LustThursday, June 02, 2011
This week, my friend and I accidentally found ourselves involved in some sort of one-off flash sale bonanza at Harvey Nichols. We were just walking by after work, we saw the crowds cramming in, we felt the buzz, we spotted the trays of free booze and suddenly we were on the other side of the glass, in with the silks and the scents and the filthy, filthy rich.
We wandered around, somewhat bewildered, glasses in hand, fingering the garments and, yes, muttering at the price tags. Raising eyebrows, pointing wordlessly at the extra zero. We encountered cliché after cliché - the young glamazons dragging older, smug-faced boyfriends along in their wake; the provocatively-dressed teenager who on closer inspection turns out to be closer to pensionable age (all those foreign holidays start to take their toll); the puffy-haired princesses spending mummy's cash; the streams of Japanese and Korean tourists loading up on handbags and wallets; endless examples of that classic Edinburgh not-quite-getting-it-right look, all money and no style.
The place reeked of wealth and entitlement, and I found it difficult to shake off a certain level of disdain for these people. The sheer decadence of it all was somewhat repellent. And yet... and yet, how I lusted after this dress:
I cannot tell you how much the picture does not do it justice. Designer clothing at its absolute best. The cut, the fabric, the details, the drape: just heavenly. There were a few items that night - admittedly a very few - that lived up to that other old cliché, the classic "I could get the same thing in Primark for £8.50" line. This, my friends, was not one of them. This had quality, class and craftsmanship written all over it.
Perhaps with these beauties? A little Cinderella chic for an otherwise understated city bride?
If I were to do it all over again (uh-oh, playing that dangerous game again), maybe I would just ditch all my family and friends, forget the meal and the band and the flowers, and just blow the whole budget on the shoes and the dress. (Actually, not the *whole* budget. I would still need the photographers, to take pictures of me wearing the shoes and the dress. Obviously.)