For some reason, this trip through London has left me sleepless. I've been up until 3am or later just waiting for sleep to take me. Truely, and thankfully, this is a rare occurance with me and traveling. So, in my sleepless wee hours of Sunday morning I loaded more photos onto my Flickr site so that I could work towards completing all of my writings from the list of trips I had this spring.
I began my day meeting up with Deji. With the day he had ahead of him I'm hoping seeing a smiling face helped! We met at the Liverpool tube station and he walked me, ourating all the way, through the old fabric market - now a street market - around twists and turns until even he had lost his bearings only to find out we were right down the block from what he was looking for. We lunched at the Old Spitalfields Market, specifically at The Daily Grind. I will never get used to the sandwiches in the UK. Wonderbread with a few slices of something in between and often too much mayo. It had been ages since I'd eatten a bread that stuck like peanut butter to the roof of my mouth! I suppose you are meant to wash it down with a good cuppa, so I did. Conversation lingered and before we knew it it was time to say our farewells and move along with our days.
I hopped back onto the tube... Next Stop: Oxford Street for some more shopping. Well, less shopping and more browsing to see what my competition has out in stores. When I shop the stores for work, I hit as many as I can within each day not only to see if I may have missed something grand in my own line, but to see if there are any interesting trends that are connecting the stores. It means standing, walking and dealing with salespeople all day long.
Oxford Street is always full of hustle and bustle. It's truely a buzz with action. It's also a place you need to make sure your bags are zipped up!
First stop - Top Shop. Top shop has been looking for a spot in New York City to open up for at least 6-8 months if not longer. (For such a large company, they have got the SLOWEST website!) They replenish there goods on the floor multiple times in each day which means they need to have a constantly working loading dock...which is difficult space to aquire in NYC. My boss emailed from the hotel - he'd arrived! I wrote him directions to meet me at Fenwick's Department Store and would have an hour before we met. I popped in and out of shops along the way.
In John Lewis I watched women picking out hats - it is Ascot week after all! I love to watch people putting on hats. As they sit the hat upon their head you can see them get lost in the thoughts of where they would wear it. What they would dress in and who they would show it off to. One woman was having a very hard time choosing betwen two hats. Asking her husband recieved a reply of "which is cheaper..." which of course did not answer the which looks better question. As she pulled out her dress to hold up in front of her, I couldn't help myself and picked up the second hat to hold next to her so she could see them both with the dress. It was instantly a no-brainer. She said, "Oh good, I'd love an oppinion if you don't mind!" Her husband begrudgingly said, "And what do you think she'll know about this that I don't?"
Yes, I couldn't help myself and said with a grin, "Well, I am a milliner from the States."
His mouth fell open and immediately wanted me to help his wife choose the perfect hat (suddenly the cost seemed to be of no trouble.) Very funny indeed. We all settled upon the red hat - it really looked wonderful with her skin tone and made her flirty Flamenco dress pop, as a hat should. Further, it drew attention to her eyes -- everything a hat is supposed to do!
After picking up coffee for my boss and I, I wandered down New Bond Street for my hat shopping meeting. Our shopping was a success and we headed back to the hotel to drop the hat boxes and find dinner. Heading off in a different direction we happened upon Little Hanoi (147 Curtain Road, Shorditch, London EC2A 3QE) for a Vietnamese bite. YUM YUM YUM!!! Do pop in for a bite if you're in the neighborhood. Their Spring Rolls were nicely ballanced, the Indonesian salad (with beef) was REALLY good and our Pho - YUM!
What a lovely way to end a busy weekend! Tomorrow I'll launch my new line here in the UK for the UK/Europe. Fingers crossed! We pack in at 7:30am! Time for some sleep.
Sunday, June 17, 2007