Forget shopping in Oxford Street and Covent Garden – the fashionable figures of London have a more eclectic little black book of recommendations. If you’re looking for the insider tips on how to enjoy a sartorially savvy getaway in the capital, read Culture Trip’s guide for fashion lovers.
Best shops in London for fashion lovers
Dover Street Market, Haymarket
Bringing together the who’s who in fashion, Rei Kawakubo’s groundbreaking fashion-meets-art gallery concept store is a must-visit destination for fashion lovers. Expect to see fresh names such as Molly Goddard mixed in with Gucci and Junya Watanabe and, of course, a slew of Comme des Garçons fashion. Head downstairs for the most affordable curation of products, dwell on the middle floors for sartorial inspiration and investment pieces, and refresh yourself in the Rose Bakery, where a slice of green tea cake is highly recommended.
Capital Carboot Sale, Pimlico
Bargain hunters should head down to Pimlico’s famous car boot sale for a morning of rummaging. Open every Sunday, dedicated shoppers are likely to pick up designer items and vintage treasures for a fraction of the original price. While general admission is from 11.30 for £1, it’s worth paying the £5 early-bird entry at 10.15 to optimise your browsing and hustling time.
Wonderland Pop Up, Central London
A new pop up from Wonderland magazine brings their creative ethos to life, with a space dedicated to celebrating and presenting new and emerging talent. Located in Piccadilly, the store not only stocks exciting designers such as Markus Lupfer, Stussy, Nicopanda, Blood Brother and Christopher Shannon, but will also host talks and events throughout its six month tenure in the Crown Estate. Visitors can also get their hands on Wonderland products, including sweatshirts and tote bags.
Browns, Central London
A bastion of fashion in London, this newly refurbished boutique on South Molton Street was founded by Joan & Sidney Burstein in 1970, and was one of the first to stock international and emerging designers. Today, the emphasis on supporting new talent continues, rendering the boutique a must-visit for those looking for a slick curation of exciting design.
The Collaborative Store
Although it started out as a pop-up, The Collaborative Store has finally set up permanent residence on Blandford Street in London’s Marylebone. The minimalist interior plays host to a stand out selection of emerging brands such as Bad Denim and D.Effect alongside British eyewear brand Finlay & Co and jewellery designers Myia Bonner.
Diverse, Tufnell Park
A long-time North London resident, Diverse has been dressing its loyal customers since 1987. Previously on Islington’s Upper Street, the store is now located on Fortess Road in Tufnell Park. Don’t let this extra schlep up the Northern Line deter you from visiting – the range of contemporary brands is excellent, as is the service. After shopping, jump across the road for a cup of tea at Bear + Wolf, and then stroll up to Hampstead Heath.
This über-cool concept store in Dalston is slightly off the beaten track, but well worth the journey. Housing contemporary menswear and womenswear brands within a futuristic-designed store, the slick edit of designers is guaranteed to be among the most niche and in-the-know you’ll find. Walk-in appointments are offered, although for specialist requests, make sure you book a slot in advance.
Best places for fashion lovers to eat in London
Aquavit restaurant, Central London
This recently opened Swedish restaurant is the optimal place to revel in Scandi-Chic. The menu includes Nordic delicacies such as Skagenröra (shrimp salad), herring, gravadlax, and Venice roe, as well as Swedish meatballs for only £16. The Nordic cuisine is complemented by its interior design, including beautiful Marta Maas Fjetterstrom rugs created by artist Olafur Eliasson – the perfect backdrop for your outfit shot.
Where fashion lovers hang out in London
Ray’s Bar, Dalston
For a real fashion hangout, head east to Ray’s Bar in Dalston, where revelers will find themselves surrounded sartorially savvy figures. Whether you’re reclining by the bar, grabbing a pizza slice or going the whole (Pam) Hogg on the dance floor, you’re guaranteed to have a fun-filled evening. For further people-watching, make sure you grab an early evening drink in the Ace Hotel, home to J.W.Anderson’s only London store and a regular hangout spot for fashion’s finest.
What fashion lovers must see in London
The Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington
Having hosted some of the most significant fashion exhibitions of yore – notably Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – the V&A offers an endless rostrum of insightful, thought-provoking exhibitions, alongside a wonderful permanent collection. A must-visit for any fashion-loving London visitor.
*New to the collection: 'Underwater' evening gown by Zac Posen* We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the amazing art and design in our collections. That’s why we like to spotlight some of the exciting new additions to the collection, so that even if you can’t visit us in person, you can still stay in the loop about what’s new at the Museum! With its blouson-waisted tank top and wide, flaring skirt, this stunning gown by Zac Posen cuts an elegant silhouette, with a design of seaweed and fishes giving it its ‘underwater’ name. The dress was worn by Nicole Kidman when she was photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue back in December 2006. Christmas party wear inspiration, perhaps? 'Underwater' evening gown, Zac Posen, New York, made in 2006 for spring-summer 2007 collection
The Store, Central London
With a fresh new update to its name, The Store at 180 the Strand is a new creative space that mixes fashion, art, music, food and work. Stop by for new exhibitions or make a calculated walk past it during London Fashion Week Collections: Men – the official home of the event will be a hotspot for male models and street style stars.