been some new additions since my last trawl through this designer outlet shopping Mecca.
But you can always count on at least one super serious power shopper, who brings their own suitcase to the party to fill to the brim with bargains. Loving the fact that this guy is prepared with an oversized travel bag… he means business!
It’s also fair to say that the Bicester Village team has got their act together since my last visit all those years ago.
What with the VIP card which gives you an extra 10% off your purchases in certain stores, as well as the availability of a prepaid gift card…genius Christmas pressie idea BTW. They also have valet parking and the bliss of hands free shopping..umm that’s a no brainer if you’re spending all day there snagging your Christmas list items.
So whilst in the interest of research only you understand, I was very happy to review how they’ve completely re-shaped the art of Designer Outlet Shopping to ensure you get the best experience during your visit… but in typical shopaholic/Notes from a Stylist style, it suddenly got a bit messy. I can currently be found hiding packages in the back of my wardrobe and squirrelling away shopping evidence for future ‘this old thing’ banter with hubs.
My thanks to the Bicester Village team and Harper’s Bazaar for a fun day out.
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