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A Friday in Brick Lane

Last Friday I went to London to visit the Women’s Library which is holding a great exhibition called Handmade Tales. I wrote about that on the Make Believe Café blog. After that I went to the Whitechapel Gallery for my lunch. They have a really bright, light café. I saw and exhibition about John Stezaker which was nice and accessible for a lil’ old graphic designer like me. I spent the rest of the day wondering around Brick Lane. I used to go there a lot when I was a milliner to get fabric and buttons. The Whitechapel end hasn’t really changed all that much. It is good to still find a part of London where individuality reigns. My favourite shop that day was called The Shop on Cheshire Street I think.

It had a huge selection of vintage clothing at very reasonable prices. I bought a woollen 60s/70s coat for £32. The price of a blouse in Topshop! I got chatting to Chloe who was working there that day and she drew my attention to a darling little apron which was double sided. One side for working and one for serving. Look at their selection!

Chloe told me that The Shop is owned by a women who is married to a well known tailor and that she goes out buying almost every day. All the stock gets sorted at her husband’s studio not far away and she mends and darns pieces that need attention. The Shop had a very personal feel to it. You don’t get the feeling that it has all been shipped over from the States in a container. Here’s some more pictures:

I also found Atlantis Art Supplies on Hanbury Street. It had moved since I was a student. Seeing all their portfolios reminded me of using mine as a sledge in the snow when I was at Bristol. You can’t do that with a lap-top can you? With this thought fresh in my mind I bumped in to an old friend from those Bristol days, Viv, who I hadn’t seen for almost twenty years. that’s her in the picture. It was so nice to catch up. Here’s the remaining snaps from that day.

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