LONDON CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE
Only 21 sleeps until Christmas! If you are heading to London for a gift shopping spree, why not try some independent stores for something original. Here's a selection of our favourite shops in London's vibrant east. Credit card at the ready!
Luna and Curious - Shoreditch
Luna and Curious is an independent store in Shoreditch, East London. Small and perfectly formed, it's like a little department store offering an excellent mix of womenswear, childrenswear, beauty, stationery, homeware, jewellery and accessories.
Polly George, Kaoru Parry and Rheanna Lingham wanted to create a shop that not only has a personal feel, but that celebrates new creative talent and original products. There is a focus on high-quality craftsmanship, excellent design and traditional skills and each product has a backstory, either from the designer, the materials or the process.
You'll find the shop on Calvert Avenue, part of the historic Boundary Estate amongst other notable establishments such as Leila’s Café, Ally Capellino, Oliver Spencer and more. So, not only will you find perfect and original treasures but you'll also be entering a little piece of history!
Luna & Curious
24 - 26 Calvert Avenue
London E2 7JP
If you can't make it to the shop you can buy online here!
Aida - Shoreditch
At Aida it's all about community spirit - the sisters who started the store want to bring people together, to share not only in their favourite labels but in all other things that inspire them. The store offers a selection of considered edits of menswear and womenswear of high quality and originality. The staff, a mix of stylists, textile designers and DJs are passionate about the collections and creating an inspiring atmosphere and a creative buzz. You can't help but feel it as soon as you enter the store.
On the ground floor, you'll find a selection of womenswear collections from Scandinavia, France and Australia and the lower floor is home to the menswear a mix of independent brands. They have also recently added a homeware collection created through international community projects and by local designers. You'll find a selection of handcrafted ceramics, travel-inspired prints and interior accessories made by artisans using traditional techniques.
And once you have finished your shop, stop off in their cafe, relax, chat with friends and watch the eclectic mix of Shoreditch passers-by through the floor to ceiling windows. Sip a matcha, turmeric or their famous rose latte and choose from a selection freshly made cakes, organic fruit juices, independently produced snacks and drinks. If you feel like making an evening of it, then stay a while longer and listen to some spoken word or a DJ set. Aida hosts regular events to showcase new talent and 'celebrate people and style through other meaningful outlets'.
It's your one-stop style, caffeine and party shop. What's not to love!
133 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JE
Triangle - Hackney
Triangle was developed by three friends in Hackney, east London. They believe in sound design and select items with a basic framework: is the item, simple, useful or beautiful? The store is light and airy with a selection of homeware, womenswear, menswear, jewellery and sweet smelling toiletries by the Grown Alchemist. They change the products on a weekly basis, so there is always a new and aesthetically pleasing treasure to come back for!
81 Chatsworth Road,
London E5 OLH
SCP - Shoreditch
Founded in 1985 by Sheridan Coakley, SCP was inspired by the Modern Furniture movement. Coakley not only began to sell classic and sought after pieces, but he also started to produce new designs with a modernist feel. Three decades on and the store continues to champion and sell the works of Terence Woodgate, Konstantin Grcic, Michael Marriott, Russell Pinch, Robin Day, Donna Wilson, Alex Hellum, Kay+Stemmer, Reiko Kaneko, Lucy Kurrein, Timorous Beasties, PearsonLloyd, Rachel Whiteread and Peter Marigold. You'll also find a selection of Jewellery, toys, christmas decorations, stocking fillers and more.
This award-winning retailer is regarded as one of London's finest design shops. Well worth a visit.
135-139 Curtain Road,
London EC2A 3BX
Magma books - Clerkenwell + Covent Garden
Back in the nineties, Founders Montse Prats and Marc Valli met at a failing bookstore on Charing Cross Road. At a time when everyone wanted to become a dot.com millionaire, they thought a real-world bookstore was the way forward. A place for people to find the pair's curated selection of the latest and most relevant publications in the fields of art, visual communication, culture and design. All this and a base to meet like-minded people.
Their first shop opened in Earlham street in 2001, and despite Montse and Marc's differing musical tastes, management style and vision, the shop prospered and was followed by a second in Clerkenwell in 2001. From there the stores have expanded to Manchester and recently they have opened a new flagship featuring their own product lines, ranging from high-quality (and affordable) prints, t-shirts, totes and other accessories, to stationery, games and, even, books!
Montse and Marc said of the store, "Walking into Magma should be like walking into a thermometer, an instrument indicating ‘where things are at’ at a particular point in time and space. Not because we think so, but as a result of that process, that alchemy: the power of suggestions, connections, reactions, interactions, over-reactions. The power of someone pushing through a door and looking around. The internet, that wonderful invention, can bring you everything – except a breath of fresh air. So this is the essence of what we do: to try and capture some of that influx and crystallise it under one roof. Do come and visit us: you may even find something you would like to buy."
117-119 Clerkenwell Road
Magma Covent Garden
29 Shorts Gardens