Junk Glorious Junk, The Finest Junk Shops In London

Returning from Berlin with a suitcase bursting with fabulous junk, I decided to visit two of my favourite London junk shops to see what new delights might have turned up. Although I often come home with a couple of purchases I mainly go with the view of meandering through these chasmic troves for inspiration and amusement.

Butler’s Furniture, 157 Martha Street, E1 2PG

Brian’s railway arch features a lot more that just furniture, most notably a collection of hand painted signs and mis-matched effigies, which presumably he made himself. The centrepiece is a butler-bull which if I had the space would certainly become a permanent fixture of my entrance hall. Be sure to mantain a keen eye as things often get tucked around corners or behind one of the many signs which range from abstract comedy to darker political commentaries.

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Des & Lorraine’s, Bacon Street, E2 6DY 

First things first you need to ask Des to show you his mummified mermaid. Then you can get to your browsing, and browsing it may be because amusingly lots of the stock isn’t for sale. I like to think of him as a professional hoarder, keeping a shop to justify his collections. The unspoken rule is anything you can reach you can buy, anything that is suspended or on a high shelf is off limits to customers. Multi-plugs, crockery, cameras, tins, tools, toys and furniture can be found among the innumerable oddities that grace this kingdom of junk.

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Camden Passage Comes Out Top For Vintage Shops In London

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.

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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.

http://www.anniesvintageclothing.co.uk/

http://fatfacedcat.com/

http://www.decadentvintage.com/