Where to shop in London

by Katie Rowe

September 16 2013

Sarah Mower is the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent and is an MBE for Services to Fashion. She lives in London as American Vogue's correspondent, while also working as a fashion journalist, an advocate for young designers and a professor at Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design. Who better to talk us through London’s designer shopping scene?

Who are your favourite better-known designers? One of my regular shopping routes starts on Mount Street and meanders up to Conduit Street to include designer Roland Mouret and shoe-designer Nicholas Kirkwood. Then I might head across Berkeley Square and down Bruton Mews to view more delicious heels at Rupert Sanderson and then on to Stella McCartney, Temperley and Matthew Williamson on Bruton Street. 

Stella McCartney Store on Bruton St. Credit: Rupert Ganzer[/caption]

What about new talent? Matches, on Marylebone High Street, is one of the greatest supporters of young British designers. So, too, is Dover Street Market where you will find designers like Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, JJS Lee and Simone Rocha. Emilia Wickstead in Cadogan Place (and at Matches) sells updated formal wear – though she has received international acclaim since she started dressing Samantha Cameron, and of course, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Dover St Market. Credit: Wolfgang Heitzer-Krichel[/caption]

Where do you recommend for male shoppers?

Men should head to Liberty's basement, which has the best selection of brands, or for the full experience of young British menswear designer energy, Machine A. Murdock London is a traditional barber where London's coolest congregate to get their beards trimmed.

Matches, on Marylebone High Street, is one of the greatest supporters of young British designers.

Where is design’s spiritual home?

It’s actually on The Strand, at Somerset House – our equivalent of the Paris Louvre, only hipper. It is a hub for fashion, art and photography with a constant programme of exhibitions. Twice a year the courtyard is the epicentre of London Fashion Week: the shows are invitation-only but the public has free access to the courtyard and terraces.

Somerset House. Credit: Kenneth Fleming.[/caption]

What are your secret design passions?

I love Cutler & Gross in Knightsbridge for sunglasses and eyewear. I am a huge fan of the V&A shop, which stocks interesting costume jewellery, and Margaret Howell, which is almost like a gallery of mid-century modern British art and design. I’ll sometimes pop into SJ Phillips, jewellers to the aristocracy and a best-kept secret.

And the capital’s perfect fashion fix?

Jump in a taxi and go to Manolo Blahnik's original store, tucked away off King's Road, in Chelsea, and then across the road to The Shop at The Bluebird, which stocks a really interesting mix of young designers. Tell us about your favourite places to shop in England below...

Katie Rowe

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