When I was studying for my degree I made almost weekly trips to London for fabric sourcing, exhibitions, and to generally gather inspiration of sorts. Since moving home I have been busy juggling work and other commitments making it hard for me to go. This past weekend I had free so made a desperate dash to my favourite place to do a spot of fabric sourcing and take in that city atmosphere.
I was really looking for some Lycras to make some toiles of new swimsuit designs I have. There were three colour pallets I was looking for. One was smokey greys, dusky pinks, dirty lilacs balanced out with nude tones. The second was candy pinks, powder blues and candyfloss tones of rainbow colours. The final one was vibrant juicy, summery colours. I have a number of difference ranges that I have been working on and want to create some toiles in order to visualise them more, and develop shapes and features on a technical level.
Aside from fabric shopping in Berwick street and Goldhawk Road, I really wanted to visit some of my favourite places in London for a bit of inspiration. Dover street market is a really inspirational concept store that has some fabulous fashion pieces that you would not be able to get on the high street. It is like taking the catwalk home with you every time you shop. But it isn't just the clothes that are so lovely. The store itself is put together so well with it's exposed floors, and walk around different sections. The way the clothes are presented make it feel like a completely different shopping experience. It is by far my favourite concept store, even compared to the famous Colette store in Paris which I have visited a number of times. Dover street market is one of those places I always visit, again and again.
Next on the hit list was a general stroll of Soho and past the Royal academy of art to Burlington Gardens and then off to Old Bond Street. I love this area of London, there is something so quaint about it, and it feels like a small area despite being in the centre of the city. There are some quirky little shops, and lovely little pubs for a cheeky drink or two. Of course Old Bond Street provides that bit of wishing window shopping. I can only dream about shopping in the designer stores here.
No trip to London is complete without a visit to Selfridges to take in the window and in store displays. Having completed a placement in the Visual Merchandise department here it's so fascinating seeing the finished concepts having seen how they research and come up with ideas. The visual merchandising here is definitely amongst the best in London for creativity and innovative design. The art teams spend hours working on them, and spend the summer sale weeks putting together the outcomes. I love reminding myself of things I have achieved and this is definitely a lovely reminder of the placement I did here.
To finish a cold and rainy day in London we headed for a bit of dining in my favourite restaurant, Wagamamas. Japanese food is something I have grown to love, and their philosophy of healthy and tasty cuisine makes this a must. I am so boring and always have the same meal, number 71 Chicken Katzu Curry with a fresh fruit juice, yummy. I love the way the restaurant works, fast passed, meals come when they are ready, you can see them cooking and preparing the food. If you have not been before, it is definitely worth a visit.
I loved my day in London, and can't wait to go back again soon. This is definitely where I hope to end up living. The city is so vibrant and it always gives me a little push in the right direction when I feel a little lost. Discover your own London. Just get a train to the city, and walk to see what you find. There are so many little hidden gems away from this mainstream London, it is well worth a visit to find your own inspiration.