Cold and continual rain, flooding and slate skies, bitter winds and dark afternoons. When we had a few sunny days towards the end of May, I made the idiotic decision to swap in my Winter wardrobe for my Summer one, a choice I regretted hugely until the beginning of this week. I’ve spent most of July fishing at the back of my cupboard for jumpers, coats and scarves. So with that in mind, it wasn’t exactly a stretch to attend the Next Christmas 2012 press day one Wednesday morning to review for LadyMPresents.co.uk.
As I say in my article, I’ve always eschewed Next with a firm hand. I have no idea why, but I took against it in my callow youth, and didn’t revisit for many a year. And neither would I have done, had I not entered a world of adorable boucle jackets laced with silver, of heritage tweeds, flat riding style boots, Fair Isle knits, and military style coats.
The actual event was spectacular. We stepped off a plain grey Bloomsbury street into an underground…well, grotto, I’d have to call it. Except in a chic, rustic sense – not like a third rate garden centre grotto. Huge verdant Christmas trees stood proudly all around the room, fairy lights twinkled, and delicious canapés and drinks were perched on a long wooden table replete with pine cones.
The lucky attendees were given the chance to peek at the men’s, women’s, children’s, beauty and home collections for Christmas 2012, and I was delighted to spot so many beautiful items. The collection couldn’t have been more up my street, inspired by the idea of a ‘country house weekend’ and boasting various Russian (fake) fur hats, chunky knits, embellished dresses and coats with dramatically upturned collars. Some of my favourite pieces included silky smooth shirts with pearls or studs at the collar, and the 60s style miniskirt suits.
I’m annoyed that I missed out on Next and their amazing ranges for such a long time. That said, I’ve never felt that my local branch is particularly well merchandised, and I’ve been rather put off by it. That said, I’ll be making a pilgrimage to a much larger branch – either when the Christmas drop happens, or most likely…before!
Also, the goodie bags were AWESOME. I am now the delighted owner of a grey scarf-y wrap cape-y thing (technical term) with a fur trim, some black leather look gloves, a rather darling checked blanket, and an enchanting stuffed owl. I put them all on at once because I am achingly cool. Oh yes.