Vintage London: High Street Heroes

A red bathing cap on a mannequin in the foreground of a vintage clothing shopIt’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and you know what that means: shopping. Whether you are looking for heavenly accessories to complete that killer outfit, or the perfect little black dress à la Coco Chanel or Audrey Hepburn, the last thing you need is to be snapped in the same outfit as your office style rival.

Make sure your look is completely unique by visiting one of our vintage fashionistas’ shops in London this yuletide season. Read on to find out how they brought their vision for beautiful, one-off pieces of jewellery and vintage clothing to life.

House of Vintage

Dennis Adamidis first launched his vision for high-quality vintage wear in Toronto in 2003. In 2010 he decided to open a branch in London’s trendy East End, just behind Brick Lane on Cheshire Street. The shop is a treasure trove of unique, vintage pieces from the 1920s through to the 1980s, but if you are hankering after something from the 40s, 50s or 60s, then this should be your first port of call.

We asked Dennis what inspired him to bring House of Vintage to London, “The inspiration behind opening our London location (we also have a location in Toronto, Canada) was to offer high quality, rare and unique vintage pieces dry-cleaned and presented in a comfortable boutique setting.”

Why London?

“We selected London as our second location because we found the vintage scene here lacks enough options of high-quality vintage. We also specialise in American vintage, which is much sought after and usually more difficult to find in Europe.”

What do you believe makes House of Vintage as unique as others perceive you to be?

“We hope that what sets us apart from other shops is our commitment to quality, the offering of rare and unique pieces, as well as our friendly style advisors.”

What other shops or artists inspire and motivate House of Vintage to be the best it can be?

“We are constantly drawing inspiration from the past, be it 1940s movie stars to 1960s rock ‘n’ roll icons. Music of all genres, art, textiles, creative minds… you name it! As for what motivates us, we are extremely passionate about small business – being a part of a thriving community and offering something independent and genuine to the city.”

Comfort Station

When Amy Anderson decided to start a weekend stall to help pay for her art practice she couldn’t have known it would grow into an established business. Comfort Station now has a permanent studio team and collaborates with artists and designers to produce beautiful pieces for lovers of ambient styling.

We asked Amy about her inspiration for starting Comfort Station, “I started Comfort Station well over a decade ago as a part-time way to make money to enable me to make my artwork. Comfort Station then became the artwork so to speak and I never looked back.”

Why London?

“It’s where I’m from. I’m one of the very, very rare breed of Londoners who was actually born and bred here. Why leave? It has everything.”

What do you believe makes Comfort Station as unique as others perceive you to be?

“Everything is made here in the UK, from the jewellery to the crockery and even the packaging.

“Everything designed here is based on a concept; each jewellery collection has a theme to it and within that each item has its own meaning, often accompanied with an explanation card.

“Everything is made for individuals, not for the mass market. We handcraft everything here which means we can do things like engrave the exact co-ordinates of the place where someone has proposed onto an engagement ring for instance.”

What other shops or artists inspire and motivate Comfort Station to be the best it can be?

“I’m not sure I have a favourite shop, I’m more of an antiques market kind of girl. I’d probably say that museums inspire me more or the odd gem from a flea market. Kempton park racecourse holds great antiques finds or equally having a wander through the V&A is always good for motivation.”

Make the most of a shopping trip to London

If you are planning a shopping trip to London in search of Christmas gifts or that perfect little present for yourself then why not take the hassle out of hitting the big city with an overnight break in one of the Guoman Hotels. Our hotels are fully equipped to leave you feeling pampered and relaxed while in the city. Linger over a sumptuous afternoon tea, enjoy a hand-mixed cocktail in a stylish bar or sit down to innovative cuisine in our on-site restaurants.

What’s more, right now you can also enter our ‘Secret London’ competition for a chance to win a short getaway in the capital, complete with a selection of thrilling experiences.

The prize includes a night’s stay for 2 people (with dinner and drinks) in a Guoman Hotel of your choice, plus a speed-boat tour on the Thames; a helicopter ride to view the city from above; a half-day personal shopping experience with a stylist; 90-minute treatments at a luxury London spa; plus £250 spending money to really make the most of your stay.

Enter now for your chance to win, and in the meantime, search for the hashtag #UnlockLondon on Facebook and Twitter to get more insider tips on London.

What will you be wearing to that special party this Christmas?

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