19/09/2011

Austique: where the beautiful things are

I have written about my love of gorgeous boutique Austique before, namely when I wrote about Chelsea a while back (click here for this post), but if I am to be honest, even if my closest Austique branch was located in the middle of a dump I'd go out of my way to visit regularly. I absolutely adore the clever mix of fabulous dresses from the likes of Alice + Olivia, cool little clutches from Wilbur & Gussie, beauty essentials such as Essie nail polish etc etc.

Austique was launched in 2004 on the Kings Road, by half-Aussie sisters Katie and Lindy with the idea of bringing some of the great Australian style over to the UK fashion scene... Since then, the little boutique has come an incredibly long way, with Austique being voted the best fashion boutique by London Magazine in 2010, and a new branch opening in Marylebone earlier this year. Although when you ask Katie what makes her proudest, she'll tell you how much she enjoys meeting satisfied customers, which I would bet happens very often judging from the number of girls you can see coming out of the boutique with a pretty pink shopping bag in hand.


I guess one of the reasons Austique is such a lovely place is that the buying process feels very personal to the founders and the in-house buyer, Aalish, and they gravitate towards pieces which they can see themselves wearing; this explains why this shop, unlike other multi-brand stores, doesn't feel like a random amalgamation of loads of different styles, but more like you've just entered a very cool girl's wardrobe. This season, the best-selling brands at the Kings Road boutique are Madeleine Thompson, Alice + Olivia, Haute Hippie and Parker.

In my case I have a lot to thank the Austique girls for, from discovering Libelula and that wonderful long Millie dress which earns me compliments every time I wear it, to my latest pair of flat sandals in pewter, courtesy of the shop's own brand... not to mention the super-soft Madeleine Thompson cashmere tuniques which I wore to death throughout my last trimester of pregnancy! Now if they could only bring back the Toxic Twins detox patches I'd be a very happy girl...


 Another thing to note about Austique is that I feel equally comfortable shopping there now that I'm a new mum working full time as I did when I was a newly-engaged fashionista, and whenever I visit there is bound to be a teenager or two, a well-meaning man looking for a gift to his girlfriend, and a couple of fashion-savvy girls looking for the ultimate party dress. The sales girls at the Chelsea branch are beyond adorable, and Monsieur Baby goes to amazing lengths to charm them, staying quietly in his Bugaboo by the till smiling at them whilst I dash upstairs to have a look at the lingerie and candle offerings.


When dusk settles over Chelsea, the Austique girls head over for a drink at local pub The Surprise, where even Maggie, their little daschund, gets first-class treatment, or to 8over8 for what are bound to be epic parties around cocktails and dim-sum,... you can't miss them, they are as pretty as models!

Next year, look out for new brands which they are picking up right now at Coterie, and even a debut Austique collection which a little bird tells me looks pretty amazing...

Austique
330 Kings Road, London SW3
0 207 376 4555

40 New Cavendish Street, London W1
0 207 487 3468

If you're not in London check out their website, it offers a lot of what you can find in the boutiques and the packaging is lovely: austique.co.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this shop, and used to buy "a lot" in 2005 (I think). Katie sent me items to chose from, and I just shipped back what I didn´t want. Next time you´re in there say hi from Kat in Sweden. I hope they remember me:0)

Hugs,
Kat