My love of vintage began from a young age - I think it helps that I was raised by a mother who adored mixing classic styles with modern touches. I personally started thrift-store trundling on my own accord when I began secondary school, and at the age of twelve, I discovered my love for Notting Hill. It didn't take long for this cool, beautiful part of West London to become one of my favourite parts of the city. Most of my peers preferred wondering through Camden on a Sunday, but I was never a fan, and instead chose to spend my weekends on Portobello Road. This was where I truly discovered my on-going fascination with the world of vintage. Many of my favourite vintage boutiques are situated in and around Portobello, so here is a list of the ones that I would recommend anyone visiting if you happen to be in the W11/W2 area.
1. The Retro Stores (Pembridge Road)
Pembridge Road is home to a collection of great vintage boutiques in the 'Retro' circuit; 'Retro Man', 'Retro Woman' 'Retro Home & Jewellery' and a cheaper alternative. I have found many a pair of practically unworn vintage designer shoes from the likes of Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo in Retro Woman for under a hundred quid, which is practically a bargain considering what the original cost could have been! There has been a lot of renovation taking place involving the 'retro' circuit recently, including the shifting of store placement (including the book exchange), and unfortunately there is a chance that Retro Woman is no longer on Pembridge Road - so go check out for yourself, and hopefully all the stores are still there.
2. Goldsmith Vintage (Portobello Road)
Goldsmith Vintage - a small haven of edgy retro denim jackets, leather goods and sunglasses. A place where everything seems to have a pop of colour, even the vintage military jackets. Goldsmith is a great store to visit if you have little time on your hands, as it's small and very close to Ladbroke Grove tube station. Their collection of eighties shirts is pretty cool, too.
3. One of a Kind (Portobello Road)
'One of a Kind' on Portobello Road truly does stand by it's name, I can tell you that. It is a store that specialises in rare vintage designer pieces and suits, most of which you can rent if you can't afford the hefty purchase price (which I think is pretty cool to be honest). It's a pretty scary place to walk through as clothes literally hang from the ceiling and create a dark veil over the store, but that's all part of the fun - you are literally surrounded in vintage! I have found awesome one-off bits and bobs, including retro creepers, embelished leather jackets and tons of barely-worn tweed blazers. Truly a 'one-of-a-kind' experience.
4. Hilary Proctor (Portobello Road)
Hilary Proctor on Portobello Road - the Queen of coats and furs. Since 1972, this incredibly well-stocked vintage boutique has been specialising in rare fur and faux fur coats and gilets, and bespoke jackets. She holds an extensive collection of vintage Burberry rain-coats and trenches, many of which end up on the cheaper rail outside the store (you can find vintage trench-coats for under 200 quid, and considering a new Burberry trench costs over £1000, that is a hefty saving right there!)
5. Portobello Green Market - The Portobello Road Market
Under the canopy of the Westway flyover lies the fashion district of the famous Portobello Road market. This is the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, when the hustle and bustle of Saturday has slowed down. I tend to find many fabulous pieces here from loads of different stalls - thrifted Military blazers, retro t-shirts, vintage Barbour jackets and tons of edgy nineties leather coats. There also seems to be quite an influx in sequined garments - so keep your eyes open for some of them, too. Items tend to be relatively affordable at the market stalls, and you also have a chance to haggle for a better price, so brush up your secondary school debating skills and you're good to go!
What are your favourite vintage stores in the Notting Hill area? Keep me posted, because I'm always up for exploring the W11 scene,