In the days of my travels to New York, Paris and Milan , rarely thank goodness for the fashion shows. I have to say New York was and always will be my favourite place to shop. My first luxury lust was in Paris but then I was a poor fashion assistant journalist who had no money and when I was that person with money, I was working hard in Paris with no time for shopping! Although, somehow I always fulfilled the family beauty orders. My mother's sister is addicted to Guinot, which is only sold in beauty salons in the UK. I am addicted to BioDerma's Crealine H2O so always stock up in France.
My first designer handbag purchase was at Gucci in Milan - a beautiful leather old school small hobo. It is as chestnut as the best racehorse and the leather is sheer bliss. My best fun in Milan was always in Prada's shop in the Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele II, for some reason I reverted to a silly schoolgirl messing about on a Saturday afternoon in Dolcis and used to try on loads of shoes there in the downstairs and never buy a single pair. Mind you I'd always been having a lunchtime tipple with friends in the Piazza del Duomo.
But it is in New York that the experience moves into another bracket. The service is unforgettable. If its bad you can have a good old ding dong and be satisfied! My best argument was in Starbucks in Trump Tower and it was extremely satisfactory for both me and the girl serving. I'm surprised we didn't high five after it! I do like the rudeness factor in New York - its all give and take, whereas in London, stroppiness is one step away from a straight jacket.
And just when the memory of your NYC trip is fading you get a little card from Gucci or Bergdorf to thank you for you custom. Sometimes even a Christmas card. Not only have you got the goods but you've got a keepsake of the moment you bought them. Mind you it is only the shoe and bag people that do this.
Except for one of my Bergdorf excursions but for good reason! I couldn't get my size shoes in the Manolo shop on 54th street so went to Barneys, then Bergdorf. In Bergdorf not only did I have fun with the rich old ladies who take their dogs out in plush pushchairs to shop, but I encountered the only straight guy in the store. If it has been an episode of SATC, I would have channelled Samantha and had fun in the store cupboard. Being more like Charlotte, I bought the shoes but it really is the only time I have ever flirted with a sales assistant and the only time I didn't get a card -shame!
In these times of doom and gloom I decided to create my shrine of conspicuous consumption a la NYC, and bow down to such good times!
My New York footwear and bag purchases. I realised I left my half insole in my Manolo!