The River Island ‘Style Studio’, is a complimentary personal styling service offered by appointment only, in London, Birmingham and now the newly revamped Liverpool store. In order to access it you have to navigate your way through the length of the bustling, noisy, children’s clothing department. On the approach this seemed like an odd location, but once inside the studio it feels very private and quiet. The style studio is a small, self contained area with its own front desk and three changing rooms.

The space has been carefully styled with eclectic furniture and a bar decorated with trinkets and ornaments. In fact, the entire studio feels like the perfect Instagram picture just begging to be photographed. I was encouraged on numerous occasions by the staff to take photographs and selfies, uploading them with various hashtags promoting the new service, suggesting River Island is fully embracing the power of social media.

My personal stylist Jordan gave me the option to either wander around the store with him or for him to select things to on my behalf and bringing them back to the studio. I decided on the latter and we spoke briefly about my style. For a starting point we discussed my fashion style being ‘grungy’ and maybe ‘vintage’ without too much ‘fuss’. I decided not to admit that my usual criteria for selecting an outfit was ‘looks clean’, and eagerly awaited Jordan’s.

The first outfits selected were a mix of black ruffled dresses and floral playsuits, all very stylish and perfectly coordinated. I tried on everything and gave vague comments to my stylist about each item. As fast as I dismissed something, a new outfit would arrive complete with shoes and accessories. Jordan continued to select items and the style quickly evolved into something more tailored and chic. These wouldn’t have been the items I would have picked out myself however they looked great and I felt really comfortable in this style. Despite me being there to review this new service, I was so pleased with the selections made by Jordan that I decided to purchase two of the items. The first, a lightweight playsuit, and the second tailored cropped trousers. Jordan also advised items that could be coordinated with the clothes, giving me ideas for future purchases or for things that I might already own.

River island are offering something few of their competitors provide. A tailored service with fashion styling professionals in a contemporary, vibrant setting. Furthermore, the complementary glass of Prosecco on arrival and attentive styling team makes this experience feel all the more special and personal.

Sarah Hobson