Top 10 boutiques to visit in London
When it comes to London, famed shopping destinations are practically must-see tourist attractions. Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols are just a few of the legendary names that call this city home. Bond, Oxford, Regent, Sloane, King's — the streets of London are in gridlock with some of the most interesting and exciting retail pioneers. From world-renowned boutiques to trailblazing concept stores, London is a retail paradise offering a shopping smorgasbord for all fashion palettes.
1. MatchesFashion.com No. 23 Townhouse
23 Welbeck Street, Marylebone
Since opening its first doors in 1987, MatchesFashion.com has delivered a premiere shopping experience. These days, MatchesFashion.com is regarded as among the ultimate destinations for shopping the best brands both online and in store. MatchesFashion.com No. 23 Townhouse is the home of the luxury retailer's private shopping service. Within No. 23 Townhouse, clients can quietly indulge in private shopping consultations with stylists and tailors, by-appointment personalised trunk shows and shopping soirées, where friends can get ready for special events. MatchesFashion.com has created a home away from home where the fashion world comes straight to its clients through No. 23 Townhouse's 18th-century doors.
Kicking off London Fashion Week, not only is MatchesFashion.com introducing an exclusive capsule collection with British fashion icon Zandra Rhodes but the retailer is also partnering with British Vogue. MatchesFashion.com is launching British Vogue's Voice of a Century book with over 400 photographs and illustrations, celebrating the magazine's centenary. No. 23 Townhouse is hosting a special installation which highlights pages from the book from 15 September to 4 October.
2.The Shop at Bluebird
350 King's Road, Chelsea
Stepping into The Shop at Bluebird is like walking through the pages of your favourite fashion and art magazine. Located in a historic art deco garage that was once built for the Bluebird Motor Company, a 'garage sale' unlike any other is now hosted in the expansive space. The garage that was named for record breaking vehicles now stores exclusive selections from high-end mainstream and niche fashion labels, cult beauty brand essentials, collectibles from famed artists and a myriad of lifestyle necessities. Purchase this season's It-dresses from Victoria Beckham and Rosetta Getty, cool men's jumpers from A.P.C., along with an eye-catching Fornasetti wall-plate, the sleekest Master & Dynamic leather-trim headphones and a classic wooden monkey sculpture from renowned Kay Bojesen. The Shop at Bluebird merges a seemingly contradictory shopping experience that's both laid back and luxurious yet completely stimulating.
3. Baar & Bass
336 King's Road, Chelsea
Few things are better than the well-stocked Baar and Bass. Nope, not talking happy hour but visiting the King's Road boutique will certainly bring tons of joy with its delectable cocktail of fashion and lifestyle merchandise. The boutique is a rich cornucopia of owner Maddie Chesterton's finds from all over the world, where everything within its vibrant '60s and '70s-inspired interiors is for sale , from fashion to the furniture and artwork. Shop for standout dresses from brands like Thurley and fun men's shirts from Frangipani, while discovering one of a kind gifts like Gustav Klimt painted coffee sets and Tony Common ink drawings. You'll also find beautiful printed dresses from Ellie Lines and luxe knitwear from Ekaterina Kukhareva, both local labels designed in Chelsea. This month, Baar and Bass is launching its in-house brand of both fashion and lifestyle pieces and if the store's vibe is anything to go by, the collection is going to be an eclectic mix of must-haves.
4. ELA London
201 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge
ELA London is the newest shopping gem in the Knightsbridge area from award-winning fashion designer, Elena Antoniades, and husband Ian Hart. Combining fashion and art, the two-story boutique is a retail store and an art gallery that's home to contemporary artists as well as established and emerging fashion designers. The boutique offers clients bespoke services and a complete luxury experience where they can purchase artwork exclusive to ELA London, along with womenswear and accessories from international brand's including Australia's C/Meo Collective, Guatemala's Maria's Bags and London-local Lara Heems. The boutique is also home to Elena's own eponymous collection of chic, glamorous dresses and jewellery, with a number of designs exclusive to the store.
5. Donna Ida
40 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia/ 106 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea
No wardrobe is complete without a perfect-fitting pair of jeans and it's safe to say that every woman knows how hard a find that is. Introducing denim doyen Donna Ida, whose namesake boutique is a well-curated treasure trove of denim and casualwear brands from all over the world. A denim-lover's dream, J Brand, Iro, Frame Denim, Paige, Goldsign, Current/Elliot and R13 are just a few of the brands stocked alongside the boutique's own best-selling Ida jeans and Donna Ida collection. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this October, Donna Ida has become known as the ultimate designer denim destination, making sure you won't have any trouble finding that perfect pair of jeans — or tens of pairs.
6. Wolf & Badger
32 Dover Street, Mayfair/ Ledbury Road, Notting Hill
If you're looking for quiet luxury, fashionable pieces that don't scream 'designer brand' in your face and exclusive finds from cool, under-the-radar designers then Wolf & Badger is the store for you. Since opening in 2009, the store has been home to some of the world's best independent brands, offering fashion and accessories for men, women and children, as well as homeware and unique gifting options from over 600 international labels.
This season, Wolf & Badger is partnering with Swarovski for London Fashion Week, supporting amazing, independent designers including Octavia Yang, Delphine-Charlotte Parmentier, and On Aura Tout Vu, among others, and providing them with a retail platform to introduce their collections to a whole new slew of fashion lovers.
91 Walton Street, Chelsea
London may be notorious for its dreary weather but for those who prefer a white sand winter, there are stores like Salt that cater to an endless summer. The UK's first multi-brand store dedicated to resort wear and lifestyle accessories, Salt is the destination for beachside favourite brands. Sunny, beach-bound shoppers will love the store's stunning assortment from an array of international labels — Yosuzi pompom hats, Mikoh and Marysia swimwear, Ulla Johnson coverups, Lemlem shorts and Soludos espadrilles are available all year long. Salt is a pre-departure pre-requisite to add a tropical flavour to your holiday wardrobe.
8. B London Boutique
16 Barnes High Street
A mecca for seaside sun worshippers, B London Boutique is the ultimate go to for beach and beauty essentials. You'll find the best luxury, trend-led edit of swimwear and beach necessities for women, men and children. Pack the perfect island wardrobe with Hot As Hell bikinis (literally and figuratively — the swimwear brand is stocked alongside Vix and Melissa Obadash), Vilebrequin men's board shorts and Sunuva kids' swimsuits. Knowing that getting ready for the beach isn't complete without getting that beach-ready body, you'll also find fun activewear from Mara Hoffman and Varley, yoga mats and Ibiza Superfoods. The boutique also offers spa services and stocks all the beauty creams you'll need under the sun.
42 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge
First opened in Kensington High Street in 1968, today Feathers can be found in London's Knightsbridge, where it's regarded as the largest independent fashion boutique. Though the location has changed, throughout the boutique's almost 50 years, where at one point Manolo Blahnik worked as a denim buyer, its founding ethos has remained the same — to create a contemporary design haven where shoppers can enjoy Feathers' niche, innovative spirit. A diverse mix of brands that include Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Sacai, Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou ensure that Feathers' clientele continue to have a uniquely exciting shopping experience. The family-run retailer is now steered by second and third generation members who maintain the eclectic mix and constant evolution that Feathers has become known for.
23-27 South Molton Street, Mayfair/ 160 Sloane Street, Belgravia
Famous for first recognising the design talents of the now renowned fashion names of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garçons and Hussein Chalayan, along with the breakout stars of this fashion generation, Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic and Simone Rocha, you're pretty much guaranteed to discover the next ground-breaking fashion designers along the Browns store floors. What started as a small single-story boutique in 1970 now spans five connecting townhouses in the heart of London, where over the last 45 years, international designers such as Sonia Rykiel, Giorgio Armani, Missoni and Calvin Klein were first introduced to the UK market through exclusive Browns launches. Always at the forefront of fashion, Browns continues to host a meticulously curated selection from some of the world's most creative, innovative and original designers. Blazé Milano, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Rejina Pyo are just a few of the new and exclusive designers that shoppers can look forward to seeing in Browns this coming season.
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