I could tell that London would be crowded well before I got here yesterday. The hotel room prices announced it clearly. They are sky-high this summer (I am actually staying in a new hotel this time that I would NOT recommend and will not stay in again—a choice driven by the high price of a room this July). The exchange rate, at just over 2/1, makes those rates even higher. It also pushes the cost of anything we Americans buy to a place where you might think twice about heading toward the till. But here I am anyway, shopping anyway, and enjoying this particular part of my job very much.
I spent my first day on Oxford Street, looking mostly at apparel. This is a wicked time to look because of all the summer clearance. But it can also be the best time to see the first arrivals of new colors and styles. I was interested in what I could learn from both.
A clearance story that we feel could translate to the US for 2008 – 2009 is neon colors. An edited neon palette really stood out in the jumble of markdown tables and racks at places like Zara and New Look. A version of it also showed up on the home décor side in high-end sheets at Liberty of London, Neon hues have not been hot for home in about 5 years, so now could be a perfect time to consider them again.
A more saleable look for home may be Black plus White plus one knockout hue. The Trend Curve called this out as directional as far back as January when we saw the look at Heimtextil (you can still buy our Heimtextil trade fair trend report on-line or by emailing Janice). Now it seems even more likely to be a winner for interiors, especially when the splash of color is a bright Green that sits on the edge of neon.
I have sprinkled in a few photos to give you the idea.