Given the fact that I author a style blog it’s pretty obvious that I like to shop (one glance at my severely depleted bank account would also confirm this fact). These are the London shopping gems on my radar at the moment…
When I got an invite to the launch of Vintroville recently I was a little sceptical I’ll admit. Retro clothing emporiums are in very ample supply here, so I was intrigued as to what owners Meryl and Laura thought they could offer the seasoned vintage buyers of east London.
Based on Hackney Road Vintroville isn’t in a location you’re likely to stumble across by chance, but if you’re near Brick Lane you won’t regret making the 10 minute journey. The shop is small but space is used to full effect: clothes arranged by colour line the walls, shoes are paired neatly under the rails and handbags sit atop a white shelf which snakes its way around the circumference of the room. Every nook is filled.
Meryl and Laura’s discerning eye for vintage is evident. Fed up with finding crusty, stinky and overpriced items in the area’s well known retro stores they decided to open a vintage shop with a difference – all the items had to meet their strict criteria for wearability, affordability and quality. The result is a wonderfully edited collection of treasures. The girls also buy in the odd item from new designers or small labels who specialise in reworking old garments, like the ‘I am a Secret‘ cashmere jumper by Laura Laura.
Vintroville is already frequented by some well known vintage fans. Florence Welch, who apparently uses the studio next door, came by one afternoon and ended up buying a dress that Meryl and Laura had nicknamed ‘The Florence’ (a floaty chiffon maxi number of course). How perfect is that!?
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Before last week’s press day event I had no clue that Anya Hindmarch Bespoke existed. How could I have lived without it for so long!
Described by Anya as ‘the most exciting thing I have ever worked on’ the shop is so inconspicuous that my colleague Laura and I almost walked straight past it. Step inside and you’ll see glass cabinets filled with handbags, jewellery boxes, wallets, diary covers and key fobs. Look closer and you’ll notice rolls of luxe leather in rich colours. Then glance into the side room and you’ll discover a workshop, where all the magic happens.
Anya Hindmarch Bespoke, as you may have guessed, personalises leather goods. You decide on a message and they will emboss it on your chosen item, in your own hand writing!
Dotted about the shop on Pont St are examples of gifts already sent. A white compartmented memory box with the words ‘To my darling daughter on her wedding day, I’m so proud of you. All my love, Mum x’ had us both a little choked, but our favourite was a gift from Anya herself to ‘Dixie’ (her god-daughter?). It was a diary cover intended to see her through every stage of life – on one side the words ‘Gap Year’ and ‘Uni’, on the other ‘Career’ and ‘Husband’. It was possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen, ever.
Anybody who is rather found of me and is wondering what to buy for my next birthday can find Anya’s Bespoke shop here. Thank you.