(Photos taken at Laura von Behr’s studio with Beatrice Granados)
One of my favourite things to do in London (aside from stare wistfully out of the window on the top deck of the 48 with my headphones in) is vintage shopping. Whether you’re after a blink-and-you’ll walk past it spot with worn in signage and a ‘is it even open?’ vibe, or a vibrant all-singing shop with a bursting rail out front that could bury you in a sea of sequins and suede- London has both in abundance which is truly what makes the whole experience so magical.
And because I have trouble doing things by halves, this post has taken me months to put together. It was going to be a not-so-concise guide to vintage in London as a big whole, but giving that everything changes so quickly and I’ve yet to discover all that the capital has to offer ( as well as things popping up and disappearing like magic)- I thought I’d begin with five of my favourite spots for vintage in London to get you started. These are by no means secrets, but they’re definitely a good starting place for those special additions.
Laura Von Behr’s Studio
Oh Laura, Laura, Laura. Visiting Laura’s Islington studio is a bit like walking into a friends sun-drenched open wardrobe- where you have free reign to play dress up, talk about beautiful dresses and set the world to rights over a tea (whilst naturally fawning over her exquisite taste in everything from artwork to trinkets). The selection is a largely seventies offering, peppered with ‘30s water-like rosy nightdresses and knitwear to style with your new Laura Ashley- in short: it’s a dream. Plus, there’s never any pressure to purchase, so if you just want a laidback afternoon with a pal, or solo- trying on, or even getting inspiration from the most beautifully curated selection- Laura is always your girl.
Hunky Dory / House of Vintage / Here After
I couldn’t possibly narrow down these three gems to one when it came to shopping on and around London’s Brick Lane; home to some of the finest vintage (and bagels… but I’m sure that’s for another post), there’s definitely still some goodies parked along here after all these years. With Hunky Dory offering an excellent selection of everything time and time again (be that men’s or womenswear)- House of Vintage being a total go-to for amazing worn-in but excellent condition t-shirts (and occasional dungarees) and Here After nailing floral, embroidered and Hungarian folk blouses- make this three to bookmark for a waltz along this East London favourite.
Portobello Green Friday Market
There’s nothing like market shopping when it comes to having a good ol’ vintage rummage, and the Friday Market under the canopy at the Ladbroke Grove end of Portobello Road is nothing short of magic. Whether you’re after a dress that gives ‘lead singer on the Pyramid Stage’ (a.k.a floaty silk gowns worthy of a Stevie or Florence moment, which Turner Vintage excel at), unique Laura Ashley pieces or just incredible day-to-day pieces from suede jackets, trouser suits and everything in between- it’s got to be here. Get here early to really have a good crowd-free mooch (and head to Relik around the corner afterwards for some further browsing).
As well as having a beautifully curated selection of everything from dresses to a very precious rail of childrenswear (it took everything to resist getting Arlo a Duran Duran style red leather jacket in there recently); what makes Magpie Vintage so special are their handcrafted ready-to-wear original pieces, made from vintage quilts and pre-loved fabrics- creating the most special selection and reimagining what it is to shop vintage.
Tucked away along Wilton Way (a stones throw from Violet if you’re after a cake pit-stop before or after), Ginny’s vintage collection always feels full and exciting in this beautiful little shop. Walking in, there are always rails bursting with gems; from knitwear, dresses and some exceptional coats- with one of the real treats being the impressive little kids selection which I always get very excited about. They also have a shop on Broadway market too which is very exciting and I know that’ll be a brilliant spot too.
Where are your favourite places in London for vintage shopping?