Top – Helmut Lang. Skirt – Zara (similar). Boots – Stuart Weitzman

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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT created for STUART WEITZMAN

You click, you add to cart, you open two more tabs, maybe a few more… add more stuff into baskets, rip a bit of your eyebrow out, chant ‘Velvet booties’ enough times to make it sound alien, Google “Is velvet sexy?”, land on Henry VIII’s Wikipedia page, cobble together a Bloody Mary from leftovers in your fridge… open more tabs…

See, sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to unplug yourself from the online shopping rut. For the sake of sanity, for the sake of you poor readers having to read that first paragraph. So out I went, equipped with a sturdy pair of boots, a bottle of water, a torch and a can of jungle bug-spray (how does one do this again?). I headed to the Stuart Weitzman flagship on 200 Regent Street, fixated on scratching the Velvet booties itch, but also because I wanted to touch EVERYTHING. Because opening 243 tabs wasn’t an option at home. I WANTED CHINESE BURNS ON MY ARMS FROM SHOPPING BAGS.

Top & sleeves – Emma Charles. Skirt – Dagmar. Boots – Stuart Weitzman.

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Dress – Emma Charles. Coat – Mango. Heels – Stuart Weitzman

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It’s incredible how easily you forget how much fun it is experience a store, to dip into the visual universe that no doubt many heads joined to bring about. This one is my ideal New York apartment: Sleek shelving, modular benches on minimal low-pile carpet and herringbone wooden peeking through. I did what I did best and open as many tabs as I could, just so I can say I made a throne at Stuart Weitzman and sat in it in thigh-high boots.

Dress & sleeves – Emma Charles. Boots – Stuart Weitzman

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Hunter Regent Street 83 – 85 Regent Street, W1B 4EW

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Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar).

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Wearing: Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar). Sneakers – Isabel Marant ‘Bart’

One of the few things that London teaches a newcomer is the staggering power of WEATHER as a conversation topic – no matter how awkward your new uni friends are, or how deep an armpit you’ve already found yourself lodged in on the Tube, mention the magical words of ‘It’s horribly grim out there’ and watch friendship blossom. Even with armpit dude. London is notorious for being the butt of all international weather jokes (snow – don’t get me started on that one), famous for raining on parades, and for a long time I assumed the slanted strokes of the Union Jack flag symbolized the typical angle the rain pours in this city. You know, like how the Uruguayan flag carries a smiley-face sun (it makes ALL the sense). And no umbrella is built for sideways rain – not even the ugly, functional ones – so you get wet in all the wrong places… then make friends with strangers. The truth is, the weather on this island is exactly where the cheeky, self-deprecating British humour stems from, the very reason why the new Hunter flagship on Regent Street resembles a barn, and why a flash mob alighted a number 88 bus and ritualized the opening wearing neon-trimmed ski-hats and rubberised trench coats, serving backflips to Singin’ in the Rain remixes. I mean, the store elevator is lined with grass! Rainwear is given a Hunter ‘do, championed by the steely-eyed new Creative Director Allaisdhair Willis, designed to be worn not just to take cover from the elements, but to anticipate with a tune whistled. If you’re into shaking fists to the sky here in London, you might as well make it a dance move and enjoy it.

This reminds me, I just counted the number of umbrellas in my doorway and they add up to a grand total of nine. But do I stick my head out the window before leaving? I do not, because I am a badass Londoner and can fight the rain with my bare fists.

In collaboration with Hunter; outfit photos with the help of my lovely Sarah.