To celebrate the reopening of non-essential retail and the highly anticipated reopening of Sloane Street’s luxury boutiques, we have commissioned London-based poet Ella Frears to write a poem that encapsulates the joy and freedom of in-person shopping for things that aren’t remotely essential.
Frears, whose debut collection, ‘Shine, Darling’, was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, pays tribute to the sense of exhilaration that comes with the purchase of something beautiful, lavishly wrapped and handed to you in person.
With the easing of national restrictions promising the chance to get dressed up to go out again after so long spent in loungewear, ‘They Speak to Her’ distils the unique power of bricks-and-mortar shopping to spark a fantasy about the possibilities of who you might become when dressed up in a new purchase.
It is a reminder of the intoxicating sensation that a new storyline in one’s life can begin with a purchase made in-store. An experience that simply can’t be replicated when you checkout online.
“I love clothes. I regularly fall head-over-heels for heels. I wanted to conjure the atmosphere of the shopping experience as well as that thrill you get when you try on something perfect and you can see your future self wearing it – the joyful, carefully wrapped weight of that purchase as you carry it home,” said Frears. “It’s been a difficult year for so many and there are lots of important things to worry about. Having said that, I have missed impulsively wandering into a shop and buying something beautiful.”
After a year of uncertainty, isolation, travel bans, tragedy, Zoom meetings, home-schooling, and rules, the poem is about deserving something beautiful, frivolous, fun and joyful as we move towards freedom in the wake of pandemic restrictions.
For more details on shopping on Sloane Street, please click here.