Shopping with Emma Bernhardt: Latin love affair

IT'S NO surprise that Emma Bernhardt likes to buy in multiple. Inside her Portobello shop, stacks of plastic rainbow-coloured kitchenware - buckets, scourers and brushes - are piled next to hundreds of mesh bags, candles and key rings. "If I see something like a vase, I always think it would look much prettier if I had five of them, in lots of colours. I'm used to buying in bulk from wholesalers and markets in Mexico."

It's shopping in Mexico and Spain which really inspires Bernhardt. "They have dedicated sequin shops in Mexico, selling all sizes and colours, and they have markets just selling flowers: paper, plastic and silk ones as well as real. The markets are massive - about the size of a US block." Her favourite places are the old haberdashery shops filled with "boxes of thread in amazing colours, beautiful beads and fringing that you just don't find in England".

In a haberdashery in Malaga recently - Merceria Torre (16 Santa Lucia, Malaga, tel 00 3495 222 2615) - Bernhardt delighted in finding "full-on fringing this long". In Valencia she loves the haberdashery El Diluvio (Plaza Reina, Valencia, tel 00 34 963923023) which sells fans and shawls too. What does she do with metre-deep fringing and highly coloured thread? "I try to keep them as they are - I've got a secret desire to turn my home into a haberdashery!"

Nowhere in this country quite compares to these Latin haberdasheries for Bernhardt, although the "old, old" haberdashery Morgan's (28 Chepstow Corner, Chepstow Place, London W11), stacked to its ceiling with tiny old drawers, she considers "best for atmosphere; it certainly looks the part."

Bernhardt loves to change around the brightly coloured decor in her own home. If she fancies a swift change, she simply "bungs up a different coloured sari in the window - it's a quick way of making a new start!" She finds the best saris "for about a fiver" from shops along The Broadway in Southall (catch the train from Paddington). "You can't go wrong down there," she enthuses, "there's this wonderful place which sells wedding fabrics, really beautiful brocades and silks encrusted with glitter."

Not surprisingly, Emma Bernhardt's idea of heaven on a Sunday afternoon consists of sitting at home in front of the fire with a bottle of wine and a sewing machine. She likes to customise her clothes. "I buy skirts from Ghost [enquiries: 0171 229 1057]. The fabric is wonderful and light, but they are a bit boring for me as they are, so I like to sew on sequins and stuff."

Lots of her clothes are bought from the Marylebone area of London where she lives. "I live behind Selfridges [tel 0171 629 1234] and sometimes use their shoe department for shoes by Katherine Hamnett, Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo.

"Otherwise, I buy Prada shoes second-hand from a shop called Catwalk [52 Blandford Street, London W1, tel 0171 935 1052]. I've finally realised that the shoes I'm buying belonged to the same woman - I'd like to go shopping with her! Also I really like Georgio Rossi [94 Wigmore Street, London W1 tel 0171 487 4054] for shoes encrusted with diamantes."

At Charon (74 Marylebone Lane, London W1, tel 0171 486 2901), Bernhardt "battles" through rails of second-hand designer clothes, but she buys many of her basics from the branch of Zara opposite the hotel she stays in whilst on business in Mexico City.

Emma Bernhardt's best tip is for underwear. "There's a Brazilian shop, Exotica [126 Gloucester Road, London SW7, tel 0171 835 0669]. It's a real treat, they've got brilliant bras and knickers in lots of colours, and the fit is fantastic, Brazilians really know how to cut their knickers!"

Emma Bernhardt enquiries: 0181 960 2929

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

    Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links