The guide to all things vintage during London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week is hitting town this Friday, and while there are plenty of shows to see, lots of shopping to be done and parties to attend, things could get just a tad same-y. Well, if you find yourself bored, follow our alternative guide to London Fashion Week, and enjoy the capital – the vintage way.
Start off by crossing the river, on the other side off LFW venue Somerset House is the Lower Marsh area next to Waterloo. This is where you find two excellent vintage shops that are perfect for stocking up on two of autumn’s most coveted looks: the 50s lady and 60s chic. What the Butler Wore specialises in 60s and 70s vintage – think shift dresses, turban hats, faux leopard print coats and maxi skirts, perfect to recreate that mid-century feel.
Just a few steps away is Radio Days which not only stocks vintage from the 20s onwards, but also has a mean range of homeware such as old phones and barware – just in case you were planning to Mad Men your office. Don’t forget to check out the original Mary Quant tights here and try out a bullet bra or two.
In case you can’t bear the thought of going South, simply head to Covent Garden, where you will find one of Paloma Faith’s favourite vintage shops, Blackout II. This little shop is crammed full of amazing vintage dresses, bags and jewellery. Best of all, the owner is simply lovely making this a perfect starting point for all vintage virgins who might need a bit of assistance.
Not far away, in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden, is Mint Vintage (pictured). Owner James Wright has an excellent eye for cool, fashionable pieces, that are both on-trend and timeless. The collection of shoes, bags and accessories is second to none, so is the menswear department.
While you are in Covent Garden, do pop by the Fashion Fête, which is taking place at the East Piazza this weekend. You will have the chance to restyle your look with some vintage goodies out of a giant dressing up box, learn how to make do and mend at a free sewing workshop, customise your vintage bags and enjoy some seriously delicious cakes by the Vintage Patisserie.
In case you’ve always wanted to get a beehive or a glamorous 50s hair style, now is your chance. Nina’s Hair Parlour (pictured below) is a beautiful, vintage salon in nearby Marylebone specialising in the classic hair styles of the past, be it 20s finger waves or a set a la Marilyn. They also run masterclasses on how to style your hair at home and have a make-up artist on hand to complete your period look.
Similarly It’s Something Hell’s just off Carnaby Street offers his and hers vintage styles with coiffeur Miss Betty ready to turn you into a pin-up while Mr Ducktail, the barber, specialises in men’s switchblade cuts – nothing for the faint of heart!
By now you might need some sustenance – or maybe a few more cocktails – so head up to Positively 4th Street (pictured) just off Warren Street, a Prohibition style speakeasy where you can sip a Mohito and munch on grilled chicken in cool Art Deco surroundings.
In case you can’t face yet another fashion party on Sunday night, go tropical at 50s Hawaiian Tiki party Hula Boogie. The resident DJs will have you dance the night away with their vintage tunes and if you fancy, there is even a free jive and hula dance class before the party kicks off.
Or perhaps the 80s are more your decade? If so, Maggie’s is a must. Named after Mrs Thatcher, this club is a homage to all things 80s from the A-Team action figures and Rubix Cube tables to the music, so go all Material Girl on the dance floor while sipping on a Babycham.