London life

Koto Bolofo shoots the Commonwealth Institute



Koto Bolofo Commonwealth Institute

One for architecture buffs during Design Week: Koto Bolofo’s photo exhibition at 34 Cork Street. ‘Construction Sight’ shows Bolofo’s documenting of the transformation of the Commonwealth Institute into the Design Museum (which is moving from Shad Thames to Kensington High Street in November). The 1962 Grade II-listed building is special to me (more…)



When did Regent Street become Fifth Avenue?



Kate Spade Regent Street flagship

Ahhh, Regent Street, the legendary John Nash-designed crescent that leads to Piccadilly Circus. It’s as English as tea at Fortnum’s and yet, times are slowly a-changing. Stroll along south of Oxford Circus and you can’t miss the imposing hoardings for Coach, Michael Kors and Polo Ralph Lauren, the American megabrands about to take up residence this summer. (more…)



Is Haymarket about to get hipster-fied?



Will St James's Market and Dover street market bring hipsters to Haymarket?

Don’t go thinking Dover Street Market is the only fashion store that’s pitching its tent in Haymarket. Joining it this summer is Jigsaw, which has a new 1000 sq ft flagship opening to house its menswear, womenswear and The Shop at Bluebird concept store. A joint venture between London’s Crown Estate and Canadian firm Oxford Properties, the shopping destination dubbed ‘St James’s Market’ (below) will transform two historic blocks near Haymarket into five flagship stores, plus office spaces and a public square. (more…)



RETAIL REPORT: Covent Garden – should a high street be more like a department store?



Oliver Sweeney Henrietta Street Covent Garden menswear destination

In the battle between bricks and clicks, the high street has suffered, but department stores have done well to up their game. They have become nimble at keeping pace with fashion, worked harder to collaborate with brands on pop-ups and events, and just seem more dynamic places to be. It’s something the rest of the high street can learn lessons from and I’m already seeing its influence.

Covent Garden got the memo some time ago. OK, it’s not quite a high street but it’s a shopping district that misplaced its mojo for a while and has since redeemed itself. In the 80s it was incredibly stylish and vibrant. At its peak, London’s cool set gravitated towards the Meccas of Paul Smith, Jones and thrift emporium Flip. (more…)