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Photo by Nazli Gürkas
Headbands from the Avant shop
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Photo by Nazli Gürkas
Chunk-heeled, metal-toed footwear from Number
Barcelona’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise is based on plenty more than just the usual highstreet chains that line Portal de l’Àngel. With a few insider tips, a map of the city and a T-10 in hand, shopping around for unique and one-off statement accessories has never been so easy.
In a search for this season’s best accessories, The Avant Shop on Enric Granados is first on the list. The Avant has struck a perfect balance between art (and art installation) and the exclusivity of a fashion boutique–minus the snobbery. Its unique interior frames this shop’s own clothing range, as well as a selection of accessories to match your style and your home. Easily missed is the small cabinet of jewellery, brooches and hair bands on the wall on the right as you walk in. The gold chain pendants and feminine flower headbands inside would enhance any outfit. However, if you leave with nothing but a fresh take on what a Barcelona shopping experience could be like, then the visit will have been well worth it.
Just around the corner, where Enric Granados meets Còrsega, is an Aladdin’s cave of accessories begging to be bought. Be warned that Collier & Vintage does not always open on time, but the wait, hands and nose pressed against its windows, is well worth it. Hats, silk scarves of every colour, handbags and evening bags are just some of Collier & Vintage’s specialities–all merely appetizers, however, to its earring collection. From unique costume pieces to stunning Art Deco-inspired danglers, most range from €15 to €30 in price. And make no mistake, for a small shop with a vintage feel there are several on-trend items. A studded bracelet taking centre stage on the window display, priced at €29, would be just as at home on the racks of an up-market highstreet store as on the arm of any fashionista looking to add a bit of ‘tough love’ to her own collection.
Next, head over to the Born. For bespectacled readers, or those in the market for a new pair of sunglasses, walk up Espaseria to Òptica Escrivà. Its window display is teeming with unusual frames you’re not likely to find in your average opticians. Many brands, like the rounded frames from François Pinton and the wood-effect squared glasses from Epos, give an altogether vintage feel but with a style very much in-keeping with current trends.
However, it is its neighbour, Number that is the main attraction on Espaseria. A gem amongst the generic shoe shops which litter the city’s shopping hotspots, Number stocks cutting edge brands like Opening Ceremony—a label seen on fashion-forward celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Whitney Port—as well as B Store, Swear and Ksubi. Coming in at €120 and €130 are two pairs of Swear studded leather men’s shoes, melding casual street style with the biker trend which is enjoying popularity this season; they exemplify Number’s knack for keeping its finger on the pulse when it comes to seasonal fashion. Creeper-style platform suede shoes and sale items you’d be lucky to snap up add another dimension to this shop, while two pairs of women’s B Store chucky heels, with metal plates adorning the toe are the kind of timeless, yet edgy statement piece which will take you through the season.
Proving that going a little further afield in your hunt for accessories is the best way to celebrate the colourful street style of the Catalan capital, the stock at your once-favourite highstreet store may never look the same again.
The Avant Shop – Enric Granados 106. www.theavant.com
Collier & Vintage – Còrsega 263. www.colliervintage.es
Òptica Escrivà – Espaseria 5
Number – Espaseria 7. www.numberbcn.com