Gemma Fox, super-stylish owner of Plume private shopping showroom in Marlow, is your fashion fairy godmother.
Remember the good old days when shopping was a fun leisure activity? When you’d pop down the shops on a Saturday afternoon to while away a few hours perusing outfits for whatever wild party you were attending that night? (*cue gentle sobbing for old life*).
It’s been many, many years since I’ve had any time whatsoever to dedicate to fine-tuning my wardrobe. I mean, I can buy a jumper from ASOS on my laptop after a few glasses of wine like everyone else. But working out what-goes-with-what and creating beautiful outfit combos that leave strangers gasping in admiration? Sorry, too busy to engage.
But lo! There is help on the horizon in the form of Gemma Fox, ex London fashion stylist for Condé Nast glossy mags like Easy Living and The Telegraph and owner of Plume private shopping showroom in Marlow. Doesn’t she look lovely and – most importantly – super-stylish?
Locals will know Plume’s previous incarnation – Gemma’s boutique was a fixture of Liston Court on the High Street from 2008 until recently. She’s now moved down the road to this pretty little mews to Drayman’s Lane up the side of Jack Wills.
Basically it’s still a shop, open 11am to 5pm Tuesday – Friday, so you can pop in on a whim, but it’s now also a personal shopping sanctuary for women who need a bit more help (that’ll be me then).
You can either drop by or make an appointment for Gemma’s undivided styling attention. She’s flexible with the days and hours she’s available – good news for time-pressed women who work long hours (yup, me again).
It’s an airy, welcoming space, with sofas and glossy mags for when you need a sit-down, and Gemma has merchandised her clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery so deftly, you get a million ideas within minutes of walking in. I’d never have thought to put these Intropia cobalt blue printed trousers and blouse together for fear it’d be too matchy-matchy but, ta-da! – what you actually get is a cool summer jumpsuit that you can dress down with trainers or up with stilettos. Cute, eh?
There are brands you will have heard of, such as the aforementioned boho-glam Spanish label Intropia (think Helena Christensen) and MiH premium denim, and some chic new ones. Gemma is great on lesser-known Scandi labels, stocking Stella Nova, Custommade and – my pick – colour-pop scarves by Becksondergaard. Prices are comparable with the high end of the high street – think a slightly cheaper Whistles.
Most importantly there’s no pressure to buy. I can’t stand it when I’m trailed around pin-drop quiet stores by eagle-eyed assistants, lunging to take my clothes to the changing room (in case I make a break through the front door with the goods), or who tell me how amazing all my choices are.
The reason I’m so excited about Plume is that it’s the perfect half-way house between leaving you to shop in peace, but also having the knowledge and style to help you on a more personal level. I’m dying to get into some of the bright spring/summer 17 colours and Gemma is just the person to show me how to wear them without looking like an explosion in a paint factory. What’s more, anything that gets me out of the scruffy jeans and Breton top (borrrrring) I’ve worn all winter has to be a fashion godsend.
The Old Barrel Store, Drayman’s Lane, High Street, Marlow SL7 2FF; 08450 038950; plumeboutique.com