I was recently invited to participate in the launch of — namely by creating my own namesake boutique that other people can shop — & I wanted to write a little bit about the experience! For the record, Google did NOT ask me to write anything about, I’m doing this purely because I think it’s a great idea!

What is is a personalized shopping experience, brought to you by Google, that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers — celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look and creates the opportunity for designers to showcase their collections and latest inspirations online.

To me, it’s a place where you can mash up your current wardrobe with a wishlist of ideal pieces & things you’re likely to buy in the future. It’s a wonderful way to refine your own style & explore new things. It’s a place where you can show off your aesthetic preferences & explore other people’s style!

When you sign up for an account, you’re presented with an array of questions — almost like a style survey. Do you like v-necks or round necks? Would you prefer to wear a bubble skirt or a maxi? Which colours do you prefer & do you like patterns? You’re shown a gallery of snapshots, ranging from celebrity style to street fashion, & asked what is most inspiring. Then, from these answers, automatically generates a selection of recommended pieces. It’s like shopping mecca!

You pick the things you like best by clicking save, & it places them within your boutique, so you can either share them with others or use it as a personal shopping list. It’s SO good. I love looking through my boutique — it’s all bright colours, lots of dresses, crystal-studded shoes, candy pink handbags & faux fur! It really does showcase my style!

They have another feature called ‘Visually Similar’, which is brilliant. Often you’ll see a dress, skirt or jacket you like, but you think, ‘Oh, if only it was this colour/a little shorter/had less buttons!’, or even more regularly, ‘I wish I could find a less expensive version of that look!’. With this feature, you are actually PRESENTED with those options! Up until now, there has been absolutely no way of doing that. This whole visual search thing is totally genius, & it makes me wonder why it hadn’t been done earlier!

So, as you can see above, I chose to show what was visually similar to the dress on the top left — the purple Sonia Rykiel number. It responds by showing you a great variety of comparable options, with prices as low as $27.80! I’m sure that as time goes on & their database of items expands, you’ll be able to set price brackets, select from certain vendors, etc.

As far as the social part of the site goes, you can easily see the boutiques of the people following you, which is so interesting! It’s nice to see the link between your own style, & the aesthetics of people who admire yours! I’ve been really enjoying surfing around, checking out other people’s boutiques, & adding some of their favourite pieces to my own list! is continually evolving. They launched with LOTS of functions with pinky-promises of more to come — I’m very excited to see what they come up with.

But hey, Google, if you’re listening (!), I think it would be great if you could make categories within your boutique! If I could set it up any way I liked, I’d have one category for things I already own & another for things I wanted to add to my closet. Then I’d group things by style — “psychedelic ladies who lunch” might be one, “mistress at a funeral” might be another. That way, you could group articles of clothing for greater sartorial scrapbooking!

Oh, & you know that Polyvore stream down the side of the page which serves as inspiration? It’s fantastic, but it would be even better if you had the option to plug your username into it so your own sets show up!

I’m really looking forward to the site having more designers & options, too, as well as vintage clothing & one-off pieces!

Overall, I think is a marvellous idea & I just KNOW you’ll get a massive kick out of it. I’m on there all the time already! Come have a look & play around!