Friday 21 October 2016

It's a marvel - one-stop seasonal gift store from BT

Published 17/10/2016 | 02:30

Evening dress, €3,370, Toni Maticevski; sandals, €1,030, Alaia; leather corset belt, €1,400, Loewe; bag, €1,990, Proenza Schouler
Evening dress, €3,370, Toni Maticevski; sandals, €1,030, Alaia; leather corset belt, €1,400, Loewe; bag, €1,990, Proenza Schouler
Dress with sequined ribbon and embellishment, €5,500; Gucci; earrings, €295; embroidered bag, €2,795; both Alexander McQueen

We've all done it. Thrown money at the situation when inspiration, or time, fails us, when we are buying a gift for a loved one, and need to get something quickly, that looks thoughtful but expensive. Usually, it results in something the receiver has no interest in - few men consider clothes a gift, and women get far less pleasure from receiving expensive underwear than you might think.

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Gifting, as the Americans call it, should be about the froth of life. Not the things we need, or worse, those which our partner wishes to see us wearing. Ideally, a gift should be something we would never buy ourselves, but which manages to fulfil some desire we didn't really know we had.

In order to avoid that last-minute panicked dash around town on Christmas Eve, throwing money at all sorts of garbage, Brown Thomas brings you their one-stop seasonal gift store, The Marvel Room. This year's store opens on Friday next, October 21. It was originally conceived by Brown Thomas's Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery, who decided there was a gap in the store's offering for the Christmas season.

Shelly felt there was a need for something extra on top of the menswear and womenswear, shoes and accessories sections, and the gift ideas offered by the in-store luxury boutiques. "I felt there was nowhere in the store where you could specifically go to buy a gift. You could go into Hermes, and get your little pouches; Tiffany for your jewellery; Chanel for the little chains or pearl earrings, but we, as a group, didn't do anything ourselves. So that's really where it came from," Shelly recalls.

The Marvel Room offers everything from little gadgets to bespoke high-end pieces, with new drops of stock throughout the season. The Brown Thomas buying team continually search for something innovative. "It's about bringing in newness," explains Shelly. "It's all about extraordinary gifts, about finding fun things." Shelly and her team also work with some of the store's high-end designer labels on creating exclusive one-off items, produced especially for The Marvel Room.

This year, Prada has a monogramming service on bags within the store; Jimmy Choo is offering an exclusive matching bag and shoes; Moet has a bespoke bottle service; while Gucci's GG Marmont collection includes an emerald-green croc bag - one of only three such bags available in Europe. Frederic Malle has created some exclusive scents, and there will be a pop-up store from Fornasetti candles.

The Marvel Room always throws up a number of gadgets and techy options for that difficult-to-buy-for man who has everything. "It's thinking outside the box," explains Shelly. That it is, and on that note, this year's virtual-reality headsets, including the Zeiss VR One Plus, should be a huge hit. "We're always thinking about the best present for your father, your brother, your daughter, your mother," Shelly adds. "So it's right across the board; it's for everybody."

Photography by  Andrew Nuding

Styling by  Darren Feeney

Words by  Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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