As this is a special freshers’ edition, I thought I should save my comments on this season’s London Fashion Week, (size 12 models on the catwalk, Anna Wintour, and Burberry!) and hopefully tell you something useful about shopping in York. York is a touristy town and full of shops selling tea towels with printed pictures of the Minster and other such unnecessary souvenirs. You’ll also find an alarming amount of fudge and chocolate shops, delicious I know, but again a tourist trap. However, in amongst the crowded winding streets, there are a few – note a few – fashion gems. These comprise individual boutiques and some of the better high street shops.
Lets start with one of the well known boutiques, Coggles. The women’s and men’s stores sit two doors away from each other on Low Petergate and provide a modern, eclectic shopping experience; these shops scream cool. The brand mix down to a tee, providing the perfect ‘in between shop’, for the kind of people who go to both Selfridges and Topshop regularly, and want it all in one place. Coggles reflects this and sell designer names such as Vivienne Westwood, PPQ and Lulu Guinness along side more affordable, up and coming labels. Best thing to buy here: Cheap monday jeans (very cheap at £40!).
Along the same road, slightly nearer the Minster, is Selkie. Set over three floors in a beautiful town house, Selkie is a slightly strange shop, selling a mixture of well known labels such as Graham and Spencer and Tatty Devine, along side creations from young York designers straight out of design school. Although Selkie is still trading off its Mary Portas reinvention, it is worth having a good look for fun party dresses, especially around Christmas. Best thing to buy here: fun, individual jewellery.
Low Petergate also sports a Paul Smith for men and Reiss, which is again great for party dresses. Heading up Stonegate you will find a Whistles which has a fantastic collection this season, all gold zips and silks and leather (I have my eye on a washed silk, zip embellished, waisted dress). Not the cheapest high street shop but well worth it. If you are looking for more high street, York does not have a Primark (unfortunately) but to make up for this there is a fantastically huge Topshop. It’s never as busy as the Oxford Street store, but this may be down to their lack of the fashion forward collections found in London. No Topshop Unique, no Christopher Kane, and no Boutique. You can also find a large Zara and H&M just as you step off the no. 4 Campus to town bus. This season, Zara has a great collection of shoes and boots; I just bought a beautiful pair of wedge ankle boots for under £60, much cheaper than in Topshop.
For Vintage, there are a couple of shops on Walmgate. Deep is a modern, ‘anti vintage’ vintage shop, which is clean, neat and orderly, similar to American Apparel. There is a choice of sizes for most of their collection, and good dressing rooms (often lacking in vintage shops). A bit further down lies Purple Haze, a tiny, pretty, girly vintage shop selling cute tea dresses and leather satchels.