Debenhams was one of those department stores that I only ever popped into when shopping with purpose but never for perusing; this was mainly because it resonated memories of my mum dragging me to buy a gift, get an outfit for an event or school clothes. Though a practical place there was little enthusiasm when visiting one of their shops.
That perception of Debenhams being the “sensible” place to shop has changed over the last few years with some brilliant designer collaborations and make up brands. This British institution has upped its game and can now lure me in without an occasion, because of my changing attitude I was very much looking forward to getting a sneak peek at next season’s key styles.
Located conveniently within spitting distance of Holborn I managed to catch the final hour of the press day located within a very spacious basement at Victoria House.
Since I was pushed for time I strategically began perusing woman’s wear where I spent most of my hour.
I went back to my old visual merchandiser routine and began with the rails so that I could take in the individual pieces and see how they would complement each other within a collection.
I wish my life was glamorous enough to wear this Todd Lynn metallic number in real life so I could feel like a Bond girl.
Being an all black always kind of girl I was drawn to the fringe, lace and fur at Red Herring
Henry Holland went for statement colourful faux furs to add a little flair to a winter wardrobe. The designer was obviously so pleased with his latest collection he even turned up to get photographed beside his creations.
Next I moved onto the mannequin centrepiece to see how the key pieces were styled out.
Todd Lynn went for everyday with an edge made up of leather detailing and a dark palate.
Henry Holland brought 70’s and summer festival vibes to autumn/winter with fringing, suede and fur.
Betty Jackson Black consisted of classic tailoring, bold florals and simple yet stylish accessories such as this stunning little bag.
RJR John Rocha oozed elegance with demure silhouettes.
These were complemented with simple accessories that never go out of style.
Red Herring went for a similar, yet slightly more reserved style to Henry Holland, continuing the festival look though all seasons with layering of feminine dresses and cozy furs.
Contrasting styles from J by Jasper Conran who went with simple sophistication and clean cuts. Were as Principles by Ben de Lisi’s took a bold approach with prints paired with basics. Showing that this season there truly is something for every style, shape and age range.
Already enticed by the beautiful bags modelled by the mannequins, I finally moved onto accessories which for me stole the show.
Studded leather, fringing, fur and leopard print it was as if they had created a corner just for my personal style.
For those who like a little bit more glitz and glamour, there were some delicate embellished wraps, velvet, metallic and brocade bags as well as shiny shoes and slippers that wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale.
Those free spirited 70’s vibes were brought into the colder months once more with berry colours, leather and suede, mixed with ponchos, fringing, aztec prints and platform shoes.
This is just a snippet of my personal highlights from the event but, as you can see, Debenhams have managed to create ranges to fit a full spectrum of style, from glam to grunge. Debenhams have made smart choices with their collaborations, selecting designers with very different aesthetics who obviously have a passion for the collections that they create proved by most of them showing up on the day.
I personally feel that Debenhams have not got stuck in the same rut as many other British stores but have used financially turbulent times to take a risk, communicate with their customers and build relationships with those in the fashion industry to create collections that are diverse, representative and at a price point for their modern consumer.
My highlight was Todd Lynn’s tough, yet feminine, collection and the phenomenal range of accessories. What pieces would you choose from my selection to add to your wardrobes?