Garment Quarter has attracted some of the hottest labels from the UK and Europe, surpassing many independent and desirable large stores in the city and the region. And whilst some stores, such as Harvey Nichols who stock Vivienne Westwood or John Anthony in Bath holding Unconditional, John Reid has chosen some visionary yet commercial pieces from their collections. No doubt he has also chosen strategically as to avoid cross overs and to raise the profile and desirability of the store – but there is no need as the draw is already here.
Another exclusive that the store has is Alexander McQueen underwear, which again is only available in a select number of outlets in the UK. But what makes this extra special is that this is actually designed by the late Lee ‘Alexander’ McQueen himself, and whilst a starting price of £40 for the pieces may seem a little steep, it’s a small price to pay for fashion history.
Unconditional, a brand I not only used to work for but adore, is one that has already proved popular. Designer Philip Stevens really knows how to dress guys in a way that is not too on trend but gives the right nods as well as flattering every body type. This funnel neck shirt in check caught my eye and is a strong statement piece for the season. Next to this on the wall is Vivienne Westwood clothing, footwear and leather goods, which presented a lot of surprises for me. Firstly, the label is a huge hit in the city, which considering the avent garde pieces on offer was interesting to learn, but also the price point on the shoes. The stunning violet loafers, also available in black, are around the £80 mark, and the boots – the successor the the original Pirate Boot are £185, which is a huge come down from the upper £300 of the iconic unisex footwear.
One womenswear label, but unsex in many peoples eyes, is Markus Lupfer whom has an outstanding reputation for constructing exciting and divinely detailed pieces. The top t-shirt is embellished with silver tubes to form a multi-layered drop necklace, and the bottom piece embellished with white faux pearls.
One major and worthy designer stockist is Ashley Marc Houvelle, who’s range of slogan t-shirts, vests and jumpers have a substantial cult following. Ashley was producing slogan t-shirts in Ibiza for a number of venues when in 2009 the news struck that Michael Jackson has died. After decisively finding a suitable slogan but finding no time to produce them as quickly as necessary, he stenciled the below design and left them to dry over his balcony. From there, still drying, they caught the attention of passers by and soon half of Ibiza was wearing one of his DIY creations. Since his ingenious premier of his now brand, Ashley has gone onto produce a number of striking and fun pieces which the below Audrey Hepburn t-shirt and ‘Just Chillax’ sweater are my absolute favorites.
Garment Quarter is a store that you are immediately welcomed into with out prejudice and expectation, and of course holds a stunning array of labels at a price point to suit everyone. The team are at the top of their game and the store is, in my opinion, at the top of the style chain in the South-West at the moment.