Friday, 29 July 2011

Trendenzas, Online Shop...

One of the drawbacks of starting a new job is that it takes a while to get into a routine. I’ve been feeling quite pressed for time which has meant that I haven’t been out and about finding new places to write about (and shop in) as much as I’d like. This is when the internet really is useful, as I can just search online for good stuff instead. I’m a big fan of online shopping, much to the despair of His Nibs and my bank manager. It’s just too easy to click that buy now button.

Pic from the website, though mine is much lighter than this...

One of my recent discoveries is Trendenzas which is an American site offering accessories for sale in a ‘deal of the day’ format. The idea is that they have a different item for sale each day, at a discount price. After signing up for free membership, you get a daily email with the special offer.  If you miss out on that day’s deal, they also have a section which has some of the older items for a slightly higher price, but still discounted. Some of the items have limited availability, so it’s good to grab them while you can. They’re also offering a ‘get the look for less’ service where you send them a picture or link to an item you’ve seen somewhere, and they’ll try to find it for you, or something similar, for a good price. 

Excuse the bad photography...

I recently received a bracelet from them, which I love. It’s a creamy beige leather strap with what I can only describe as big gold rivets studded into it. Actually, the rivets do look a bit like big gold aspirin, but maybe that’s just me? Regardless of the slightly medical look, I’ve been wearing this a lot, as it’s quite funky and goes with practically everything. I don’t often wear gold as I feel that silver suits me more, but the neutral colour of the strap makes this wearable on my skin tone. Another plus is that I have sensitive skin and the leather hasn’t irritated it at all. There are two press stud fasteners as well to make the size adjustable. It’s so wearable; I’m really pleased with it. 

See what I mean about giant Aspirin? 

So sadly for my bank manager and His Nibs, I’ve found another online shop that I’ll be checking out regularly. I like the way that the offer changes daily; it can often be a pain trawling through lots of thumbnails of items, with one item a day you either like it or you don’t, it’s simple. They only charge $6 for international shipping as well, which is a bargain. Check them out and let me know what you think.

I seriously need a tripod...

(By the way, I'll be out and about again next week with a trip to the big flea market at Glories and the numerous shops to be found on Carrer D'Avinyo.)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Sabon, Barcelona...

Strolling along Carrer de València the other day, I noticed a bath and beauty shop called Sabon at number 260. It's not a familiar name to me so I popped in to check it out. 

Apparently they're an American firm and I think this is their first store in Spain. There isn't a whole lot of information available on the website about Europe, I assume they'll be updating it soon. What really piques my interest is the fact that they make SLS and paraben free shampoos, which I've had a hard time finding here, outside of stores like Lush. The ingredients seem to be good in all of the products, and the smell in there was incredible. 

Everything in the store is gorgeous to look at with traditional style packaging. I would say the prices are more towards the luxury end of the market and not for everyday use (unless you can afford it, which I know I can't). This is a great place for those one off treats and definitely for gift shopping. As I say, I have no idea where and how many stores they're planning to open in Europe but if you're a fan of brands like L'Occitane and Kiehls, this will be right up your street. Just in case anyone would like to know, my favourite item so far is the  Fig Coco body scrub and I do have a birthday coming up... 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Riera Baixa Street, Barcelona…

It’s been a bit of a hectic summer so far, what with my new job, Sonar festivities and visits from friends. No excuse really for the lack of activity on this blog but I promise that this is going to change. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a (very) occasional series of posts where I focus on a particular street and take you through all of my favourite shops there.

As I’m such a lover of second-hand shops, there’s no better place to start than Carrer De La Riera Baixa in El Raval. This tiny street is home to an amazing selection of vintage stores and independent boutiques and as its right in the heart of El Raval and not far from Las Ramblas, is well worth a visit. 

There’s so much variety on this street so rather than list all of the shops, I’m just going to run through my favourites with a brief description of what you can expect to find in each one.

First up is Lailo, which is exactly the kind of second-hand shop I like. It’s full of clothes and accessories from every decade since the 1930s, and possibly even earlier. There are quite a few items that look like they could be theatrical costumes, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for an outfit for a fancy dress party. They also have lots of bargain baskets dotted around too, so great for rummaging in. I do love a good rummage. The whole street is full of great shops but I have to say, this is my favourite one. You could easily spend an hour or more in here, just looking through everything. The prices run from €2 for scarves up to the hundreds for some of the really rare pieces, and I feel that the pricing here is well thought out and fair and accurate for each piece. If you don’t have a lot of time, this is the shop I recommend you visit first.

Next up is Carrousel, which is different to Lailo by dint of the fact that they have less stock, but I have to say that I always love everything that they have here as you can tell that they’ve selected only the best quality items. There’s no cheap tat masquerading as vintage here. On my last visit I hankered after a beautiful crepe shirt dress, which was only €29 but sadly not my size. The accessories are good here too. It’s more of a boutique than Lailo, so good for those of you who don’t like to wade through lots of items.  

The last shop that really is a stand out for me is Smart and Clean . This place is a Mod Mecca and if you want to get your hands on some Harrington or Sta-Prest goodies, this place has everything you could want. I don’t wear this style myself but have a fondness for the look as many of my friends (and my first crushes) were mods in the early eighties so it will always have nostalgic appeal for me. It’s quite a high maintenance look but I respect that, even if I couldn’t commit to it myself. 

If you’re feeling peckish after all that shopping there’s a great little tapas bar, Resolis, where you can refuel and fortify yourself with some wine. You may want to leave off the wine till you finish shopping, however, as otherwise you’ll probably end up spending way too much as there is such a lot of temptation on this little street.

Don’t forget that I’m open to suggestions for shops and places to cover so if there’s anything any of you want to know about, or you have some favourites you think I should write about, let me know.