Monday, June 17, 2013


By Guest Contributor

The Quirky Side of London

Window display at Oxford Street (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

London is without question one of the most exciting places to shop in the world today. There`s Covent Garden, with its speciality shops, caffs and restaurants; iconic Harrods, featured, it may seem, on as many tourist artefacts as the Houses of Parliament; New Bond Street, the most expensive shopping area in the capital and many glorious street markets such as Greenwich and Camden Lock.

Despite the onslaught of globalisation, the ubiquitous Starbucks, Top Shop, Primark which turn our High Streets into carbon copies of one another, London still has much to offer in the way of unique stores. Here is an eclectic selection of the best, most interesting, most quirky stores to visit.

Prints Charming window display, August 2009 (Photo courtesy of Liberty)

Everyone who visits London must visit this wonderful store, if only to marvel at the building itself if not to shop. With wood panelled rooms which interconnect, fireplaces and window seats, Liberty feels rather like a stately home. It was built in the 1920s but looks much older. The Dining Room, in fact, where you can buy unusual pieces of kitchen equipment was based on the kitchen from the hugely successful television series Downton Abbey. There is a Literary Lounge in which you can laze on comfortable sofas, flicking through coffee table books, the Paper Room from where you can buy the classic Liberty print stationery and a Beauty Hall with treatment rooms for pampering. Gloriously eccentric, Liberty should be number one on everyone`s London shopping list.

Wolf and Badger, Mayfair and Notting Hill
Wolf and Badger promotes and retails fashion by up and coming young designers helping them to develop their business acumen and grow their labels whilst giving the rest of us the opportunity to buy great designs by the Stella McCartneys and Paul Smiths of tomorrow.

Wolf & Badger window display at Dover Street (Photo by Eva Fydrych)

Browns, South Molton Street
With five interconnecting shops, Browns dominates South Molten Street and stocks the very best in fashion design. The biggest names in the fashion world are found here with price tags to match but the work of rising stars are also there at more affordable prices whilst Browns Labels for Less stocks bargains from the previous season.

Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly
If you love all that is British, you will adore this store. Built in the 1700s it epitomises the height of luxury. The Food Hall is simply stunning, with a vast range of sumptuous displays. Their wine collection is impressive too but there is much more to Fortnum and Mason than the wine and food goodies they sell. Head up the beautifully impressive spiral staircase to the second and third floors for fashion accessories and men`s wear.

Blitz, Brick Lane
In an old Victorian furniture factory and fitted with classic finds from The Dog and Wardrobe in Broadway Market, (which sells a wonderfully eclectic range of architectural finds and is also very much worth visiting), Blitz is a vintage shop like no other. Handpicked and on trend vintage clothing is lovingly steam cleaned and beautifully displayed at affordable prices.

Photo courtesy of

Harrods, Knightsbridge
We had to include it, didn`t we? If it`s bling you are after, then Harrods is the place to be. With marble, brass and the trademark green awnings, Harrods doesn`t disappoint. The food hall is always wonderful and the fashion for both men and women stylish. It is still one of the best places to go to for British design, with several launches throughout the year.

Supreme, Soho
Cult skate boards, skater clothes, hip street wear favoured by celebrity rappers are all to be found behind the minimalist black shop front. Uber cool, Supreme is the place for surfer dudes. (A tip: if you cannot get there, consider Hurley Clothing for similar clothes at more affordable prices.)

Creative Window Displays

Vintage shop in Brick Lane (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Window display at Oxford Street (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Window display in East London (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Window display, Brick Lane (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Window display at Oxford Street (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

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