The Jekyll and Hyde of the high street surprises and delights with its daring spring collections.
While Zara hasn’t exactly ditched its bread and butter tailoring and basics, it’s so refreshing to see a high street name do something both trend-led and individual. Printed silk shirts, wooden shape-adorned, silk trimmed and Versace-esque T-shirts, raglan-sleeve detail shirting and the boldest paisley printed trousers are a brave statement, supported by plenty of safer heritage styles and decent basics. Yes, the more challenging styles won’t be for everyone, but we must commend Zara for going there.
Overall it seems Zara has upped the quality a touch, with better-than-usual attention to detail on a variety of summer blazers and some trousers. Basic T-shirts made from soft cotton come in bright colours - at £9.99 their quality outweighs the fact they aren’t the cheapest seen during this Hit or Miss. Fabric on the whole looks and feels better than previous seasons but still has a little way to go.
This shiny store’s premium feel belies the prices within. Neat, tidy and carefully filled with smart fixtures and fittings, the floor and air-conditioned changing rooms impress, in contrast to the jumble sale experience Zara shoppers sometimes get. Staff were hands-off but attentive if needed (changing room aside, where Drapers was left alone) while the window displays with cleanly styled mannequins and fluorescent lighting are stark and modern, but in a good way.