What’s that you hear? Oh don’t mind me – that’s just the pounding of my wee heart as I race to post these pics of Brown’s brand-spanking new shoe store, which opens its doors on Brook Street tomorrow.
As London’s very first dedicated shoe boutique to carry a variety of up-market international designers as well as emerging talent, Browns has created what sounds like the ultimate shoe experience with repair services, bespoke shoes and upcoming “special events”. The downstairs mens’ floor comes complete with its own wireless laptop service and a line-up of designers including Commes des Garcons, Lanvin, Raf Simons and Rick Owens.
And in a move that will compete with Liberty’s new-ish designer shoe floor, Browns will be carrying its own line-up of exclusive designs by the likes of Balenciaga, Balmain, Rupert Sanderson and Martin Margiela.
It all sounds defiantly anti-recession to me, which is reinforced by Browns’ comment that shoes are its “fastest growing category, having doubled year on year since their introduction two years ago.”
That may be so, but I’ll be desperately trying to hang on to my pennies come opening day tomorrow.
Browns Shoes 59 Brook Street London W1K 4HS Tel. 020 7514 0000
I loved this so much I couldn't resist posting a Birdy Pick of the Week Part 2, as it ticks both my tea and bird obsessions. Tea cup bracelet, featuring a pea-green glaze and tiny birdy illustration, £24, by Bethan Lloyd Worthington at The Shop Floor Project.
Three cheers for the newest addition to the Wee Birdy nest, Hello!Lucky. As regular readers may recall, I’m quite a fan of their endearing retro-inspired designs and stunning letterpress invitations, which have also captured the attention of U.S. glossies including Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, Real Simple, Marie Claire and InStyle Weddings.
Based in San Francisco – with another office in London – Hello!Lucky offers some of the very best stationery available online, including the most unique wedding invitations, greeting cards, personalised stationery and baby announcements.
Founded by sisters and best friends Eunice and Sabrina Moyle in 2003, (that’s them looking gorgeous below) the company is ultimately renowned for its unique personalised letterpress stationery. Read all about their letterpress process here. But if you're on a tight budget, their new digital printing line is a more affordable option.
Eunice and Sabrina, sans-moustache
Eunice and Sabrina, with moustache
Hello!Lucky just launched a unique range of destination wedding invitations featuring exclusive designs by another Wee Birdy favourite, Lab Partners. Naturally, the London invitation featuring the Routemaster, scooters and Eros is my pick of the bunch, but other fabulous wedding destinations include New York, Hawaii and San Francisco.
The website is also the go-to for the most adorable range of Valentine’s Day cards. I love the brilliant Simpsons-inspired “I choo-choo choose you” card designed by Kate Sutton (a reference to the card Lisa gave a rather lovesick Ralph Wiggum).
If you’re more of a crafty type and like making your own cards, you should check out their new-ish DIY book Handmade Hellos. Giving naff paper-crafting QVC-style a wide berth, the book is packed with loads of cool card projects to inspire a “wardrobe” of your very hand-made designs. And while you're at it, you might like to have a peek at Hello!Lucky's crafty and design-inspired blog – it's quite addictive reading.
I'm going to be glued to BBC1 at 4pm London time today to watch Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. What a happy day.
Obama memorabilia, or "Obamarabilia", will reach fever pitch in Washington DC today. Over on Etsy a search for "Obama" currently yields 3076 results. I think handmade is the most sincere and really comes from the heart.
The hand-screenprinted tea-towels in the photo were actually gifts from friends of friends in New York. We had never met F and J before, yet we were invited to their Brooklyn Heights apartment on Christmas Eve for the most amazing home-made Japanese feast. At the end of dinner, J produced these gifts of tea-towels she had hand screen-printed herself. I was so touched by this act of kindness to strangers – and ultimately, of hope.
On Friday I headed over to Mayfair for the press preview of Dover Street Market’s bi-annual Tachiagari, and a first-look at the new Spring/Summer 09 collections and designer spaces.
Nowhere, the new basement space by Nigo and Jun Takahashi, was nowhere near finished and in a state of frantic disarray when I arrived just after 3pm. But judging by today’s new website pics, the blue and white version of their tiny Harajuku shop was up and running by the time the doors opened later that night for the Nigo book-signing. Just as well, as the orderly queue of fans braving the icy London temperatures outside DSM’s front door were a testament to Nigo’s cult following.
Taking the lift up to the third floor, I was delighted, as ever, by Alber Elbaz’s cheeky new Lanvin space portraying two office girls having an IM conversation about the “sublime Lanvin dress on sale” at Dover Street Market. Oh so post-modern. I was also quite taken by the sparkling new Lanvin baubles tumbling out of their antique desk drawers, like the pearl and grosgrain ribbon bracelet and bejewelled brooches. And the equally covetable metallic ballet flats in pink and blue were also calling my name.
The new Stephen Jones space on the third floor also caught my eye, with his new Spring/Summer collection of hats hanging from striking fluoro branches. I really love his new headband featuring a super-sized black opaque plastic rose.
Moving downstairs to the second floor, I discovered that the Les Trois Garçons gang had transformed the shoe space with a collection of their antique treasures. To be honest, I was expecting a veritable cacophony of taxidermied animals and mounted moose heads, like the ones decorating their (rather excellent) Club Row restaurant. Similarly, I was surprised that none of their hanging vintage handbags made the final line-up at DSM. I really could have gotten stuck into them!
I also came across newcomer Pokit’s space and their collection of made-to-measure corduroy tailored suits. The women’s skirt suit features feminine curves that are quite sexy without being revealing. Check them out on the fourth floor. All images courtesy of Dover Street Market.