Wandering open air markets, exploring the hallowed halls of famous department stores, concept boutiques and street vendors, welcome to my musings on shopping and travel.
As many of you know, I’ve recently returned from a marvelous weekend trip to Barcelona. Perhaps unsurprisingly as a fashion blogger one of my favorite things to do in a new place, besides exploring art museums and restaurants, is shopping. There is so much you can learn about a culture from the way people dress. But on my wanderings in Barcelona I ran into a conundrum: where are the Spanish fashion brands and designers. All along Las Ramblas and other main shopping districts were stores as far as the eye could see. And yet everything was available back home from Zara to Urban Outfitters- it felt like a cop out. So, determined to find boutiques true to Barcelona, I set off on a trek worthy of a movie montage. Finally I made my way to Etxart & Panno, inside I found a wonderland of clothing. This little cream lace number caught my eye- the perfect summer neutral to wear around a city of sepia tones along with my Sam Edelman sandals. My satisfaction with my purchase made me question- for what purpose do we shop on a trip? For a souvenir, a piece of clothing that brings back memories of the sweetness of Sangria on the tongue and melodies of Catalan in the evening air? For an authentic desire to immerse oneself in another culture? To get a good deal on a brand available back home but cheaper in its native country? For many it’s a combination, and I am not above admitting that sometimes it’s easier to go into a store you know you already like when on the hunt for a particular look or piece. But I’ve never regretted a purchase that required a bit more effort, the spirit of adventure and a few blisters. Why would I when I have a silk scarf that carries the sunshine and glamour of the Côte d’Azur, a necklace with the quirky personality of Beijing’s 789 art district and the coziest jumper, a fitting match for Scotland’s notorious weather. For me shopping and travel is about capturing a little piece of the world, to wear and to love and to remind myself to go back.