I must admit that whenever I have an unexpected meeting in Barcelona, just the thought of visiting Santa Eulalia turns the trip into something more exciting; even before I get on the train.
No matter how many times I visit this small temple of good taste, the ability of its managers of constant reinvention never ceases to amaze me. Each visit is a walk through a new collection and each floor means being introduced to the fashion houses’ latest proposals, many of which are only possible to find on that permanent catwalk of the store on Paseo de Gracia 93. And if we seek to continue with a classic men’s look we are also equally lucky.
This is surely one of the reasons why it’s not unusual to see how the boldest dandy comes out of one of Santa Eulalia’s doors with a Shanghai model by Church’s, and through the other a British gentleman enters in search of his favourite model by John Lobb.
And it should not surprise us that while we wait for our Luigi Borrelli shirt to be rapped, a pair stylish and colourful Jacob Cohen shorts arrive at the counter in the hands of a French tourist thinking about what other clothes to wear them with this summer at Le Club 55 in Saint Tropez.
Lovers of fashion and the latest trends will enjoy themselves in Santa Eulalia choosing between the single colour two-button suit by Prada and the pinstripe suit from the same brand.
Just a few meters away, fans of the best fabrics and the Neapolitan style will see that there is a before and after trying on a suit by Kiton. That typical comfort of the Neapolitan fashion house can even make you forget you’re wearing a suit jacket.
But if we are one of those who think that no brand can achieve the perfection of a good custom made suit, we are lucky that Santa Eulalia has a more than 150 year long tradition of cutting and sewing one of the best suits in Spain.
One of the brands that very fast and with great success have earned the applause of both fashion connoisseurs and those who simply want timeless clothes is Tom Ford.
The shoe department at Santa Eulalia is a delight for the senses of any lover of both classic more historic brands as the most current and trendy ones. If the first group includes brands such as Crockett & Jones, Alden, Pierre Corthay and the aforementioned John Lobb, the second offers equal possibilities and it is not easy to decide between all the casual shoes ranging from the mythical gominos by Tods to the latest designs form Prada. This great variety includes up to, say, a pair of espadrilles with careful finish and beautiful design from Castañer designed exclusively for the Catalan store.
Even those who come into the store this spring-summer with the firm intention of not leaving with a single bag will find it difficult to resist the temptation to grab a seven-fold Marinella tie, a pocket handkerchief or a beautiful handbag-purse with the logo of the house of Aspa standing beside other more well known brands like Bottega Veneta in braided leather.