Westfield Stratford City : The Verdict
There’s no doubt that the East End is chuffed to get a swanky new shopping centre – Europe’s largest – which has created 10,000 jobs and is expected to see 20 million visitors in a year…but somehow we’re a little meh – not underwhelmed exactly but a little less excited than we might be!
The opening ceremony was slightly surreal. Nik Grimshaw and Pixie Geldof did the introductions before London Mayor Boris Johnson cut the ribbon and gave a bizarre speech about medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer and the new shopping centre. Yes- seriously. Watch a vid here.
Ex Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger did her thing bringing the stuffed shopping centre to a grinding halt (emphasis on grinding) before Boris reportedly dodged being hit by a falling glass tile.
Enough of the proceedings and down to the shopping: The best bits.
Fashion Rocks: a high end boutique stocking designer and designer diffusion lines including: D&G. See by Chloe, McQ, Alice by Temperley and Ugg. Clothes were grouped by designer rather than trend (we’re not sure if that’s a good or bad thing) and there was a focus on everyday pieces rather than flouncy dresses.
Forever21: We spotted Bip Ling setting up her DJ set. While the Oxford St flagship shop hasn’t been open very long, we actually prefer this one – it’s probably a similar-ish size but seems to be less cluttered with a less densely packed shop floor.
Topshop: Why? You ask. The store boasts interesting decorations and the clothing is grouped in trends with the most fashion-forward selections on offer making it a more engaging experience than its Oxford Circus peer. There is also an information station with 2 members of staff and a bunch of iPads. The area reads: “Ask me, help me, inspire me,” which could prove seriously handy for anyone floundering – like a halfway personal stylist house maybe with no minimum spend. There is also a Wah Nails room, which was causing plenty of excitement.
An outside space is really nice with great views of the Olympic Park, which looks like it’s shaping up nicely.
And finally…there are a bunch of events going on this week to celebrate the opening including Look Magazine’s #LookLounge
with fashion blogger Q&As, manicures and beauty treatments. Amazing. We popped in to do some blogging today and the team are lovely.
The worst bits:
OMG it was sooo busy – we might have the bruises to prove it! Surely this is just an opening day problem but it wasn’t pleasant!
No really high end shops mean no wish list window shopping fun. Boo!
Lots of shops haven’t opened yet- notable absences include Whistles and H&M and on the whole, it’s kind of like Oxford Street with a roof, which might be good or bad depending on your shopping needs.
It’s not as pretty and architecturally inspiring as Shepherd’s Bush!
More pics…by us.