Hi there my little loves (I am saying this with a Bridget Jones accent). Today I find myself in London and it must have been divine intervention that I be here on the two nicest days of the year- seventy degrees, sunny, blue skies! Very unusual indeed. It was the perfect weather to walk around and catch glimpses of just why London is so charming and lovable.
Reason #1: These are a Civilized People
Unlike us New Yorkers who parallel park three cars deep, Londoners actually petition the government for a permit to block parking spaces when they are moving apartments as to not inconvenience the surrounding transit. Shoot, we just stand next to the parked moving truck blocking all the through traffic to keep an eye out for cops hungry to meet the ticket quota. Horns and neighbors be damned, we don’t see any reason to pay for a permit to move.
Reason #2: British Retailers Can Define “Niche Market”:
Unlike Macy’s, Marks & Spencer understands a niche market. While meandering the lingerie department, I came across a line of bras especially designed for women who have recently undergone surgery to remove breast cancer. How great is it that British women can go to their local department store and get such a specialty product. I wouldn’t even know where to start finding this type of product in the States, most likely the internet (a tragic idea as fit is 99% of the magic in foundation garments).
Reason #3: British Department Stores Don’t Give Me Hives:
Italian shoe company, Repetto, is a wonderful example of how to use space to highlight its goods inside the Selfridges store. Ballet flats are the shoe in London right now, and I love the color wheel effect of the flats arrangements. Plus, the inclusion of the tutu in the corner is inspired genius. You don’t have to be extremely sophisticated to understand the concept here kids.
Reason #4: Local Fashion Industry Experts Are Building on Fast Fashion
Is it just me or does it really say something that the London College of Fashion is located above the mega money generating Zara store? Based in La Coruna, Spain, Grupo Inditex continues to grow its domination of Oxford street with this corner store anchoring the biggest retail conglomerate of Topshop, H&M, and Niketown. Now, all we need is Forever 21 and the world of disposable fashion will be complete.
Reason #5: Hands Down, Great Visual Merchandisers
Topshop. Whether you dig Sir Phillip Green’s empire of British fast fashion (and a lot of you do because he is worth $6.3 billion), the visual merchandising (presentation of product) is top notch (pun intended). I love the grouping of models, the wigs, and the bohemian mixture of textures and details (fringe!). Runner Up?
Need I say more?
Reason #6: Humility and Wisdom
Oh, yes! Right next to the fake Mulberry (the most carried bag in the trendy Mayfair neighborhood), I found this ugly one accessorized with the most beautiful statement. New York, I love you!
Finally, the last (and most relevant) reason I love London is because it makes every effort to ensure us Americans return home alive and not in traction like Regina from Mean Girls:
Seems basic, but let me tell you, those double decker buses fly.
I did have a runner up reason to love London and its quite simple, every woman sounds like Bridget Jones’ mum. But for some reason, filming strange women’s conversations to post online seemed a bit aggressive.
Stay tuned as the UpMyAli tour is on the move with Dubai next on the agenda. Get ready for opulence and everything over-the-top…so basically everything I love.