Forget anything I said about shopping in Barcelona being good. Madrid was not only surprising in terms of how beautiful it was, but the food and the shopping were very, very good, in a more sophisticated way than the very bohemian Barcelona.
So, CLOTHES. People in inner Madrid dressed as well as Parisians, except edgier. Adolfo Dominguez also featured in Madrid, and the usual Pradas and Chanels could be found as well.
Unlike Barcelona, there was a Zara on every corner… and the SHOES. There were shoe shops everywhere and they were seriously cheap i.e. you could pick up a pair of suede desert boots in every imaginable colour for around 20 Euro.
Below are my Madrid favourites:
Madrid was the first time I came across Uterque, but apparently its part of the group that includes Zara and can be found in 70 different countries across the world.
Uterque was hard to place and a bit hit and miss but was a very interesting mix of vibrant and simple, and worth a look. Very colorful fabrics and very structured clothing that ranged from evening to work wear. The bags and belts here were the highlights.
Bimba & Lola
This Spanish brand is similar to Nicola back home, but everything in the shop is reasonably priced i.e pale orange metallic leather dress for around $100 (you may not get as excited about this as I do) and soft leather, apple green brogues on sale fror 40 euro. The stock was seriously great, but the shop was understaffed and obviously fed up and they lost a sale in my case because of their rudeness. I felt kind of how I feel about Santini back home – great stock, but the assistants think they don’t have to work very hard because of it.
But the stock- necklaces made out of interwoven flouro shoelaces encrusted with pink and purple crystals, metallic leather dresses, skirts and tote bags, sparkly cardigans, handmade resin jewellery,
Suede and snakeskin shoes, pork pie hats with purple ribbon. It was, I’m a word, awesome.
This shop literally had every style of shoe imaginable for about a third of the price you would pay for similar shoes back home. There were t-bar clogs in red suede, creepers in pink and leopard print, and another pair in black leather with a fur tongue, there were your standard desert boots, ballet flats etc. but they sold them in about 20 different colours. Like Bimba&Lola, don’t expect great service – I went in there three separate times, and each time they were flat out, and didn’t have the quality or numbers of staff available to cope with it.
So ultimately: exasperated, busy staff but fantastic, cheap and diverse shopping in Madrid.
Me wearing some of my purchases (apologies for sub-par photo): Shoes and skirt from Zara; bag purchased earlier in France from Galleries Lafayette