On the Radar British Designers Collective at Bicester Village
23rd March 2012

British Designers Collective at Bicester Village

AUTHOR The Milk Maid
Earlier this week myself and about 20 other fashion editors and bloggers met outside Upper Crust at Marylebone station ready to board the 9:07am to Bicester North. A quick train journey and a super speedy coach transfer later, pastry hell was long forgotten as we entered Bicester village - discounted designer heaven! We were invited there to celebrate the opening of the British Designers Collective; a prolonged pop up shop selling the best of Britain's emerging fashion talent.

On the way I chatted to Tourism Manager, Helen Peters, who explained why the concept store is so special... "With the vast number of visitors each day the turn over is in turn huge. The young hot designers that are part of the British Designers Collective wouldn't usually be able to meet that unrelenting demand so this now annual pop up is a brilliant way of introducing the Bicester Village guests to these new great new British Brands."

These thoughts were mirrored by Harold Tillman, Chairman of The British Council, who added during his speech at the launch "The British Designers Collective continues to nurture and support British talent, showcasing ready to wear and accessories to a brand new audience."

After speeches and formalities I took time to fondle the cashmere knits of Bella Freud, gasp at the Nicholas Kirkwood heels, gaze longingly at Jonathan Saunders prints, lust after Hermione de Paula's romantic florals and fall in love with a Pauric Sweeney bag, which if you follow me on twitter you'll know I've been obsessing over ever since!

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Past season pieces from a whole host of home grown talent are discounted at up to 60% and merchandised beautifully in a bright and airy space - a modern tribute to an English stately home with illustrated panelling, mock parquet flooring, drawn on feature fireplaces and eccentric aristocratic statues.

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Bubbling up from little known labels into desirable designers these British names now have retail space alongside fashion heavy weights like Gucci, Celine, Prada and Dior as The British Fashion Council, this time with the support of Bicester Village, work tirelessly to promote these creative Brits. This year is a BIG year for Britain, the Olympics and the Jubilee are land mark occasions for this little island and so the British Designers Collective seems particularly poignant.

Patriotism aside, bag a bargain future icon and enjoy a spiffing day out in retail heaven.

The Designers Collective is at Bicester Village until May 9th 2012.

www.bicestervillage.com
www.britishfashioncouncil.com