“In the fashion industry, everything goes retro except the prices.”
― Criss Jami
One of my finds during the other weekend’s adventurous rambles was Cheshire Street in Whitechapel. Like other areas that have drawn specific immigrant groups in the past, this part of town has become the home base for a lot of the Bengladeshi immigrants coming to London over the last few decades, and many of the street signs reflect this. Which is initially what caught my eye.
Turning the corner to glance down I spotted a rack or two of vintage wares on the pavement so I started down to have a look. And then I realized that shop after shop after shop, all the way down the street, was dedicated to vintage clothing, accessories, textiles, and lifestyle items. I spent at least an hour just going through them and doing some fantasy shopping for myself and friends.
The shops specialize quite nicely, some deal with everyday clothing and some deal strictly in couture and designer wear which was fun to just rifle through and fantasize over. I was tempted by a cloche style hat from the 1930s but really couldn’t justify it – especially when it felt so warm and bright out. Oh right, and poverty. That too.
This rack is entirely filled with homemade, totally unique simple kitchen aprons that I know for a fact that some of The Girls would simply die over – Amy and Jess, behold your probable future Christmas/birthday present!
The owners were all incredibly friendly. Where some of the designers at markets, understandably, don’t want you to photograph their creations, the vintage shop owners let me snap shots with abandon!
Vintage is not everyone’s thing, and admittedly it’s only mine to a degree (as much as I commit myself to buying quality second hand, some decades’ silhouettes are simply not for me!), but it is a lot of fun to explore and look through. And occasionally you do find a steal which does make the search worth it. Anyone willing for a full on raid of this street on any given weekend, hit me up, I’ll gladly show you my new favorite haunts!