Friday, November 05, 2010

Aspire Style comes to Solihull

(it feels rather strange to have a blog title that is actually connected to the content of the post!)
Last night was a party to launch the opening of Aspire's fourth store in Solihull. The lovely Catie, who manages the blog, the website and the Twitter feed had put out a call on Twitter for local bloggers to come along and blog the event. I didn't need much persuasion - I live close enough to Aspire's Warwick store to be a fan of Aspire and also: goody bags, champagne and a 15% discount on the night. I was sold!

Champagne generously provided by the Aspire ladies. It was delicious!

Me enjoying the drinks. I honestly did not mean to look this sleazy.
Nic and I arrived early as I had my eye on a dress and was ridiculously worried that if I got there late my size would have gone! It was really good to arrive early (I got the dress, but more of that later) because it gave me a chance to see the layout of the store. Unlike the branches in Stratford and Warwick, the Solihull store is in a modern complex and I wondered how Aspire's signature style of using antique furniture and pretty fixtures would work. It looked great. The shop is pretty and girly without being cluttered or twee. Nic was able to comfortably browse around (he was looking for a present for a friend) without feeling out of place or like he was going to knock something down - something he often worries about in other boutiques. I loved the way the antique dressers and cabinets softened the look of the clothing racks and hardwood floors.

Some of the gorgeous furniture and decor in the Solihull store
Still, we're not here to talk about furniture - it's time to get to the dresses. Regular readers of my blog will know of my dress addiction and Aspire is the perfect place to indulge it. The shop carries a selection of dresses by the fabulous Fever Designs (my personal Achilles' heel!), an expanding collection of Tara Starlet's 50s-influenced dresses and clothes by Darling, Yumi and Charming. I was particularly excited by a new line, which is exclusive to the Solihull and online stores - dresses by Vintage Allure. So, I had plenty of exciting frocks to try on and it was only through a supreme effort of will that I managed to restrict myself to one. I'll post pictures when I wear it, but you can be assured that it's a beauty.
I'm enjoying twirling in this gorgeous dress by Tara Starlet

Playing at being a Hollywood starlet in this Vintage Allure frock

Caroline looks gorgeous in the Fever Delilah dress
For the sake of my bank account, I had to ignore the fact that Aspire also stock Irregular Choice and Poetic Licence shoes, but one of my fellow bloggers, Lauren was delighted to find this:

Lauren, indulging her obsession
I had a thoroughly wonderful evening. I was delighted with my dress and with the fantastic goody bag that came along with it. It consisted of a pretty printed Aspire shopping bag, which was filled with beautifully gift-wrapped girly goodies from Aspire's gift range. There was a warm and friendly atmosphere in the store, and Catie and her colleagues made us all feel so welcome.
The lovely ladies of Aspire - Catie is rocking the Fever Maple dress!
One of my favourite things about shopping in Aspire has always been that everyone - staff and customers alike - are so friendly. I lost count last night of the number of times I heard people being complimented. It was lovely! It's definitely worth a visit to one of Aspire's stores.
Happy shoppers in Solihull

Happy bloggers in Solihull - me, Lauren and Caroline

Oscar, I feel you.