As I walk down the cobbled streets of Brick Lane it seems the idea of looking unique is becoming more and more of a competition. Girls wearing leather skirts and big circular glasses wander past in platform high creepers, whilst the guys come in their numbers wearing skinny fit shorts and 90s styled jackets. Brick lane is the home of vintage. If you love old styled clothes and one offs, or even if you are just a lover of art, Brick Lane is the place for you.
Eccentricity and quirkiness seem to come naturally with the crowds that flock daily through the world famous streets. Writers, designers, photographers and stylists need not look any further than the heart of East London when trying to find inspiration for their next project (or if they just want to see what everyone is wearing). Not only is Brick Lane covered in beautiful street art, it’s full of London’s best dressed hipsters who will wear anything that catches their eyes, despite what anyone else thinks, (and rightly so!). It seems the young (and old) of east London really know how to dress.
Something I’ve learnt to love about Brick Lane is how affordable the shops are, (all depending on what store you decide to go in of course). Beyond Retro is probably the most well known vintage store out of them all, and you can see why. The entrance to this famous shop doesn’t look like it would be home to over 20,000 garments. Glass panes all around a small door with stickers and a random piece of graffiti doesn’t look like it’s going to be promising but don’t let this deceive you. When you walk inside you fall instantly in love. Rails and rails of every piece of vintage clothes you can ever think possible, all jumbled together creating a hot cluttered mess fill the walls of the store and a casual smile and nod from the sales assistant behind the counter makes you feel at home. From camouflage jackets to flamboyant shirts, beyond retro has got something for all fashion lovers.
After spending almost an hour and a half inside a store that I would kill to have as my wardrobe, Blitz is the next place to go. The biggest vintage store in Europe has two floors of quality clothing. If you’re lucky, there are normally people handing out leaflets giving you 10% off the clothes; what more could you ask for? Of course, there are smaller stores as you make your way around the lane that will catch your eye. Who could honestly say no to a vintage piece that could go a long way?
As I leave one of my favorite parts of London, I think about how some people have said Brick Lane has started to lose it’s edge and I completely disagree; if anything, it’s got more edge than it ever has. The way the people of east London express themselves with their clothes is like a form of art. Brick lane boasts fashion at it’s peak.