Last week I went along to the Boden press day ostensibly as a professional journalist but really to shamelessly make a shopping list of everything I will be buying for me and my baby next season because we are hopelessly devoted to Boden. Each season I'm amazed at how inventive the press day display is - for SS/15 they transformed a gallery space into a traditional English country garden complete with neon greenhouse.
Nestled amongst plantpots with real, live flowers growing in actual soil were the prettiest shoes (a definite Sophia Webster flavour, but, y'know, ones you could actually walk in), some seriously covetable sunglasses and beautiful embroidered and embellished clutches.
Rails were crammed with frocks, skirts, shorts, tops and coats smothered in all manner of floral prints, ranging from sweetly traditional embroidered English roses that appeared to have leapt out of a Ladybird book to bold, graphic, tropical blooms in eye-searing shades. Oh, and there was a leather dress. And Boden's first ever leather jacket.
The Baby Boden stuff was, as usual, ridiculously cute. Fresh cotton sundresses artfully blending vintage-style prints with a pop of fluoro pink trim...
Jazzy little leopard-and-fluoro-orange sandals - why-oh-whyyyy can't these come in adult sizes?
And in keeping with the floral theme, florists Bloom & Wilde were on hand making up beautiful bouqets which - get this - can be sent flat packed in a box so they fit through the recipient's letterbox!! Absolute genius - no more arriving home to find you've missed a delivery and have to faff around rearranging it. I was particularly impressed by these jazzy cabbage-rose-things.*
Boden is one of the strongest British brands around, both in this country and abroad. They make clothes that a huge spectrum of people want to wear because they're stylish rather than 'trendy' and have a healthy dose of British eccentricity to them (that explains their appeal to the American market - who could resist a shirt covered in sausage dogs?) It helps that the pricing is realistic and the quality is excellent. I have Boden stuff in my wardrobe from years ago that's still as good as new (the Bistro Crop wool trousers are the best buy ever).
They're pretty hot on social media too, enlisting bloggers like Liberty London Girl and Stylonylon to jazz up their blog and show their customers how real, stylish women wear their clothes. The Spring/Summer 2015 collection is lovely, but before you start wishing away the winter, check out the Winter range right now and start planning your fantasy cosy-days-sparkly-nights wardrobe.
*official botanical term