When D used to have retail premises in Westbourne Grove selling antiques, one of the lovely things I used to do was go meet him for brunch at the Tea Palace for the yummy pancakes with maple syrup and then go check out a sample sales held in 20th Century Theatre, I scored countless bargains from Matthew Williamson, Temperley to Ghost. Sadly he gave up the pitch prior to the recession hitting; as even back then he noticed the lack of American and Japanese buyers - as they were no longer travelling out to the UK. Although recently more Italians have been coming over due to the stronger Euro. it always make me smile when I see them haggle with the lady running the fur coat stall. If you are ever in Portobello Road on a Saturday I can recommend the lady who goes round the stallholders selling hot Arabic food from her shopping trolly. All homemade in her kitchen and perfect if you have had an early start in the day and in need of substanance.
Like buses none for ages then all 3 at once, so go dig out that wallet. Details courtesy of Fashion Confidential
Thursday 24 (8am to 7pm) and Friday 25 (10am to 6:30); Temperley, 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, London, W11.
MARGARET HOWELL - SAMPLE SALE
Get up to 70% off fab tailoring and cool separates from Margaret Howell. Thursday 24 and Friday 25 (9am to 7pm); The Music Room, 26 South Molton Lane, Mayfair, London, W1.
LARA BOHINC - SAMPLE SALE
Fab jewellery designer Lara Bohinc is having a sample sale, hurrah! Shop jewellery, bags and small leather goods with discounts of up to 90% off. Thursday 24 (8am to 8pm) and Friday 25 (9am to 8pm); Lara Bohinc Sloane Street Showroom, Basement - 149F Sloane St, entrance Sloane Terrace, London SW1.
London Fashion Weekender Sample Sale
Make a date with one of the largest sample sales of the year. Shop ready-to-wear, accessories and jewellery pieces from over 130 designers including Luella, DKNY Jeans, Sass & Bide, Pauric Sweeney, Prada and Vivienne Westwood – all at a fraction of their retail prices. Thursday 24 - Sunday 27; Somerset House and 180 The Strand, London, WC2.
Later in October when Payday comes
LA PERLA - SAMPLE SALE
Shop beautiful lingerie, swimwear and prêt-a-porter pieces from top Italian brand La Perla – with discounts of up to 70% off. Monday 05 October (10am to 6:30 pm) Tuesday 06 (10am to 6:30pm); Hornvale Ltd, 4th Floor, 22 Newman Street, London W1.
Wearing fur in Italy isn't such a big deal as it is in this country where the British are a nation of animal lovers. Although I don't support cruelty against animals - I think if you own a vintage fur coat (be it handed down or bought from a charity shop) you should be able to choose to wear it, without running into the wrath of an animal rights activist threatening to splash paint all over you (as seen in the SATC film). I remember being in Venice in the depth of a very cold snap in January, my puffa jacket just wasn't keeping me warm and I had wished I had bought my 1950's floor length fur coat - but Ryanairs limited baggage allowance didn't permit it. I had bought the coat from Oxfam many years ago when I was a poor fashion student on a limited budget so I felt like I was killing two birds with one stone, helping a charity and gaining something fabulous. It has the most beautiful lining inside, black silk with a hand embroidered monogramme inside. I used to have to pretend to my classmates it was fake fur!!! Later on it became harder to wear out and I used to agonise like Phoebe from Friends did when she inherited a fur coat that she hated and loved at the same time. I still have mine in storage and maybe one day will feel brave enough to put it on again or pass it onto the curly haired beauty when she is older. Failing that take a trip to Itay and do as the Italians do....on my last shopping trip there I scored a pair of Jimmy Choos for 99 quid, OK half a size smaller than what I would normally wear but hey I could never afford them full price in the UK!