London never fails to amaze me and leave me in absolute awe, not only at the sheer majesty of the city itself, but also at the variety and level of fashions that pepper its every corner. This hot spots list has been compiled from seventeen years of living in the city, but perfecting it is a distant dream, as finding new hot spots is almost a daily activity in a diverse city such as London.
Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields, E1
It is easy to lose yourself in the vintage rarities, the treasure trove of antiques and the continental street food on offer at Spitalfields Market. Spitalfields has something for everyone, whether it is a taste of new cultures, or fine dining, handmade jewellery or one-of-a-kind headpieces, which is what makes it an absolute must for anyone visiting the East End of London.
Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, E1
Just down the street from Spitalfields Market is the heart of alternative fashion, Brick Lane. With vintage shops and pop ups gracing the whole street and surrounding area, Brick Lane is a must for anyone looking for an escape from conventional, high street fashion. I am known to spend countless hours in Blitz London, on Hanbury Street, the biggest vintage shop in London, which stands arm-in-arm with a coffee shop where several parties (wine for all!) are held throughout the year.
House of Hackney, 131 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE
Having recently come to the conclusion that style is not purely about what you wear, I have taken a liking towards interior design, for which House of Hackney, in the increasingly popular neighbourhood of Shoreditch, is a gem. A recent opening, the House Of Hackney prints are unique and daring, and for those who like these qualities but are afraid to venture into furniture of the bodacious kind, there is a clothing line featuring the same prints.
Pop-Up Shops around London
Pop-ups are a popular new trend amongst designers, both new and established, because they give consumers a little taste of the brand, thus leaving them wanting more. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, London is in high demand for up-and-coming designers, who are always setting up pop-ups throughout the city. The main places to look out for pop-ups are Covent Garden, Brick Lane, Mayfair, and Carnaby Street. Alternatively, you can visit Boxpark in Shoreditch, the first pop-up mall in the UK, where up-and-coming brands rub shoulders with the global names in fashion.
Topshop, 36-38 Great Castle Street, Oxford Circus, West End, W1W 8LG
Topshop is a fabulously eccentric British brand that caters to a wide variety of fashion needs, and through this quality of theirs, have left a mark on the global stage, with stores in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Topshop in Oxford Circus is a fashion lovers’ paradise, with four floors of clothing, make-up, bags, jewellery and even a handy café for those who have literally shopped till they have dropped.
Sloane Square/ Brompton Road/ King’s Road, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, SW1
The three roads listed above are the epitome of class and sophisticated shopping, with American and European brands assembling in this stunning borough. In the vicinity also are Harrods and Harvey Nichols, two globally recognised but quintessentially British department stores. Searching for dresses for occasions, for weddings and even for leisure is a piece of cake, as shoppers are spoilt for choice. A personal favourite of mine is the Brandy Melville store, a Los Angeles based brand that has recently opened up in King’s Road, bringing with it a little of the LA sunshine.
The Westfields (White City and Stratford)
Two of the biggest shopping malls in Europe reside in London, and missing out on either one of these would be an absolute travesty. The beauty of the Westfield shopping centers is their ability to cater to everybody’s needs - alongside the generic British and European high street companies are globally recognised designer brands. A fond memory of mine has to be the inexplicable atmosphere in the Stratford Westfield during the Olympics, one which made congestion almost bearable.
It is highly unlikely that you will be planning on spending your trip to London purely shopping. I would just advise you don’t get seduced by the shopping experiences offered all over the capital, for that is the fatal flaw of fashionistas! What are your favourite places to shop in London? What bargains/treasures have you found whilst shopping in the gems of the fabulous city? Let us know in the comments below, and tweet us: @TREND__FASHION.
Written by Sharlene Ghandi, you can tweet her and follow her: @Sharlene_Gandhi.