A global field guide to shopping, style and hidden gems
est. 2007

Archive: Jul 2007

  1. London shopping: Tatty Devine


    Walking into Tatty Devine’s refurbished store on Brick Lane in East London is like opening up a teenager’s jewellery box in the ‘70s. It’s full of brightly coloured pop trinkets and jewellery, which, on closer inspection, reveal some dazzling craftsmanship and innovative designs.

    Tatty Devine is the unique jewellery label that launched the whole laser-cut acrylic and “found object” jewellery trend many years ago. It has since spawned a plethora of high-street copy-cats. But try as they might, mass-produced jewellery is just hopeless at pulling off this kind of stuff, which requires not only a unique creative vision, but careful attention to detail. Not to mention pain-staking work. Consider the Dinosaur necklace, for instance. It’s made from 50 individual pieces of laser-cut acrylic which are individually threaded onto the necklace.

    The label has picked up a strong fashion following in recent years, and it now stocks a “Best Of” collection, reflecting the demand for Tatty Devine’s most beloved and popular items, such as the iconic name necklaces (now available in two new fonts), plectrum charm bracelet (£36), cube bracelet (£36) and the wonderful Cinderella-style horse and carriage necklace (£54).

    The latest collection delivers a line-up of Tatty Devine at its best: investment pieces with a brilliant sense of humour and a nod to nostalgic pop culture. I like the Colour Me In Hand brooch (£44), Petal necklace (£102), “Oooooohh” necklace (£46) and “Aaarrghhhh” necklace” (£46).

    If your style is a tad more understated, a Tatty Devine piece can still work hard in your wardrobe. Add a Disco Honeycomb black bracelet (£29) to your ensemble, or pin the beautifully crafted Honey Bee Wing brooch (£46) to your jacket.

    The store also stocks a range of like-minded products from different designers, such as a huge range of pins and badges, cards and stationery, and the new “Smart Women” range from America, which features retro images of 1950s housewives on items including mugs, trays and tea towels.

    Or make like Jean Seberg in Godard’s Breathless and snap up a New York Herald Tribune t-shirt.

    This just in: Tatty Devine has opened up space in their Brick Lane store for art exhibitions. Currently on show is illustrator Stephen Fowler, whose work includes hand-printed record and CD covers. His new exhibition features paper suits and shoes, as well as drawings and portraits of people in their Sunday best.

    Tatty Devine
    236 Brick Lane
    London E2 7EB
    Tel. 020 7739 9191

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Sunday 11am-6pm
    Tube: Liverpool Street

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    57b Brewer Street
    London W1F 9UR
    Tel. 020 7434 2257
    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 11am-7pm
    Tube: Oxford Circus

    p.s. Keep your collection of Tatty Devine pieces in Muji’s clear Perspex jewellery boxes – not only are they super-functional, the minimalist and shiny design make your Tattys look even yummier.

    For more shops in East London, click here.

  2. Updated: Shelf


    I've just updated my post about Shelf, the fabulous shop in Cheshire Street in East London, to show you some of the amazing Russian Doll designs from Melbourne stitch-n-bitch collective, Kreative Kraft Kuties. Aren't they clever birds? You can buy the unpainted raw wood dolls from Shelf.

  3. Street Style: Leigh at Tatty Devine


    Leigh, 25
    A wee birdy told me that Leigh is wearing a white shirt from TK Maxx, a black vest she's had since she was little, a gold hummingbird necklace from a friend, a belt from a jumble sale, a vintage skirt and shoes from a car boot sale. Her saucy red lipstick is from Mac. Try these shades from Mac for a similar look: Russian Red (pillarbox red), Lady Danger (a vivid coral-red), and Ruby Woo (a bluish red).

  4. London shopping: Playlounge

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    Do you:
    a) want to escape the maddening crowds on Oxford Street?
    b) fancy an alternative to high-street chain stores?
    c) like design, art and illustration with a fun and quirky edge?
    d) all of the above?

    Then head straight to Playlounge on Beak Street (just five minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus) and get your fill of innovative and design-focussed collectable figures, vinyl toys, gadgets, books, stationery and games.

    I like many things about this shop. The clever product selection is inspired and beautifully displayed in fluoro Perspex honeycomb-shaped units. Here you can admire the range of vinyl figures, like Tim Burton’s Stick Boy and Match Girl, Gorillaz, In Crowd, and Ego’s DIY Designer Toy.

    There is also a great selection of quality plush including Miffy, Ugly Dolls and German brand Sigikid (I dig the lanky bunny).

    The counter display of small collectable figures and toys are visually enticing (there’s so much to look at) and most ranges are mystery packs (double the excitement). I’ve already started a collection of Australian designer Nathan Jurevicius’s Scarygirl figures, but I also like Japanese design agency Devil Robot’s tofu figures (basically, characters with a block of tofu for a head). Genius. The Mongers Menthols' slogan is "Smoking is Bad" but they are actually wickedly funny smoking characters (like the badass smoking icecream).

    Also on offer are prints by Kozyndan and pixel artist Eboy, as well as an assortment of badges and pins, children’s books, Japanese stationery sets and coasters by Tim Biskup.

    Look out for Una Funkin – a tiny voice-activated oracle (kinda like a Lucky 8 ball but better) and Japanese You Win/You Lose keychain accessories (the character’s eyes flash when you’re about to experience good or bad luck). Could be handy. And I reckon Generation X customers just might get a kick out of Office Cubes (create your own office fun with collectable modular office sets).

    19 Beak Street
    London W1F 9RF
    Tel: 020 7287 7073

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Mon to Sat 11am-7pm
    Sunday 12noon-5pm

    Tube: Oxford Circus

    For more shops in W1, click here.

  5. London Shopping: Steinberg & Tolkien

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    A wee birdy told me that one of London’s top vintage stores, Steinberg & Tolkien, is closing shop on King’s Road in Chelsea. Let’s hope they resurface elsewhere in the future. In the meantime, join the rush for your last chance to pick up a fabulous vintage piece. I’m heading straight for the usually well-stocked Ossie Clarke rack downstairs, as well as keeping an eye out for any Pucci pieces. Make sure you check out the display cases upstairs for vintage Dior and Chanel jewellery, and the hat stands for some really cute cocktail hats.

    Steinberg & Tolkien
    193 King's Road
    Chelsea, London SW3 5EB
    Telephone: 020 7376 3660

    Tube: Sloane Square