October has gained official Americana status for Carnaby Street fashionistas as the Wish You Were Here cross Atlantic fashion swap officially hits our London streets this month.
Two pop-up stores in the cobbled streets of the Newburgh Quarter are, for one month only, showing off the wares of 12 specially selected Lower East Side Manhattan boutiques as part of a fashion exchange – of which the London leg hit NYC earlier this year.
Being the New York obsessive that I am, I dropped into the stores last weekend on the launch day with a few girlfriends. Despite the ‘launch weekend’ not having quite the atmosphere billed (and competing somewhat with the ludicrous crowds queuing for the Friends cafe down the road), I was really impressed with the threads on display.
And the best bit? Tonight for one evening only (5-9pm), they are offering a 20% discount across the collections. You just have to register HERE. Get involved.
Top picks from me:
In God We Trust (8, Newburgh Street) – my favourite collection, from Brooklyn designer and owner Shana Tabor. Think Blair Waldorf on her first college internship at a fashion house. Highlights for me were the smart silk fitted dresses with satin finish – in black with gold button detail and a vivid purple – and a high-necked rich cream wool cropped dress that would look killer with black tights and skyscraper heels.
Ernest Sewn (3, Lowndes Court) – the denim brand bought over. Not inordinately expensive for boutique jeans, the collection showed a good range of denim hues and cuts, with a cute touch of a trademark Ernest Sewn handkerchief tucked in the back pocket. Unfortunately (at least in the range shipped over) there was no variation in leg length, but if you check out the website you’ll see the extent of cuts usually available.
Adrienne’s & Gina de Silva (3, Lowndes Court) – one gorgeous dress that I am heading to purchase this very evening (if y’all don’t get there first). Gina’s family business, Adrienne’s is actually a boutique bridal salon, hence the dress in question is reasonably bridal inspired; almost knee-length, fitted with a beautiful cream lace atop a darker underlay. Summer garden party perfect, but adaptable for smart evening do’s throughout the A/W season too.
Hairy Mary’s Vintage & Design (3, Lowndes Court) – a cute collection of vintage inspired (and sometimes genuinely vintage) dresses. Pretty, eclectic print fabrics, mostly strapless and tucked in at the waist with built in striped waistbands. And random fact: some lines and accessories appeared in the latest series of Ugly Betty.
And finally, in the basement of the 8 Newburgh Street branch, the WYWH team have installed a temporary art gallery. Not hugely inspirational, there is one piece definitely worth a visit: Julia Chiang’s giant heart installation, created from hundreds of individually wall-mounted candy rings, dripping with sugar sweetness down the wall. Literally, a labour of love: