Much of the buzz around the opening of the new shopping centre in Leeds, Victoria Gate, has been about the city finally getting a John Lewis.
But personally I was just as excited to see the centre’s other stores open, like Cos, & Other Stories and Anthropologie.
On the day Victoria Gate opened last month, I was invited to Anthropologie’s launch party. I found the two-storey shop was a feast for fans of bohemian style, with bags of fashion, jewellery and home extras.
I photographed basically everything – I couldn’t help it!
It’s probably the perfect time to experience Anthropologie with winter approaching. The store is rich with textures: faux fur, wool, jewel embellishments, embroidery, colourful velvet and metallics. They are experts in monogrammed products, which have to be the perfect gifts for Christmas.
Anthropologie is not cheap – think around £30 for a pair of stud earrings or £28 for the velvet pouches with letters on, pictured below. But it is somewhere I’d go for a special occasion or if I felt like I deserved a treat.
Its dressed-down glamour is right up my street and its eclectic offering is bringing something new to the British high street, I think. An Urban Outfitters for a slightly older crowd, perhaps?
You may be more interested in visiting Anthropologie for its home accessories than its fashion. The shop’s current displays are well worth a look if you’re hosting Christmas dinner or a new year party, for inspiration about your table display, at least.
Bohemian glamour reigns here too – there is plenty of gold and cut glass, vintage-style pieces; a little kitschy but cool. The textiles feature bright colours, bold designs and tassels.
My browsing was accompanied by music from fab folk singer Katie Dean and fuelled by nibbles and tipples – I had the most delicious zingy gin and tonic – from Pintura. There was also a private view of ‘Familiars’, a brand new exhibition by Mister Finch. You might remember me coming across this textile artist when I went for a look round the fantastic The Imaginarium in York.
Victoria Gate itself more glamorous than I expected. Before I went I was thinking, can Leeds really need another shopping centre? But, believe it or not – with everything that Leeds already has – it does seem to fill a gap that I hadn’t previously realised existed. It has smaller boutique shops and higher-end high street brands, so it’s a perfect bridge between shopping areas like Trinity Leeds and the upmarket Victoria Quarter with its big, designer names. Victoria Gate is also quite a beautiful structure, with its honeycomb roof, shiny monochrome shop fronts and gold lettering and lights.
Have you been to Victoria Gate or Anthropologie? Let me know what you think.