London Fashion Week was in full swing when I was in the capital last week. I love the theatre of Fashion Week: the outfits, the shows, and the way everyone, even out on the street, competes for the most eye-catching look. But, it isn’t exactly affordable, is it? High fashion comes at a price tag that’s often miles out of the skint girl’s reach. Rather than mope about what I couldn’t afford, I set myself a little challenge: to grab some of the catwalk action at a fraction of the price.
The very best way to do that? Two words, skint girls, dress agencies. You see, in some circles, designer clothes are as dispensable as tissues. After an outing or two at a top restaurant or a baby shower, nearly new designer duds become history to their wealthy owners – and dress agencies are where rich women’s clothes go to die: great news for skint girls who are snapping up the bargains before the original owners have barely left the shop.
Last week, I travelled to a dress agency recommended by a friend: the Frock Exchange in Chislehurst – officially in Kent, but just 20
minutes from Charing Cross by train. (The best bargains are always to be found off the beaten track). And, boy, was it worth it! As soon as I saw these beautiful Prada knee-length wedge boots in buttersoft leather it was love. Almost brand new, I find it hard to believe someone could discard these. The original price was £320 but the dress agency ticket price was just £69. And, oh happy day, the Frock Exchange had a sale on, meaning I snagged these beauties for just £44!
Uh-huh. Prada boots. Knee length. Softest leather. £44. It hardly seems legal.
So, when the sun came out on Saturday and I spotted a girl in a T-shirt, I closed my eyes. See, I’m praying for a chilly, rainy spring – no-one’s getting these babies off my feet.
Other great dress agencies: