Stormin’ down Kingsland Road

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>> Londoners and those in the semi-know might think of Dalston/Hackney as a fashion-filled area but what we really mean is, it's where people who work in fashion live and where many designers' studios are.  If a tourist with no prior knowledge of London was planted somewhere along Kingsland Road, they're more than likely to be baffled by the number of kebab shops, nail bars (and not the WAH Nails sort…) and council estates, trying to sniff out shopping spots, winding up huffing and puffing and teary-eyed.  Ok so Kingsland Road is loooooong and isn't a handy enclave like, say Redchurch Street or Carnaby Street but there's now definitely a feasible route to take if you work your way from the bottom Pho Mile bit to when Kingsland Road turns into Stoke Newington Road.  Just to recap – House of Liza for yer' vintage Moschino and JC-DC, Primitive London tucked away just behind Kingsland Road for an unusual selection of designers, The Pattern Market for vintage mags, clothes and furniture to rummage through and then further up, LN-CC of course which needs no explanation.  If you really want to round it all off, you can pop into the Beyond Retro Dalston branch which is a gigantic behemoth of a store for 'general' vintage shopping.

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Down by the WAH Nails bit of Kingsland Road though is Storm in a Teacup, which has been open since the summer but yet again, I seem to always miss the first boat when it comes to keeping track of store openings.  Stylist Joe Miller and his model girlfriend Claudia Raba have been collecting designer vintage on their travels and their store only showcases a smattering of this collection.  It has a distinct vibe that combines the aesthetics of a Wild West saloon and an old English sweet store.  SHOP or DIE is their current window mantra but the interior isn't quite so threatening as you're faced with a selection of Chanel, tons of GREAT Westwood (as opposed to crap Anglomania jumpers…) which is probably down to Miller's experience of working with Vivienne Westwood, Margiela, Comme des Garcons, Azzedine Alaia at prices that aren't hitting the roof.  In fact there's a veritable bargain in there right now as a pair of the SUPER high Prada espadrille/brogues are in there for ¬£280 when they were ¬£600 full price (size 39.5 if you wanna go get em…).  The selection of second hand designer clothing in London is still not amaaaaazing when compared to cities like Paris or Tokyo but it's getting better with the likes of Strut in Broadway Market and now Storm in a Teacup, which also has a strong menswear selection for the guys who get left out.

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In any case, I'll have to keep stalking ALL spots in London just in case any beloved Tao by Comme des Garcons pops up…

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Next up on my London shop review list, vintage store Pelicans & Parrots' second store, which opens tomorrow – finally I'm actually ON the ball this time round. 

My Sorta Denim

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>> My time in New York was brief but packed because apparently fashion folk over there cram in as many events and press days into the working week, that leaves slow plodding London me panting.  Or it could have been that week in particular.  I dropped by J Brand and Christopher Kane's launch just to yelp at Christopher and say "I'M NEEEEEEON TILL I DIEEEEEEE!" and affirm my allegiance to a set of colours that most people think should belong to highlighter pens and nothing else.  I also got into a convo with J. Brand's CEO Jeff Rudes (not rude at all in fact…) about their Californian factories, their upcoming ready to wear lines and the fact that this collaboration isn't a one off and that Kane will be introducing denim as a stable offering in his collection with the help and expertise of J Brand.  

All good things to know but for now, as part of Kane's rainbow-tastic resort collection, this J Brand collaboration comes in three bright neon shades almost as if the denim has been blasted with spray cans.  There's a slightly chalky effect on the denim that has probably come from the aftershock of dyeing denim in these ultrabright colours.  I have nothing against the flares other than I think I'd wind up wrecking them like I did with my corduroy super flares aged 16 as they got ravaged by puddles and ended up fraying like crazy.  Perhaps that's the whole point.  The whole collab are available on Net-a-Porter now but colette and Barney's also have dibs on them too.    

A safer bet for me are the cycling shorts and the denim jackets which just also happens to slot right into the outfit gameplan for my Six London shoes.  No, I'm not pushing them to gen pub, seeing as the general consensus is that they're "Ugly as hell!".  However, I am allowed to revel in the fact that I'm MIGHTY happy with them as shoes that can match up with random artefacts such as neon denim, pink fun fur, lime sun ray pleats… you know…. the sort of stuff that would be lying around in my wardrobe.  Emphasis on the first person there.  Anyhow, I'll be playing around a bit with the shoes this weekend to explore all options.  For now, I have to sit on my hands to stop myself from taking a Sharpie highlighter and scribbling all over the back of all of this deliciously neon denim canvas… 

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(J Brand x Christopher Kane denim jacket and cycling shorts, Topshop dress, vintage top, SIXLondon shoes)