Laura Pearson-Smith: Shop small this Christmas

A dress from Helen McAlinden. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

A dress from Helen McAlinden. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

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FASHION blogger Laura Pearson-Smith on why shopping local pays

There aren’t many shopping days left until Christmas, so if you still have gifts to buy, you’ll need to do it soon. Why not shop small by buying from local or independent brands and designers this festive season? Your loved ones will get a unique gift and you’ll be helping support and foster smaller businesses.

Instagram of the week. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

Instagram of the week. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

Stylish Happenings

Bespoke Atelier are a Glasgow design studio who hold a Christmas pop-up shop every year to showcase and sell the work of independent Scottish designers. Their current shop on Osbourne Street in the Merchant City has a fabulous array of potential buys. It runs until 20th December and is the perfect place to pick up some limited edition, high-end and design-led items for your house or wardrobe.

Over at House of Fraser in Glasgow, I went to meet with Irish fashion designer Helen McAlinden and view her new collection. She designs with real women in mind and creates pieces that are cut to flatter all body types. Her pieces (from wrap dresses to leather jackets) are classic, understated and elegant and make for perfect wardrobe staples. A gift from her collection will be treasured for years to come.

What to Buy On a Shopping Spree

What To Buy On A Shopping Spree

What To Buy On A Shopping Spree

Scottish fashion brand Elizabeth Martin Tweed is at the top of my lust-list at the moment. She makes beautiful creations from sustainable Scottish fabrics such as Harris Tweed and Scottish lace. Her Ailsa Harris Tweed Dress in Dogtooth Black (£179) is ideal for a day at the office or a night out.

This bright watercolour print cushion from independent Scottish interiors and homeware studio bluebellgrey by Glasgow School of Art graduate Fi Douglas, will add a splash of colour into dreary winter days. The Portree Beaumont Pompom Cushion (£87) was inspired by the rainbow coloured houses in Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Sara Hill is a talented Scottish makeup artist who has worked with the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely. She has started her own makeup line Sara Hill makeup and the quality is fantastic. Her finely-milled Ruby Shoes Glitter (£15) will make you stand out from the crowd and can be pressed on top of cream eyeshadow or used under a gel nail clear top coat for festive sparkle.

Instagram of the Week (@LPearsonSmith)

Helen McAlinden at House of Fraser. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

Helen McAlinden at House of Fraser. Picture: Laura Pearson-Smith

When buying an expensive new handbag, we usually go for the big-name luxury department store brands – I am guilty of it myself. However, after discovering Ilex London and falling in love with my new black grain leather Sophie Grab Bag (£205) I am always going to dig a little deeper into the fashion marketplace before I make my purchases from now on.

• Laura Pearson-Smith is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger at A Life With Frills. You can drop her a tweet at @LPearsonSmith.

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