Gemma tries it on: It may be surprising, but I do so hate going shopping

 

I don't often get excited about going shopping – it's my least favourite activity and I'll do anything to avoid a high street or shopping centre at the weekend (garden centres, John Lewis and DIY shops not included).

That may sound weird, but in a way I'm on a constant shopping trip: it's my job. I know what will be going into the shops six months in advance so when that time comes, I'm already looking to the next season. One exception is shopping for and with friends; I love the satisfaction I get when I find an outfit for someone and they love it.

When I first heard about H&M producing the Re-Edition collection with Maison Martin Margiela, I was pretty excited – but not as excited as a friend of mine who is fanatical about the label.

Then I got an email asking whether I would like to go to a shopping event the day before the official launch. Absobloodylutely! I kept quiet about it, so as not to get her hopes up, but I asked her to send me her wish list in preference order, just in case I got the chance to get to the opening the next morning. Of course, she listed the whole collection. I memorised her top three – the deconstructed leather jacket, the black ankle boots and the sweetie clutch-bag.

I made it. As I turned the corner on to Regent Street I saw a queue snaking around the corner and out of sight. Luckily, I got whisked into a much shorter queue, where I was told I would be let in in a few minutes. (Another perk of the job, I guess.)

I was one of the first five people through the doors. I took my time, thinking it would be quite a leisurely experience and that I would have a good 10 minutes to ponder before the hordes arrived. I was wrong: no sooner had I walked over to the sweet-wrapper clutches, the last one vanished. The kind shop assistant said there were more coming out…They did, but I had turned my back to look at the acid-wash oversized jeans and as I turned, again, the last one was snatched. I panicked and hotfooted it over to pick up the leather jacket and found a pair of size-39 boots. Again quietly cursing the shoppers with four shiny clutch bags in their arms (grrrr!).

Now my turn. It had started to get a bit lively in there between the rails, and a few grunts and elbows in the ribs later (from them, not me), I had my pickings: the double-breasted wool blazer, the navy draped skirt and black fold-over skirt.

I did well for someone who doesn't like shopping, didn't I? And now I have one extremely happy, Margiela-clad friend.

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