Wednesday, 29 April 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Okay, so the title may be a tad over the top, but it's sunny and it's press day season, which means one glorious thing; freebies abound. Although I'm sad to admit that they've gone way downhill. Take River Island for instance. I went to a press day of theirs about a year or so ago and it was amazing, and that's a word I never usually associate with River Island. There was free flowing champagne, ridiculously good cakes and brownies, beautifully ornate dresses that wouldn't look out of place in a Sex and the City scene, and, the best bit, a £100 voucher. 

But this year they've downsized times a million. Someone's been hit by the credit crunch, big time. The huge warehouse space has been traded in for the tiny PR showroom, champagne has been replaced with value orange juice and the vouchers and freebies are gone. Shame. But anyway, I guess you don't need to be handed freebies left, right and centre to appreciate fashion (but it definitely helps), so back to the clothes.

Hmm where to start? With the pleather hareem pants, or the tie-dye fur jacket or maybe the thigh high blue and silver stiletto boots. Yep, it wasn't great. There was a distinct Balmain influence, shoulder pads were everywhere, but everything was also rather tacky. It was like there had been a silver sequin and glitter explosion. A drag queen's paradise. Clothes were overly shiny and covered in studs and sequins. There were even some fur covered ankle boots a la Solange Knowles. 

There was a continuation of the 80s vibe that's taken over the high street of late, with a whole accessories range titled 'Bowie', comprising of neon pink triangular bags, oversized belts and earrings and electric purple and blue stilettos. A large amount of the A/W range was largely tacky, shiny and over the top, but it wasn't all bad. Oversized charcoal knits looked beyond comfortable and the leather fingerless gloves were the right amount of retro. There was also a pair of dove grey studded and slightly fringed peep toes that I may indulge in, but on the whole the collection wasn't enough to entice me back into River Island again.

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