Welcome to the ES Shopping Shortlist, the monthly round-up of need-to-know newness right now.
Hands up who’s welcoming May with open arms? Now we’re in spring proper, the world is opening back up - in every sense of the sentiment.
Non-essential shops have already thrown open their doors (some with a Lush new revamp - but more on that below), and by the end of this month we’ll be seated back inside restaurants, theatres, cinemas and other venues.
It’s exciting, not least because it means we’refinally out of the loungewear we’ve lived in for over a year. If you’ve opened your wardrobe to a flurry of moths, it may be time to invest in new threads. Check out our roundup of the best fashion sales on right now.
Restaurants and beer gardens may be heaving, but there’s still ways to sit down to restaurant quality grub at home; Gousto’s new initiative reveals all.
For more ideas on what to spend your hard-earned cash on this May, read on.
MAC x Disney’s Cruella Collection
With Emma Stone set to rock the big screen soon in Disney's anti-hero live-action flick Cruella, MAC has launched a range dedicated to the most stylish cartoon villain of all time. The covetable collection features plenty of the character's signature punk-rock reds and haute metallic hues, with glamorous products for eyes, lips and skin as well as monochrome beauty tools.
Rixo steps into footwear
Not content with making the frocks of the moment, Rixo has delved into the wonderful world of shoes. With cute vintage aesthetics, the nine-strong debut collection is designed to slip on and go - whether you're off to the office, going for a walk or enjoying a long-awaited night on the town. Priced between £185 - £255, straps positioned to flatter and considered heel heights that take you from day-to-night, they're the solemates your re-emergence wardrobe has been crying out for.
Planet-saving lingerie from Heist
In another move to curb its environmental impact, lingerie brand Heist is launching the Eco Lace Collection at the end of this month. Designed to make sustainability sexy, the range is made from 100 per cent recycled lace and sheer eco-mesh. Good for you, good for the planet, pieces are super soft and oh-so comfortable against the skin. And of course, they're all recyclable too. More of this sort of thing, please.
Cool cats come to Gucci
No stranger to an unlikely collab, Gucci's latest tie-up takes inspiration from the super-kawaii world of anime. The Italian fashion house is working with global anime streaming brand Crunchyroll to create an edit of apparel and accessories based on Bananya, a series about the lives of tiny cats who live in bananas.
If it sounds sweet, it really is: apart from the playful moggies, the collection is made up of sugary shades on comfy sweatshirts, hoodies and t-shirts with a smattering of jewellery and brooches thrown in for good measure. While clothing focuses on womenswear, male fans can get in on the Bananya action through two pairs of trainers, also in the series.
Hungry to help? Gousto’s Cookstarter shows you how
You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know how hard hospitality has had it this past year. Now Gousto has found a way to bring some back from the brink. Its Cookstarter initiative sees a new round of limited-edition dishes borrowed from indy restaurants, ready for you to recreate at home.
From Palestinian, Thai-Irish fusion, Vietnamese, British bistro and Mexican, the recipes offer hungry customers a taste of something new, and a novel way to support businesses from afar. Load your Gousto box with Scott & Wilson’s hearty Squash & Garlic Mushroom Gnocchi, or awaken your taste buds with Noya Kitchen’s joy-giving Vietnamese Chilli & Ginger Aubergine Stir Fry. We tried all five recipes (we know, tough job) and while each shone brightly, our hearts were stolen by Baity’s Palestinian Chicken Musakhan, a sort of kebab which comes with a fresh cucumber salad. Trust us when we say the spice mix is nothing short of addictive.
As part of the launch, Gousto is also working with cashless tipping platform TiPJAR so foodies can tip the restaurant team directly. If you’re hungry to help support independent restaurants during challenging times, order a Cookstarter recipe through Gousto until May 25.
All the fun of the fete
Jo Malone has turned to the classic English fair to inspire its latest range, Marmalade Dreams. The five new colognes come in 30ml white opaque bottles finished with blue font and illustrations that echo the look of old school preserves. Of the varieties, we loved sharp and bright Blackberry & Bay and powdery sweet Rose Blush best; both bring to mind halcyon summer days in the countryside. Jammy.
Carry on glamping - free boutique camping show
Camping is set to be huge this summer, and whether you’re a newbie or veteran pitcher, it pays to take the latest equipment to make sure you’re cosy and comfortable. Make a beeline for Boutique Camping’s Summer Showcase, a free shopping exhibition from May 22 and 23 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery where you can find all the whistles and bell(tents) you’ll need for a glamping trip to remember. The boutique event will be packed with fun and free attractions including photo booths, a boutique bar, summer games and lots more to help you plan your personal schedule of summer adventures.
A Lush new flagship
Lush’s flagship store on Oxford Street has undergone a facelift, and it recently opened its doors to customers. Now featuring three floors with a serene spa in the basement, it’s a haven for homemade skincare, haircare and cosmetics.
Borrowing formats from the brand’s branches from Florence, Paris and Tokyo, the top floor is a dedicated gallery of their iconic bath bombs, while the ground floor is a wonderland of shampoo bars, hydrating conditioners, gifts, body butters and cruelty-free butters. Head below deck to find the three treatment room spa and luxury fragrance counters, a transportative experience that will take you miles away from the bustle of the street above.
This is one beauty destination youwon’t want to skip on your next trip into town. In the meantime, get cracking on your shopping list online.
Ready, set, RESTOCK
If you’ve been biding your time for the restock of Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS cotton range, the time has arrived. Available from sizes XXS - 4X, the comfort wardrobe basics can be layered with your outerwear or worn alone to stay stylish lounging at home. We were impressed with the range, see what we thought.
Look good, feel food in Monki’s new activewear
If you’re anything like us, cute workout wear is half the battle when it comes to exercise. Welcome news then, that this month sees Monki release its first activewear range, Feel Good Wear. Made up of a sports top, singlet and leggings, the collection is made in line with Monki’s Planet Power long-term commitment to only use recycled and more sustainably sourced materials in the future.
Will your Downward Dog look good in this? You’d better believe it.
“Together we go far” to the Pacifics with Peloton
To celebrate Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month, the most-wanted indoor exercise bike brand Peloton has dropped a new workout range to transport you to the tropics. Designed to give your fitness goals a boost as we sail into summer, the range has been made in partnership with Instructors Sam Yo, Emma Lovewell and Aditi Shah, as well as the global Asian Community Employee Resource Group within Peloton to nail the look. Expect plenty of sunshine yellows, blossom pinks and clean whites patterned with flowers that are significant in Asian culture. One thing’s for sure, the bright and beautiful has us in a spin.
Mango joins the house party
We can’t help but notice the style switch taking place on the high street of late. From new designer collabs (hello H&M x DVF) and starry initiatives like Prabal Gurung championing Etsy’s indy sellers, to luxe brands like Saint Laurent rolling out hot home accessories, major fashion players are going big by going home.
Now Mango is joining the house party with a new homewares launch, finally answering the prayers of all their house proud customers. Made from sustainable materials, shop everything from bed linen and blankets to bathrobes, plus plenty more besides. Covid restrictions may be lifting, but for Mango, home is still where the heart is.