I never line up for anything. It has become a sort of personal creed for me, especially since moving to New York more than a decade ago and being stunned at how willing people are to queue in this city – and in such an orderly manner. Australians are largely a cynical bunch, and lazy, so the whole lining up thing doesn’t work well. A French friend, also stunned at the orderly American queue, said lines in her homeland were notoriously rowdy and crooked, with people going in all directions.
That’s why today was notable. I surprised even myself and stood in line with about 200 other shoppers to get first dibs on the Liberty of London for Target range. Thankfully, the line moved fast, and I made it inside in about 15 minutes at what was probably peak time around 12.30pm. Was it worth it? Well, yes I believe it was. I scored three pretty sundresses, of course in Liberty printed fabrics; a couple of tea mugs and floral tumblers as well as an armload of frocks and bikinis for the daughter, all of which actually fit.
I was pleased to find the dresses were modern cuts and the fabrics didn’t feel cheap and nasty as has been the case with some other designer for the masses collaborations. Target seems to have really hit a home run with this latest teaming, raising the question among just about everyone I chatted to in that long line: why isn’t there a Liberty of London store in New York?
The pop-up store was beautifully decorated with planters galore of spring flowers, and hyacinth perfuming the air, which was also adorned with massive cutouts of home wares, umbrellas and yards of wallpaper and fabric in the famed Liberty prints. The umbrellas, by the way, were sold out by noon today and a lot of the smallest sizes in the lingerie and some of the most popular dresses were in need of restocking too. Still, a woman next to me was thrilled to find a row of bras in 36 DD and beyond! There were plenty of staff scattered about too to help answer questions, though most people wanted to know about sizing, and that was the one thing the staffers seemed clueless about.
Most things are sized x-small, small, medium or large etc., although in an odd twist, some maxi dresses were sized numerically in British sizes. For the record, a UK8 is about a 6 in the US and a UK10 is an 8. I found the dresses run large, so opt for the smaller size. It was also tough to navigate the children’s clothes, since there was no guide on what ages the S, M and L were for. If it helps any, my almost 5yo was fine in the 5T and XS selections.
So here’s what you need to know if you plan on hitting the pop-up store; go early and unencumbered because it will be crowded and you probably won’t see everything properly, partly because the layout of the pop-up store is muddled and partly because in a flower-filled room full of Liberty-printed platters, clothes, rain boots, lingerie, bathing suits and so on, it all begins to look the same after a bit; and don’t bother with the fitting room lines unless you really must.
Afterwards, head home for a nice cup of tea, preferably in a glossy new Liberty print teacup.
The pop-up store is at 1095 Sixth Ave. at 42nd Street, near Bryant Park through Saturday. It hits Target.com and Target stores beginning Sunday, March 14.