Ironically, considering the money lavished by the industry in frocking up on any occasion (one of the main reasons, I suspect, that the fashion show hasn't died out in the digital age) there's nothing the fashion world loves more than a bargain. The pull of vintage back in the nineties was the possibility of someone lavishing praise on you only to find out you were wearing vintage Poiret picked up in a casbah in Marrakesh for forty pence.
Thus the almost universal appeal of Bicester Village, and the fact that the latest British Designer Collective opening boasted a heavyweight welter of fashion journalists from the legendary Colin McDowell, to LOVE's Victoria Young and Isaac Lock, to the bloggerati of Disney Roller Girl and Fashion Popcorn, and of course my good self. What's more, Thandie Newton made an appearance to cut the metaphorical ribbon and open the pop-up store's six-week run for the assembled fashion press and British Fashion Council head honchos (alongside Bicester Village itself, the BFC spearheaded the launch of this space for the second year running).
Of course, this wasn't just a chance to nose around Bicester Village itself - the British Designer Collective gives young designers and leading London labels alike a new retail outlet, and a new customer base. Hence, Marios Schwab jostled with Richard Nicoll, and Jonathan Saunders with Holly Fulton - quite literally, actually, as the lady herself was present and correct in one of her own floor-length Deco print dresses.
The shop itself resembled nothing less than one of London's more chi-chi and forward-thinking boutiques, although with all the merchandise marked down 30% or more. That included the wearable - Saunder's colour-block print t-shirts or Fulton's vivid shift dresses, for example; and the avant-garde - a few of Marios Schwab's crystal-encrusted numbers from A/W 2009 managed to cross the fine divide between high art and high fashion, and still remain highly desirable.