The Bicester Village Shopping Collection is committed to celebrating creativity and showcasing emerging and established artistic talent. In each of the 11 destinations across Europe and China, they regularly host special events, exhibitions and partnerships with artists and organisations.
This season is no exception. From pop-up boutiques and concept stores to entire, eye-popping, surrealist takeovers, paying a visit to one of the Villages will present you with as much culture as a trip to one of the national galleries. Only the gift shop is much, much better…
Here are just a few of the events happening across the Collection.
Bicester Village — All Things India
On Friday 17th May, Gentleman’s Journal visited Bicester Village for the launch of “Celebrating India,” a pop-up boutique showcasing the works of modern Indian designers. Open until 29th May, this unique concept store features new voices in fashion and style, home and interiors, textiles and craft, and welcomes brands such as Manish Arora, Dhruv Kapoor and Kashmir Loom to Britain.
The boutique is all part of Bicester Village’s “All Things India” season, dedicated to celebrating the country’s spirit, colourful creativity and outstanding craftsmanship.
As well as this pop-up, the Village is also displaying six magnificent life-sized elephants, all carved from lantana camara – a plant that is destroying their natural habitat. On display until 11th June, the elephants have been created by the Elephant Family charity, founded by the late Mark Shand, and shoppers will be able to donate to the cause in-village throughout the duration.
Elsewhere in the village, the striking work of travel photographer Chris Caldicott will be on display, and the restaurants at Bicester Village are offering some special additions to their menus.
Café Wolseley has added The Delauney signature chicken curry dish to their menu, as well as some delicious elephant-shaped shortbread biscuits. The award-winning Curry Leaf Café, which serves modern Indian street food, has also joined the village, opening their first pop-up outside of Brighton for the duration of the summer.
Maasmechelen Village — Proud To Be Belgian
Over in Brussels, renowned Belgian designer Charles Kaisin has transformed Maasmechelen Village with his colourful and surrealist installation titled “Proud To Be Belgian.” From April until 30th September, the Village will be taken over be a dazzling architectural display of spheres in the colours of the Belgian flag.
Celebrating the very best of Belgium, Kaisin has also curated a special pop-up cafe – Made In Belgium – which offers must-try food and drink, including traditional Belgian cuisine. Tuck into cheese and charcuterie platters, served on wooden boards in the shape of the region, washed down with plenty of Belgian beer.
La Roca Village — T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion
Meanwhile, in Barcelona, they’re hosting an exhibition centred on everyone’s favourite wardrobe stable – the T-shirt. Organised by London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, this special exhibition will take guests through the history and evolution of the garment, as well as showcasing it as something both powerful and simplistic.
Proving that a T-shirt is more than just an item of clothing, the special collection of over 100 iconic designs will look to stimulate conversations about the relationship between fashion and art, and fashion as a mechanic for social, political and musical passions.
A T-shirt can be a canvas for artistic expression as much as it can be a tool for campaigning for social or political change.
Featuring T-Shirts from brands such as Dior and Gucci, as well as items from private collectors, each garment is paired with pieces from La Roca’s 140-plus boutiques. So if you find yourself in Barcelona this summer, you’ll have until 23rd June to check it out.
La Roca Village
Fidenza Village — The Creative Spot
Meanwhile in Milan, the Village presents its third edition of The Creative Spot, a pop-up boutique featuring works from 13 young, international designers. This year, the Village are working with renowned gallerist Rossana Orlandi and her “Guiltless Plastic Project,” putting the focus of this year’s edition entirely on creative sustainability.
Not only will the boutique be set up using exclusive recycled materials, but the young artists will all be using recycled plastic in the production of their collections. Pieces include a Breuer chair that has been reimagined by turning 20 plastic bottles into threads and a series of stunning vases made using 3D moulding. The pop-up will be open until 16th June.
See what happened when we took the new Bentley Continental GT on a roadtrip across the Cotswolds to Bicester Village…