The London College of Fashion annual festive pop-up shop, COLLEGE SHOP, has opened today with the biggest and most exciting stock of student and graduate work in its four year history. I have visited the shop every year – in the vibrant Carnaby area of London – and am always impressed with the creativity of the students’ work and how wonderfully professional it all is. The bags and shoes are beautifully finished, the clothes exceptionally well made and the whole shop has a wonderful friendly-yet-glamorous boutique feel.
Last year I treated myself to an early Christmas present of a gorgeous pair of Camilla Elphick shoes, and she is back this year with another beautiful collection which I couldn’t wait to see in person. 2014’s shop promised us “special limited-edition pieces sold at affordable prices, ranging from womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories and jewellery, to fashion photography and illustration […] this is the perfect destination for all your Christmas gifts”, so I popped in on my lunch break today to find out more.
The press coverage has raved about Camilla Elphick’s ‘You’ve Got The Luck‘ collection and Barbra Kolasinski‘s stunning MA14 womenswear collection, but I wanted to share with you all my favourite discoveries from the shop that you might not have heard about yet. A couple of years ago, I bought a wooden birdcage necklace from COLLEGE SHOP by the brand Esoteric London, which wins me compliments whenever I wear it. Esoteric are back this year with beautiful new perspex, wood and resin necklaces and some stunning metallic leather tassel jewellery. I also loved the leather bags and purses by Alexandra Brenkley, Williams Handmade and Kristin Lundgren, plus the adorable fabric flats by Ganor Dominic with inspiring messages on the soles (photos to follow). On the clothing rails, I was drawn to Tiina Ree‘s shirts, Deborah Afari’s dresses and a fantastic C Studio skirt. Above the rails, was a stunning illustration by Adriana Krawcewicz who I will definitely be keeping an eye on for the future.
As well as a couple of Christmas gifts, I treated myself to a new Esoteric necklace plus an utterly gorgeous silk scarf from textile designer Emily Carter. The one I chose had a beautiful bird print, but the yellow, black and purple bee print scarf will surely be snapped up soon. Speaking of bees, you can also buy jars of Fashion Honey from LCF’s very own hives! There is so much to see in this year’s pop-up that I heartily recommend you check it out before it diasppears.
COLLEGE SHOP is open from 11th to 16th December at 33 Marshall Street (near Carnaby Street), London W1F 7ET. Opening hours are Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Thurs 12pm-8pm and Sun 11am-6pm. Prices start from £20.