Tag Archives: boutiques

So as it turns out, there’s more to Nike than trainers

Whilst out and about with the boyfriend t’other day, he started harping on about this Nike shop he wanted to visit.  I was reluctant, seeing as these visits normally see me slouched, bored on a neon pouf (it’s always a neon pouf) waiting for him to decide over light or dark blue dunks. However this one turned out to actually be pretty interesting, so much so that I decided to make it into a post.

So nestled under a railway bridge in the heart of uber cool Shoreditch is the 1948 Nike store, or retail space, if you will. It’s a shop selling the latest Nike collaborations and limited editions, but it’s also a gallery, event space and sports club (it has its own running club that convenes here weekly).

So while said boyfriend was drooling over some brightly coloured sportswear, I was checking out the ‘space’ itself.

The industrial interior is a fusion of bare brick and new corrugated metallic sheets, giving the place that whole urban feel, and there are floor to ceiling digital screens showing a film called ‘Live for London’ by up and coming film maker Tyrone Lebon (the very same cool dude that did the Topshop Trends film.)

That fantastic artwork is the produce of genius graffiti duo BestEver. And you may have noticed there’s a bit of a theme going on… well, this was around the time Wimbledon was on, hence… tennis. I learnt though, that the aesthetics of the place will constantly be changing to reflect various sporting events. The screens too, will also show things like football matches.

Other features include some funky bleachers and also a mezzanine area with magazines (including LOVE) to read, ipads on which to check out the 1948 Nike app and a meeting table to, er, hold meetings at… No, people do genuinely hold meetings here. You’re actually actively encouraged to come up to this bit and chill out. It’s great! We’ve come a long way since the days of being barked at in newsagents for flicking through the magazines…

Also check out John McEnroe’s and Maria Sharapova’s ‘canned air’, as per the old ad.

All in all, a great little place. Fun, even if you’re not a hardcore urbanite, like me.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Alexander Wang’s shop.

Oh what’s this? Another ultra modern / abstract art gallery in the middle of New York? No it’s only Alexander Wang’s bloody flagship store! Who even cares about his clothes any more when he does shops like this!

No, I do still care about his clothes.

There hasn’t been that much that’s jumped out at me from the New York shows, so instead I thought I’d blog about something that really has caught my eye…  LOOK AT IT.

Oh what's that? Just a FOX FUR HAMMOCK in the centre of the store (actually for customers to make use of)

And that? Oh just a big cage (for special installations / product collaborations)

I am total a sucker for this kind of thing, I love anything experiential, but shops have got to be my favourite because imagine something as banal as a shop, which has, for so long, existed purely for practical reasons. Whether it sells luxury goods or groceries, a shop is still just a place that houses the goods people want / need to buy. It has always been the items that are important, the importance of the building in which they sit, extends merely to the fact that it provides a convenient space for them to be displayed / sheltered / kept safe. For shop interiors to now have as much allure and excitement as the clothes themselves I think is brilliant! It makes shopping that much more exciting! I’m hoping in the future more high street stores will cotton on to this, imagine how much more amazing (if it’s possible) the Topshop flagship store could be with a theme or with an interactive element…

British Designers @ FashionCapital Boutique


A few posts ago I mentioned Bath’s plans to open a boutique that will reveal emerging fashion talent. Well, The British Designer’s@FashionCapital  boutique is now open and ready for business! I went along to the launch the other week and I can safely say it is a right hip little joint.

In keeping with the rustic aesthetic of Bath, the boutique is like a tranquil sanctuary of white washed walls, wooden beamed ceilings and the occasional bit of bare Cotswold stone. Kevin McCloud would be foaming at the mouth. The clean and minimal layout means there are only a few designers with a select few of their items showcased at one time, but this makes the place fresh and super stylish, and it achieves this feeling without being austere like some of the big time billies of Sloan Street. Although I only visited for the launch, I don’t think there’s any worry that this could be the kinda place where you’d feel awkward about the deafening sound of your heels on the polished floor … or that the shop assistant would cast you out, leaving you with no option but to cry to Richard Gere about it until he has a word…  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, there’s no pretention here.

And as for the clothes – despite the fact that LFW designers are in one room whilst recent fashion grads and up and coming designers are in the other, unless you know the labels it’s actually quite hard  telling which is which – such is the quality of the grads’ work. The dresses by Vjera Vilicnik were beautiful and delicious! As in, I literally wanted to eat the colourful and intricately embroidered beading on an epaulette of one of her dresses. Hardly surprising when her objective is to produce ‘hand crafted, beautifully investigated and soul stitched’ pieces. Soul Stitched. Gosh.

Over in the corner were some striking and vibrant tribal looking dresses courtesy of &Co of Knock On The Door – an organisation which sources new designers and helps them create and showcase their pieces ethically, as founder, Charlotte Bramford explained to me.

Even for those that aren’t fussed about ethical produce (but pretend they are), something to bear in mind, is that the fabrics used for &Co’s dresses have been hand dyed by African community enterprises and therefore the patterns and colours vary from one dress to another – so how’s that for exclusivity? There’ll certainly be no embarrassing same dress sagas on the red carpet with &Co, we can be sure of that. Check out Knock On The Door here to be up on the latest emerging designers or to kick start your designing career!

Charlotte with the Knock on the Door collection – modelling one of the &Co dresses.

Knock on the Door Designer – Camilla Kennedy inbetween PPQ and Felder Felder

Fashionable Bath

Gotta love the fashion capitals of the world… Paris, London, New York…. Bath? Well, yeah actually Bath is pretty fashionable. Ok so it might not be home to the garment district or Boulevard Haussmann or have its own fashion week…. but it does have a reputable fashion department at Bath Spa University, a fashion museum and numerous independent boutiques lining its antique streets, not to mention an influx of 4.4 million tourists every year. (It is also home to love of my life Crispin Mills of Kula Shaker… but we won’t go into that now.)

So with all this in mind it seems right that Bath should house a boutique that showcases some of the best new British talent. Following Bicester Village’s lead with its British Designers Collective pop-up shop, Bath will now have a permanent British Designers Boutique, quenching the fashion thirst of several core markets, from the affluent residents of The Royal Crescent to fashion savvy students – because the boutique will not only stock the work of established designers but it also aims to expose local talent, and will be working with the Universities.

The boutique is the brainchild of JoJo IIes, journalist and PR, and Vanessa Isaia, Development Manager at Fashion Enter, who has explained that the point of the store will be to enable people to buy designer pieces that are rarely found outside of London. What’s more, it’ll offer big reductions on pieces from previous seasons. Dear JoJo and Vanessa, please may we have one of these in every town across the country? Thanks.

Images from the Fashion Capital and stockhillhouse.co.uk