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The Simple Life

Olivia Phillips Armani Exchange

Dress: Armani Exchange, Trainers: Adidas, Sunglasses: Salvatore Ferragamo

Even as a fashion editor, there are some brands which can sometimes escape you. Some brands which, through no fault of their own, fly a little lower under the radar than they deserve, and really need a bit of flag-waving and a hearty pat on the back. Armani Exchange is one such store, and not because it’s unlikely to be killing it in the sales department, but because, magazine-wise, it’s one of those shopping stalwarts that can get overlooked in the shouty, shiny fashion landscape in which we find ourselves currently residing. Back in the real world, however, it’s a never-ending pool of real-world clothing. Allow me to me elucidate…

Dress and bag: both Armani Exchange, Sunglasses: Salvatore Ferragamo, Earrings: Maria Black at dulaab.com

Dress and bag: both Armani Exchange, Sunglasses: Salvatore Ferragamo, Earrings: Maria Black at dulaab.com

In true Armani style (its older sister), AX is defined by its quiet elegance and dedication to quality, but with a really affordable price point which allows it to inhabit a magical land we fashion folk like to call ‘Contemporary’ or ‘Bridge’. Think Reiss, Whistles and Karen Millen – even your Sandros, Majes and Kooples are part of that clever club that we can’t get enough of. I remember when you could furnish yourself with an It Bag for £700; £500 if you were a Mulberry girl. *gazes nostalgically into the middle-distance* No such luck these days – you’re lucky if you can walk away with change from a grand and a half. Enter legions of Contemporary brands which perfectly reflect the philosophy of many a modern-day shopper. Hands up who wants to pay £600 for a top? Anyone? Anyone?? Didn’t think so. Add this to still-pervading normcore movement (the cult product of S/S16 was a DHL T-shirt. Just saying) and the genuine need for simple, chic clothing you actually want to put on your back, not just prance around in for an Instagram photo before flinging off 20 minutes later because it turns out sequins are really bloody itchy. AX always knew they were a winner – this is just a gentle, whisper of a reminder. Nothing too aggressive, though. That’s really not their style.

Olivia Phillips Armani Exchange

Bag: Armani Exchange, Bracelets: Monica Vinader at Boutique 1 and La Marquise

Olivia Phillips Armani ExchangeOlivia Phillips Armani Exchange

Armani Exchange can be found in The Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Centre and City Centre Deira.

My (And Your) New Favourite Shop: I Saw It First

I miss online shopping. Who’s with me? We all know the e-commerce, er, situation here in Dubs ain’t the best – a combination of slightly sketchy web design and an equally underdeveloped postal system. Still, we’re getting there, and when sites like I Saw It First pop up on my radar, my spirits are buoyed by thinking we’re closer than I think.

Run by two Dubai ex-pats who clearly know their audience (girls like them, who think there ain’t nothing wrong with a bit of body-con), their selection is a pretty tight edit of affordable brunch dresses, swimwear you’d want to pose in and stacks of bohemian jewellery, from brands you’ve probably missed from the UK. To wit, Lavish Alice, Rare and Pretty Little Things amongst a few others. There’s also a handy little rail of some of the best bits residing in cute new Marina salon, We Nails, so you can go and get your hair and nails did, and walk out with your next Ladies’ Night dress as well.

Olivia Phillips I Saw It First Dubai

My favourite part is that they offer free delivery in Dubai (for orders over Dhs100. Fair.) and same day delivery for Dhs100. So if you’re having a very Dubai wardrobe crisis you can panic shop and sort it out without having to leave the office. Win-win, no?

Follow them on Instagram here.

SHOP 3 OF THE BEST…

Black Tassle Shorts, Dhs135, Lavish Alice

Black Tassle Shorts, Dhs135, Lavish Alice

Open Sleeve Body-Con Mid Dress, Dhs240, Lavish Alice

Open Sleeve Body-Con Mid Dress, Dhs240, Lavish Alice