Your fashion finds for 2009

For the fearless shopper, 2009 brings a fresh crop of must-visit boutiques, new online stores and cheerful accessories. Harriet Walker picks spring's freshest bunch
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Indy Lifestyle Online

The diet's abandoned, you're back on the booze, and looking for fulfilment... In the wake of Christmas come weeks of depressing, cold and grey misery in which consumers are hungry for new ways to spice up their wardrobes. From products and pampering to shopping and surfing, January is the coolest month, so cheer yourself up with these top new picks for the New Year.



PRODUCTS

Burberry Sport

Burberry thrives on reinvention, and this season sees the launch of a new men's sportswear range. Creative director Christopher Bailey has invigorated the traditional design house, developing its uniquely British aesthetic and shaking up the mainline mens- and womenswear. Now he turns his hand to parkas, waterproofs and articulated trousers, all with ultra-tech finishes and details. The line also includes trainers, flip-flops and gym bags, so if you're determined to work out in the New Year, a snazzy outfit may help you keep your resolution.

Available in the spring at www.burberry.com



See By Chloé Footwear

See By Chloé, the diffusion line of the French house Chloé, was born in 2001 to offer a younger, more casual alternative to the main line's super-luxe aesthetic. The look is flirty but preppy, with a dash of rock'n'roll, and devotees snap up the pretty dresses and graphic T-shirts as soon as they are in store. Last season saw the launch of See By Chloé bags – which predictably sold like hot cakes – and footwear follows this spring. From perforated leather ballet pumps and baby-doll flats, to suede boxing boots and moccasins, the brand's vivacity is shown off in the fun shapes and bright colours sure to be adorning fashion-forward feet this summer. The range also includes a "signature" jelly sandal, for those who like their fashion frivolous. Prices range from £75 to £300.

Available at Selfridges, 0800 123 400



Marc by Marc Jacobs Eyewear

Marc's empire expands once more, and this time he's got his sights set on your sunnies. Fashion's darling has perfected the art of the second line with his Marc by Marc collection, cherished by high-end connoisseurs and grungy art students alike, and remarkably universal in price so that just about anyone can get a piece of him. The stores in New York are constantly mobbed, as no doubt the London branch will be when it opens later in the year. But what's new now is his eyewear range, until recently available only in the States, which is characteristically vibrant, and includes a 1960s-style square-framed pair set to be the hit of the summer. Other styles include a punk-inspired butterfly frame, and round, retro shades, each finished with the trimmings that have earned the designer so many fans – tiny studs and chain details, engraved logos, and a colour palette running from loud to ladylike.

Enquiries on 01423 520 303



PLACES

Maison Martin Margiela, London

2008 was the year of the elusive Belgian designer's 20th anniversary; 2009 sees the inauguration of his new London flagship store on Bruton Street. Of course "new" in Margiela-speak is never quite what it seems, and the interior makes use of what is also "old", preserving the original features of the former occupant's interior: peeling paint, radiators and a sink are like museum pieces in glass casing, while the lab-coated shop assistants curate the clothes around them. Margiela's stores are known worldwide for the "whites" that everything is painted, draped and covered in, and for their anonymity, without windows or any outward sign of habitation. With the brand's signature character and mysterious, idiosyncratic charm, it's definitely worth a wander round.

Maison Martin Margiela, 22 Bruton Street, London W1



Paul Smith Men's Shoes and Accessories Shop

"Arcades in London have such an inviting appeal to me," says Paul Smith of his new premises in Mayfair. Set in one of Piccadilly's prestigious Victorian arcades, the shop will carry men's shoes and the brand's ever-popular accessories range – including bags, hats, wallets and scarves. The shop is traditionally fitted in winter-warming wooden panels of 1920s French oak and walnut veneer. The quirky Paul Smith touches are all there, with art hanging from every available space, and the gentleman's club ambience is cheerfully punctured by modern touches of brushed steel and flashes of colour. Sir Paul is a stalwart of the London fashion scene, so it's a treat to add another outpost on to the shopping map.

Paul Smith, 16 Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street, London W1



The Alfred Dunhill Spa at Bourdon House

In the cut-throat world of male grooming, salons and spas must work to two important principles: manliness, and the wow factor. Well-to-do menswear label Alfred Dunhill opens its latest venture this month, at its 18th-century townhouse on Davies Street, and combines the two with abundant style. The residence is a three- storey lifestyle boutique where you can browse the clothing and accessories ranges, or have a relaxing drink in the bar.

There's also a barbershop, where you can choose between a wet or dry shave, relax in one of the comfy leather seats and watch a film on your personal TV screen; an underground cinema; and a room devoted to cigars stored in humidors.

The spa itself caters to both men and women, offering everything from relaxation and massages to great facials and grooming. But fear not, it's anything but metrosexual.

The Spa at Alfred Dunhill, 2 Davies Street, London W1

WEBSITES

Vintage Academe

It's hard to sell vintage online – there are issues of fit, judgement and state of repair to negotiate, which often seem easier to do in-store. But then it's hard to find good vintage stores with reliable supplies of really high-end pieces. The new online boutique Vintage Academe sources and sells the highest quality couture pieces from designers such as Balmain, Dior and Nina Ricci, and also runs an online community and holds salon events for those interested in all things vintage and "pre-loved", to use the site's charming expression for second-hand.

Pieces may not come cheap – at the moment, there's a 1950s Balenciaga silk evening coat for £2,000 – but the site is packed with finds for haute-couture aficionados.

Co-founder Lucille Lewin, who started the stylish high-street brand Whistles, describes the site's ethic: "Vintage Academe is the antithesis of spending £1,000 on this season's must-have 'It' bag. It's about celebrating something that is beautiful, has historical significance, is perfectly crafted, is of-its-time-yet-timeless, and unique." So you do get a lot for your money.

www.vintageacademe.co.uk



My-wardrobe.com for Men

Surfing sartorialists may be familiar with the luxury fashion boutique www.my-wardrobe.com, which stocks familiar lines like Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, D&G and Paul Smith, alongside up-and-coming designers such as Nathan Jenden and Hannah Marshall. Created in 2006, it is well laid out and easily navigable, with a well-priced and well-considered range of clothing alongside testimonials from fashion editors and journalists. These members of the "expert panel" discuss in regular newsletters which pieces they have their eye on – it is carefully planned extras like this that are a real strength of the site.

So, we were delighted to discover that 2009 sees the launch of its new menswear site, stocking Vivienne Westwood, Acne and APC, to name but a few.

With shopping made so easy, badly dressed men now have one less excuse for wearing oversized shirts and too-short jeans.

www.my-wardrobe.com

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