24 Mar 2013

the avenue.

We'll admit that we're a little less familiar than we'd like to be with Manchester's Spinningfields.
An iridescent maze of towering, glass offices and white collard workers; we've only really ventured down there to laze in front of the outdoor cinema screen during summer or to sip on a few (several) cocktails.

So, that being said; when we received an invitation to attend an exclusive press tour along what's know as 'The Avenue' in Spinningfields, we didn't have to think twice about rsvp'ing.
With high end emporiums such as Mulberry, Flannels & Oliver Sweeney; from what we hear, The Avenue is readily becoming Manchester's lane of luxury and the latest go to for the fashion concious.

Together with journalists from some of the city's most reputable publications, as well as other blogging personalities; the initial purpose of the event was to gain a unique first look at some of the more deluxe collections on offer for the new season.
That, in addition to a mention of complimentary brunch at the ultra chichi Manhattan inspired restaurant Neighbourhood; it was Verity who called 'shotgun' and did the honour of going along.

Proceeding straight into business at Emporio Armani; us somewhat holiday tourist-like group of press were greeted by a fleet of modelesque staff members, all of course dressed in Armani threads.

Emporio Armani's SS13 women's design ethos seems to be a sure nod to the empowering physicality of today's modern Italian woman. Shortening hem lines, asymmetrical knitwear and clean cut tailoring mix well alongside pastel tones and this season's must have shade of 'sunset', in an altogether fluid dynamic. Accessories play a strong part within the collection. Staying bold and daring, they formalise an otherwise feminine look and add to the empowerment. 

If Armani just isn't your forte then we're sure Mulberry is.... 

Mulberry, Mulberry, Mulberry, who doesn't love Mulberry? Clearly everyone's favourite stop on the tour; the effeminate interior of the store companied with it's to die for handbags meant we over stayed our allocated time.
Showcased were a collection of dreamy, soft Italian leathers, layered over dainty dresses which feature in a summery colour palette of vibrant sorbets and saccharine tones. The occasional animal print presented itself, whether as a luxurious leopard or, in true Mulberry style, an unconventional gecko.
Sitting boastfully within the centre of the store is Mulberry's latest addition to their family of self-indulgent arm candy, the 'Willow'. A handbag whose key design is to turn an everyday structured tote into an evening clutch; it's no wonder there's a huge waiting list.

Ahead of the tour we did hit a few of the primary hot spots for Menswear. On Otterly we do tend to feature heavily on Womenswear; however, that's not to say we may not venture into the opposing genders style in the near future. 
Across from Mulberry; Oliver Sweeney presents an overabundance of the finest leather and suede footwear for the contemporary gentlemen, even boasting it's new line of espadrilles which feature a leather sole. How snazzy? Whilst American iconic brand Brooks Brothers promotes it's preppy look; proudly announcing that the company have recently worked alongside the costume designers for DiCaprio's new film 'The Great Gatsby'. 

Continuing onto Ted Baker; the 'pashion' store here at The Avenue is only one of two in the world. When we think Ted Baker we imagine exaggerated colours and that signature distinctive edge, both qualities which failed to disappoint for both the current Menswear and Womenswear collections.

In true Flannels style we were greeted by mannequins exhausting designs from the likes of Matthew Williamson, Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana; once again playing up the sickly sweet tones of the summer with the shortness of the modern silhouette. 
With what seemed to be a complete fashion overload within the hour that went by; the prized cherry came in the form of a Tom Ford suit, a suit that familiarizes itself with Justin Timberlake's latest album cover. Gentlemen please form an orderly queue.

After sampling the delights of what exclusivities The Avenue have to offer from it's stores, and a very mouth-watering pain au chocolat for brunch; we feel that Spinningfields truly deserves a little more acknowledgement along Manchester's fashion front line.