Wednesday 16 January 2019

Designer, people - Kildare Village is all about quality


Dress, was €618, now €309, Diane von Furstenberg. Long-sleeved top (worn underneath), was €55, now €38, Under Armour
Dress, was €618, now €309, Diane von Furstenberg. Long-sleeved top (worn underneath), was €55, now €38, Under Armour
Jacket, was €378, now €189; bag, was €365, now €183, both Diane von Furstenberg. Sports bra (worn under jacket), was €55, now €35, DKNY. Trousers, were €60, now €20, Under Armour. Stilettos, were €80, now €45, Kurt Geiger
Wrap dress, was €548, now €274, Diane von Furstenberg. Bra top, was €32, now €22, Calvin Klein. Shoes, were €65, now €42, Puma
Dress, was €199, now €135, Karen Millen. Hip-bag, was €75, now €39, Juicy Coutur

On a recent scoot to Kildare Village, my mother remarked that every time we visit, I chart a very specific course - to all the designer-handbag stores. It was a habit I was unaware of, but, of course, being a mother, she was perfectly correct in her observation (and possibly fed-up of my obsession!).

I always park in Kildare Village's upper car park (opposite Le Pain Quotidien) to bring me close to Anya Hindmarch. I then progress to Mulberry, Versace, and other truly aspirational brands. I never, ever, leave without visiting Lulu Guinness. And now Orla Kiely is her neighbour.

Strategic shopping is a habit I formed just for Kildare Village, because I find time disappears there. You visit, thinking half a day will see you happy, and suddenly four hours have passed, you have only visited a few stores, you are famished, and you don't want to stop shopping!

This is because what you come across in an outlet is always surprising and very different from what we experience in 'regular' fashion stores, which are so trend-focused, we can just skim through. But in an outlet, you can't do a fast 'read' of the rails, because nothing is typical.

One must forensically examine all the shelves and rails, as there is always the potential to find something uniquely fabulous. Some outlets, such as The Kooples, sell the immediate last season (and loads more size options). Others, such as Gerard Darel, sell what is correct seasonally, so on their rails now is their classy, slightly ethnic-influenced, spring/summer 2017 collection.

So I tailor my visits to Kildare Village according to what my aims are. Gifts? Activewear? The perfect quilted coat or trench coat? The perennial search for shoes for 'outsizes' (Kildare Village is the best source of women's size 35, 41 and 42; LK Bennett and Versace for 35, LK Bennett and Hobbs for 42s). Men's designer wear? Children, or home? The simple treat of buying the unexpected?

My second sweep of Kildare Village takes in clothes and fitness, so to Sarah Pacini, Armani, DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Nike and The North Face. (LK Bennett and Hobbs are great for sizes 14 and 16.)

Kildare Village truly is for all ages, purses and lifestyles, but above all, it's about quality.

It's good to know, too, that Kildare Village offers services such as hands-free shopping, buggys, wheelchairs, valet parking and a large 'quiet space' lounge with free Wi-Fi. They also have dog kennels. Nice and roomy they are, as my beloved pooch discovered. For rather longer than either of us expected…

Photography by Alex Hutchinson

Styling by Courtney Smith

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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