If there’s one thing that cannot be compromised on, in the run-up to your big day, it is the shopping for your trousseau. Trousseau shopping doesn’t only mean stocking your Louis Vuitton trunks with traditional couture by Bal or Beri, nor does it mean loading your Goyard jewellery boxes with priceless pieces of Indian jewellery. For a truly modern, fashion conscious bride, trousseau shopping is a fun experience (maybe even a bonding exercise with your girlfriends or sisters) where you scout around for the latest trends and make sure that your post-wedding wardrobe is as cutting edge as can be. If shopping in Europe is up your alley, the fashion districts of London, Paris or Milan are the best places to raid the boutiques. Or maybe even Barcelona.
During a recent trip to Spain, we discovered the ‘oh-so-chic’ La Roca Village, just about an hour outside of the buzzing city of Barcelona. Since we were trousseau shopping in Barcelona with a bunch of friends, our trendy local guide decided to drive us there. And we weren’t disappointed. A quaint and rustic-chic recreation of a traditional Catalan village, La Roca Village houses over 100 fashion and lifestyle outlet stores. As soon as we entered, we couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the unmistakable Mediterranean feel of the village: brightly coloured houses (read boutiques), crowded terrace cafes and hordes of uber-stylish people. A far cry from your regular glass atrium, escalator packed shopping malls, wouldn’t you say?
Strolling down the alleys of La Roca Village, we saw some familiar names: Polo Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Michael Kors, Sando, Maje and Spazio Dolce & Gabbana.
We also spotted some of our favourite luxury home stores, the coolest one being Le Creuset. We’ve got our heart set on them ever since they released their heart shaped kitchenware for Valentine’s Day, earlier this year. We loved the Villeroy & Boch and Luzio stores too.
We decided to set our sights on the local Spanish brands, to see what they had on offer. We discovered Bimba and Lola, a relatively young Spanish brand that seems to have quirky written all over its creations. Feminine and undeniably urban, Bimba and Lola’s creations are brilliantly finished.
Another noteworthy Spanish brand that we were introduced to at La Roca Village is Custo Barcelona. Showcasing the Spanish spirit of trendy and uber wearable fashion, Custo Barcelona’s creations are graphic and eyecatching. A modern day Pucci, you would think!
After mustering up the courage to stop shopping and perhaps head back to Barcelona, we left La Roca Village with a feeling of lightness. Though all our favourite brands were not under one roof (as we have always been used to seeing), we found them all in one ‘village.’ The bride in question was beaming with a sense of accomplishment. Not only had she examined current trends and procured creations from the world’s leading brands, all in one afternoon, but also enjoyed a unique shopping experience.
My verdict. Trousseau shopping is pointless unless you make an experience of it. Enjoy this stylish slice of Spanish village life at La Roca Village, which gets our vote for one of Europe’s coolest shopping destinations.
Riaan J. George is a widely published lifestyle and luxury journalist who has established himself as an authority on all things chic. Ex-Culture Editor at L’Officiel India, Riaan now runs his virtual style magazine Urban Eye by Riaan George (www.urbaneye.in) which brings you the latest updates on fashion, travel, food and culture. Follow him on Twitter @riaangeorge