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Ask anyone in London where to get good vintage and they will most likely direct you to Brick Lane where you will indeed find a plethora of clothes, accessories and other ephemera during the market on Sunday and at some of the other shops that are open during the week.
However, if you want carefully selected, high quality pieces then head straight to Camden passage in Islington. Here you will be pleased to discover a refined selection of vintage stores, with clothes from all eras that have been hand selected for their condition and uniqueness.
One of my personal favourites is Fat Faced Cat, which can be found in the heart of the street at Numbers 22-24. It has a cult following which is unsurprising due to its knack for selecting clothing which defines fashion eras. Every piece is cleaned and restored meaning each item you buy will most likely last a lifetime. Sometimes pieces can be a little bit of an investment but this is counterbalanced by the beautiful quality. They are the kinds of clothes to be passed down through generations and treasured as pieces of art. Fat Faced Cat also offers an alterations service and a deposit scheme whereby you can pay a percentage of the full price and rest at a later date. The photo (below, left) are two of my pieces from Fat Faced Cat, a 50’s dress and a 60’s dress, which I have worn time and time again and will be wardrobe staples for years to come.
The photo above and on the right are another two pieces from shops on Camden Passage. The silk dress is from Annie’s Vintage found on the corner at Number 12. Everyone from John Galliano to Kate Moss loves this place for its selection of furs and abundance of lace trimmings. If brocading and embroidery are your thing then Annie’s Vintage will have something for you (and you might even find a bargain on the rail outside). From standout flapper dresses to Victorian bridal wear Annie’s Vintage has got it covered.
The last shop I will mention is Decadent Vintage at Number 26, where I purchased the 70’s lace jacket in the photo above, with 17 beautiful buttons down the middle. They have a wide selection of clothes from the 1920’s to the 80’s but what I adore about this place is the jewellery, which as the name suggests is overtly decadent. If you want to drip in shoulder-duster earrings and headpieces come and kit yourself out at Decadent.