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The best boutiques in London for Fashion Week

Jo Marshall
17 February 2016

As the catwalk shows kick off, fashion insiders will be jetting off to survive on a diet of canapés and Champagne. And when they’re not in the front row, they’re out shopping. Jo Marshall reveals the most sought-after stores

First published in September 2010

MERCHANT ARCHIVE
It's worth abandoning the beaten path for this gem of a boutique in Queen's Park. Owner and vintage buyer Sophie Merchant has created a treasure trove of cutting-edge contemporary jewellery, designer frocks and beautiful vintage gowns, set against a backdrop of the original tiles and fittings of a Lipton general store. 
What to buy Handpicked gowns. 
Contact 320 Kilburn Lane, London W9 3EF (+44 (0)20 8969 6470)

DARKROOM
Lamb's Conduit Street is where it's at and this brooding boutique is paving the way for sophisticated yet edgy retail in the area. Black-washed walls and graphic, modernist flooring serve as a striking, gallery-like backdrop to the gorgeous jewellery, accessories and homewares, lovingly chosen by owners and designers Lulu Roper-Caldbeck and Rhonda Drakeford. 
What to buy A geometric, hand-knitted scarf by Shepherd England.  
Contact 52 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3LL (+44 (0)20 7831 7244)

OLD HAT
Wannabe dandies should make the trek to this destination vintage menswear boutique in deepest Fulham, owned by the sartorial uncle of Chap magazine, David Saxby. Stock up on trilbies, bowler hats and frock coats. 
What to buy A tweed blazer.
Contact 60-62 Fulham High Street, SW6 3LQ (+44 (0)20 7610 6558)

WOLF & BADGER
The idea behind this Notting Hill boutique is simple yet effective. The owners champion emerging designers from the best colleges and offer them a platform for their work, along with a list of manufacturing contacts. The result is a collection of covetable clothing, jewellery and accessories by up-and-coming names.
What to buy Anything by Natalie C.
Contact 46 Ledbury Road, W11 2AB (+44 (0)20 7229 5698)

KATE KANZIER
This store has fast become an open secret for accessories lovers looking for bargains that don't scrimp on quality. Her leather footwear and bags come in delicious colours.
What to buy Go for a pair of her signature £30 brogues and you won't be disappointed. 
Contact 67-69 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TJ

THE CONVENIENCE STORE
This boutique is tucked away underneath a Notting Hill tower block, an unlikely setting for the super high-end store. The ultra-minimalist space combines concrete and glass with hand-picked, conceptual designs. 
What to buy Snap up the latest looks from London Fashion Week's enfants terribles such as Gareth Pugh and Hannah Marshall. 
Contact 1a Hazelwood Tower, Golborne Gardens, W10 5DT (+44 (0)20 8968 9095)

MY SUGARLAND
Stylist Zoe Lem is the eye behind this north London boutique, where colour-coded vintage sits alongside contemporary womenswear brands — all displayed amid flea market-chic décor. Head straight to the jewellery cabinet for vintage-inspired necklaces on display.
What to buy PPQ's signature modern cocktail dresses.
Contact 402-404 St John Street, EC1V 4NJ (+44 (0)20 7841 7131)

THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Immortalised by Charles Dickens in his novel, The Old Curiosity Shop has been around since 1567. It's worth visiting just to see this atmospheric building with its time-worn flooring and crooked staircase. 
What to buy A pair of one-of-a-kind shoes designed in-house.  
Contact 13-14 Portsmouth Street, WC24 2ES (+44 (0)20 7405 9891)  

JESSICA MCCORMACK
Jewellery designer Jessica McCormack's studio-shop is set in a converted pub in Clerkenwell. Dubbed the Salon, the space is bedecked with cherished antiques, quirky curiosities and contemporary art (look out for the Banksy). 
What to buy A signature diamond-encrusted piece inspired by keepsakes and heirlooms.
Contact 32 Clerkenwell Close, EC1R 0AU (+44 (0)20 7549 6700)

PRESENT
Bringing pared-down preppy menswear labels to fashion-obsessed Hoxtonites, Present has established itself as the thinking man's concept store. The original shopfront gives way to polished concrete floors and industrial fixtures inside. Browse the rails for a range of brands or read Monocle magazine in the coffee shop.
What to buy A Wings + Horns parka.
Contact 140 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE (+44 (0)20 7033 0500)