Hate fast fashion? Got a magpie's eye for pre-loved treasures? Love a good rummage? Then this photographic guide to London's best vintage shops could be your next favourite find.
Vintage Shops London is a visual voyage through independent shops, markets and antique stalls in all for corners of the capital. It's the work of stylist and shopkeeper Michelle Mason, who runs Mason & Painter — a vintage furniture emporium on Columbia Road.
We've included our favourite images and excerpts from the book — though there are more than 50 to discover in the book itself. If one catches your eye, do pay it a visit and help these small, independent businesses rebound from an exceptionally tough year.
Retrouvé (Broadway Market)
According to Michelle's book, you can find "everything from vintage Japanese kimonos to glam seventies maxi dresses and 1930s tea dresses" at Retrouvé. This treasure trove of 20th-century fashion is a great place to pop in after a stroll through Broadway Market — just remember to clear the scotch egg crumbs off your fingers before putting your hands anywhere near that Biba frock.
B Southgate Vintage (Shoreditch)
Ben Southgate's vintage furniture business lovingly restores 1900s-1950s pieces, including rewired lamps like the one above. Stock — to quote Vintage Shops London is "predominantly French with some British, Italian, Czech and Dutch pieces and varies to suit all budgets from candlesticks to 1920s daybeds".
Henry Pordes Books (Charing Cross Road)
Antiquarian tomes are "literally packed to the ceiling" at Henry Pordes, where the shelves groan with every genre from science fiction to art and an enviable selection of beautifully bound Victorian botanical and wildlife books including rare first editions and prized collectables.
LASSCO Brunswick House (Vauxhall)
Housed inside a "beautifully restored" 17th-century mansion, LASSCO specialises in antique furniture. It's worth a visit even if you're lacking in space (or budget) for sizable antiques, apparently — Michelle recommends a "visit to their restaurant and garden café for inspiration whilst surrounded by Georgian grandeur and eclectic salvage".
Flea Vinegar Yard (London Bridge)
A far cry from the quaint old-fashioned shopfronts we typically associate with vintage fare, this converted train carriage is, in fact, brimming with "everything from 1970s leather coats to reclaimed shop signs, vintage ceramics, books and cameras".
As Michelle notes, Rokit began life as a humble stall in Camden Market selling classic American denim. Thirty years, later the owners boast three bricks-and-mortar store and a dramatically expanded product range, but there are still plenty of vintage Levis waiting to be discovered.
Vintage Shops London: Featuring more than 50 vintage shops, markets and stalls by Michelle Mason, £12.99, Pimpernel Press.