Saturday, 11 June 2011 14:48

STYLISH DESTINATIONS: Barbados

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Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, all on it's own with the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the Caribbean Sea to the other. This beautiful island is not only a perfect holiday destination, but also a great place for shopping and catching up with the latest fashion. Because of its location and hot tropical climate all year round, Barbados focuses mainly on beachwear, casual resortwear and formal "summer in the city" look. There are many fashion and hair shows throughout the year held in world class resorts, and of course Barbados Fashion Week – the biggest event on the island – attracting both local and international designers, models and photographers.

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Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Bathsheba, Saint Joseph; Photo by Eva Fydrych

The latest Fashion Week took place in October at the Concorde Experience - Christ Church and was showcasing many talented designers from New York, Los Angeles, London, Canada, Miami, Trinidad, St Vincent, Jamaica, Barbados & St Lucia. High Fashion After Parties hosted by Allure Entertainment, Savvy Jamz & Events Unusual, offered the best fashion atmosphere with champagne, lounging in VIP and enjoying great entertainment by Barbados Best New Artists.

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Barbados Fashion Week 2010 – backstage; Photo by CaribFashionTV.com

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The Runway at Da Costa Mall, Broad Street; Photo courtesy of The Runway

Barbados attracts the world's rich and famous and therefore you would expect to find high-end goods to cater for this type of clientele. However what you may not expect is that all of these designer goods can be purchased at a fraction of their usual cost as all visitors to Barbados benefit from duty free prices. Just remember to have your passport, ticket for travel and know the address of where you are staying to get the discount.

Main shopping destinations include Bridgetown and Holetown where you can find everything from famous designers like Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren to world-renowned lingerie icons like Agent Provocateur or La Perla.

Broad Street in Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados is lined with duty free shops where you will find designer brands on sale at heavily discounted prices. If you want to buy ornaments, crystal, fine figurines then you will find these items on sale in The Royal Shop, Cave Shepherd or Little
Switzerland, here you will find brands such Lladro and Swarovski.

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Dingolay Boutique in South Coast, Barbados; Photo courtesy of Dingolay

If you want to go shopping while you are in Barbados and are looking for something really unique thenyou should go to one of the many boutiques that sell clothing, accessories, jewellery and cosmetics.

Known for its classic chic attire and ever-changing range of stock, Dingolay (located at Sheraton Mallin Chirst Church) always has an amazing array of the latest styles and hottest resort collections. Thechic and elegant Gaye Boutique in Holetown is especially known for its fabulous lines of imported
designer beachwear and swimwear. Agabhumi brings to Barbados “the best of Bali”. Their shop at #3Chattel Village in Holetown offers a selection of jewellery, sarongs, handbags, sandals and more with an eastern flair.

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Casual chic – Dingolay Boutique in South Coast, Barbados; Photo courtesy of Dingolay

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Street fashion, Bridgetown; Photo by Eva Fydrych

On the south coast of Barbados you will find boutiques selling designer clothing at the Shak Shak Complex on the South Coast Main Road.

On this same road you will also find Quayside Centre, which is home to Lazy Days, a surf and sport wear boutique. There are also a couple of really nice ladies boutiques here such as Kartushe, which sell some very high-end ladies fashions. You can also pick up some really nice shoes, which are original and very reasonably priced.

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The London Boy Fashion in Christ Church; Photo by Eva Fydrych

Also on the south coast is the Sheraton Centre, this is located just off the highway and this large shopping centre has a number of boutiques selling everything from fashion, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, perfumes and jewellery. This mall is more used by locals and doesn't really cater to the highend designer goods that you would find on the west coast, however, there are some great bargains to be had and there are some great boutiques for original dresses for special occasions.

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Barber shop in Christ Church; Photo by Eva Fydrych

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Window display in Speightstown, Saint Peter; Photo by Eva Fydrych

If you are searching for some local designers and don't want to spend a fortune on clothing and accessories, Swan Street in Bridgetown is the place to be. A vibrant shopping street comes to life every morning with locals browsing through the endless small boutiques, many of them hidden in the narrow alleys, and street stalls selling colourful jewellery and accessories. The street is noisy and crowded, but with a little bit of patience, you can find some real gems out there.

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D'Mood boutique in Bridgetown; Photo by Eva Fydrych

D'Mood – a small boutique run by friendly Dionne Coppin – sells “a bit of everything”. Colorful and sexy summer dresses, bold jewellery and stylish handbags. The owner created a unique and cosy atmosphere that makes shopping there a real pleasure.

Well-established Fashion City Boutique offers a big selection of ladies wear, in all shapes and sizes.

Their unconventional ways of attracting customers, include spontaneous fashion shows in the streets with gorgeous models presenting their latest arrivals.

There is also something for the shoe lovers – many boutiques at Swan Street offer great selection of sandals, flip flops and evening high-heels at very reasonable prices. D's Meets Styles Inc. located on the ground floor of the Norman Centre has an amazing collection of fashionable shoes for every
occasion.

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Maker's pink suede platforms from D's Meets Styles Inc, 45 USD; Photo by Tropic Beauty

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Shoe lovers paradise at the Norman Centre, Swan Street; Photo by Eva Fydrych

On the west coast of Barbados you will find shopping malls in Holetown. There is the Sunset Crest shopping mall, which has a number of boutiques for ladies and gents fashions. There are also unique boutiques selling silk clothing, designer sunglasses, handbags, facial and hair care products, many of
which are all designer brand names.

Also on the west coast in Holetown, you will find the Chattel House Village; these quaint little shops are all housed in traditional Bajan Chattel Houses, which provide excellent shopping space for boutiques. Here you will find clothing and accessory stores along with some souvenir shops.

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Colorful local fabrics at Bathsheba Beach, Saint Joseph; Photo by Eva Fydrych

For the best gifts and souvenirs you have to head to the Pelican Craft Centre, located just next to the Bridgetown Port. Here you will find plenty of shops selling hand crafted goods and you can also see the workmen in their studios creating goods in leather and clay. The Pelican Craft Centre is a lovely place to stroll around and you can pick up some really unique pieces at a great price.

Of course Barbados is not only about fashion and shopping. Most of all, it's a premier holiday destination with the best beaches in the Caribbean, delicious seafood and rum cocktails, great reggae music and friendly locals. Birth place of the famous R'n'B singer Rihanna, Barbados attracts many
celebrities and is definitely one of the most interesting destinations to visit at any time of the year.

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Atlantic Coast in Bathsheba, Saint Joseph; Photo by Eva Fydrych
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Model presenting the latest collection at the Fashion City Boutique, Photo by Eva Fydrych

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Model presenting the latest collection at the Fashion City Boutique, Photo by Eva Fydrych

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