Luxury for less with tips from four key figures from the high street.
M Is All About: strut the high street with retailers' tips
Kate Phelan, creative director
THE NEW SHOPPING ATTITUDE... means we are now prepared to invest in one more expensive item and mix it in with the basics, as we are looking for pieces with longevity that will take us through the season - a desire for pieces that will take us from day to night, night to day. THIS SEASON... whatever your look, make it your own. THE STANDOUT PIECE FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2012 IS... the studded army jacket. It is a classic piece, with a modern feel due to the embellished detailing. Wear it over a pretty dress with an army shirt tied around the waist. THE KEY PIECE FOR SUMMER IS... the native sequin body-con dress - our new take on festival dressing. Wear with a fluorescent tie-dye shirt for impact. THE MUST-HAVE SHOE IS... the silver embellished sandal - a modern take on the tan leather sandal.
Topshop, Marina Mall, 02 681 8242; Dubai Mall, 04 339 9802; and elsewhere
Parul Joshi, merchandiser
I STUDIED AT... both the London College of Fashion and The Make Up Academy, and spent the early part of my career working independently as a stylist and a make-up artist. AS A MERCHANDISER, I... work with figures to analyse trends and the buying patterns of our customers. You will always see me in and out of our stores as my role is very product orientated. MY STYLE WAS... greatly influenced by my time spent working in France for two years. It is effortlessly cool and chic, the beauty being in its simplicity. CONFIDENCE CAN... make any outfit look good. THIS SEASON, I LOVE... the Chelsea Girl collection. It brought us back to where it all started, when River Island was a simple boutique. INSPIRATION CAME FROM... the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with bright colours and statement pieces made from lace. MY FAVOURITE PIECE IS... the pink print Chelsea Girl maxi dress. The fit and cut of the dress is stunning, and the mix of colours makes it easy to accessorise. WEAR IT WITH... our snake print wedges, denim gilet and oversized sunglasses.
River Island, Mall of the Emirates, 04 340 9115 and elsewhere
Eriko Yamano, senior designer
IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ME... to be in New York for inspiration, as the Addiction collection has a downtown rock 'n' roll vibe. I am originally from Japan, but moved to New York to attend the Parsons School of Design. MY STYLE IS... all about simplicity and ease, and I rarely dress up. In fact, my go-to outfit is normally a black top and jeans. A TYPICAL DAY... starts by answering emails from overseas concerning production, then going through fabric swatches and researching the latest trends and colours to see how they will best translate for the collection. WHEN NOT DESIGNING... I spend time with my beloved teacup Yorkies, Vivi and Lulu. When you live in New York you must have small dogs! MY ITEM OF CHOICE THIS SEASON IS... the pleated print sweetheart dress because it's so wearable. I would wear it with a pointy heel or toughen it up with some edgy boots. PASTELS ARE... really important this season, and the dress has a great colour combination of turquoise, green and yellow. PLEATS ARE... also an exciting trend we saw all over the runway, and the stud detailing gives this dress a bit of bite. I'M LOVING... all of the vivid colours at the moment, particularly when they're combined in off-beat combinations.
Bebe, Marina Mall, 02 681 1379; Dubai Mall, 04 434 0614; and elsewhere
Gülden Yilmaz, co-president
MY BACKGROUND IS... in psychology, but I moved into the ready-made garment sector with my husband, Yilmaz Yilmaz. We opened a store in Kuzguncuk, Turkey, in 1988. MY ROLE IS... important when it comes to designing the stores' concept, developing customer service principles and coordinating the collections. I AM PROUD OF... being a mother and having been elected as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 by the Economist Journal. IN MY SPARE TIME I... paint, and read psychology books. THE NEW COLLECTION IS... influenced by Versace. It is vibrant, bright and exciting and allows the wearer to stand out in the crowd. THE COLLECTION'S KEY TREND IS... gold chain this season, which played a huge role - try using it with neutral tones such as cream or pastel.
Koton, Marina Mall, 02 681 6505; Dubai Mall, 04 434 0750; and elsewhere