- Lara Simone
London, being a simultaneously hip and nostalgic city, is naturally one of the world’s best for vintage. Vintage stores are a lot about the experience, rather than just obtaining things. So, get excited to start browsing with our list of the capital’s 5 best vintage hotspots.
Old Spitalfields Market is open all week, with different vendors depending on the day. The hall is filled with quirky, playful stores and delicious dining options. But the middle is where the heart of Spitalfields resides. The carefully selected vendors are mostly aspiring designers, artisans and craftsmen of everything, from fine leather to intricately printed dresses. The vintage is the most notable and stand out portion of the array. There is everything, from strings of pearls straight from the most roaring closets of the 20s, to old lace brocaded wedding dresses, with rich and nostalgic memories to be told. One of the best stands is Bellapacella. This stand boasts headpieces, hats, brooches and more. The goods are old interesting objects and Bellapacella seamlessly joins them with feminine fabrics, creating a unique and dazzling product.
This entire street is one of the most colorful paths in the city. There is eye opening, beautiful and experimental art covering the buildings and corners, making the Lane an art piece in itself, a mixed medium outdoor museum. There is food, there are books and, of course, the best curry in London. But, the vintage markets and shops on Brick Lane are standout. On your way there, be inspired by the perfectly dressed hipsters and fashionistas getting their Brick Lane fix. There are several Vintage shops along the road, such as Beyond Retro and Rokit. They have crowded racks of high waisted denim shorts in varying blues and greys. They have big button down shirts with playful patterns and quirky details. They even have leaflets for the best events coming up, from jazz nights to indietronica sessions. And on the Sunday UPmarket, amidst the expanse of gourmet ethnic food, there are speciality stands of vintage clothing, with earnest sellers who are excited to tell their story and the stories of their pieces.
Brick Lane Market, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR, UK, 020 7770 6028
Camden market is a wild jungle. You will encounter unique and odd shops and stands selling ethically taxidermied animals, all sorts of drug art and paraphernalia, and, of course, the famous Cyberdog. But the Stables are also home to some of the best, most unique and authentic vintage fare in London. There is no point for a map you will undoubtedly get lost in the twirling twisting rows of magical oddities. But wherever you wander, there will be excellent things. The market hall has more high quality, expensive goods and the lock area has a great selection of diverse vintage styles-California beach looks, African heritage pieces and all neon things from the ’80s. The stables just tend to have more to search through, with truly unique treasures buried in large corduroy overalls and sequin leotards.
Camden Market, Camden High Street, London NW1 8NH, UK, 020 7485 5511
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road stretches on and on and on, its own neighborhood. This street offers classic views from the Hugh Grant movie filmed here, as well some of the best cupcakes in town. And the market is outstanding. Friday-Sunday is when the best vintage stands are out. There are numerous old and ancient collectors items (record players, old cameras, well worn in traveling trunks and brooches and necklaces). Most of the vendors here have great energies and keen knowledge of what they are selling. This market has a slow pace and mellow vibe, so even on the busy weekend, the energy is relaxed.
Greenwich is a few steps South East of of Central London. It’s a charming maritime area, home of old estates and a grand palace. The Market is open Tuesday-through to Sunday, from 10-17:30. While the market technically opened in the 1800s, in the 1980s, the market began to blossom into what it is today, with beautiful old things to wear filling the hall. The vintage is scattered through the hall amongst antiqueware and chicken katsu. One of the best stalls, Auntie Aviator (Open Fridays), offers funky eyeglass frames from past times. Bring your prescription and select a high-quality, vintage frame and both your vision and look will be the best they can be.
Greenwich Market, 5b Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ, UK, 020 8269 5096
By Lara Simone