I’ve had the joy of experiencing London through the eyes of a few of my closest and dearest over the years, starting from when my mother first went to visit her sister, then coming back with a suitcase full of gems, pieces picked up in areas I’d never heard of. Kensington High Street, The Liberty Store, Carnaby Street, Notting Hill, all sounded so cool to a 10-year-old.
Other family members over the years have lived in London and been artists for illustrations in books, carpet dealers in Knightsbridge, including my father who had finance offices there for periods of time. The past 12 months I’ve visited three times and I fall back into the swing of it, like being in a familiar village, I just love the vibe of creativity while walking the streets.
It was home base for a few years, a city that drew me in after I graduated, a new recruit on the block, I could walk the streets of Notting Hill, Kensington and frequently hanging out on Portobello road. It was the first place I visited last year when we could start travelling again, London’s vibrancy was still shining brightly and was so much fun to go back and revisit these places.
My first visit was with one of my sisters, we lived there together many years ago. This time we stayed in the East End, a gentrified area with the original graffiti on the walls and we went back to all our usual hang outs. My second visit, I returned in November with our two kids. We walked the streets and they could experience London through my eyes, we explored more, dropping into last minute shows in West End. Tina Turner, Jersey Boys and Book of Mormons were a highlight.
One of my favourite destinations is the Liberty Shop just around the corner from Carnaby street. I remember when my mother first went to London, this was her store that she visited the most because of the fabrics. It’s an old Tudor building with floors of fabrics, textiles, homewares and designer fashion labels. The front entrance is filled with Spring flowers, a warm welcome to this historical building.
Carnaby Street used to be the hub of fashion, music and youth culture in the 60’s. The history of the Mary Quaint mini skirt originated from this iconic time. Platforms and cool vibes were all part of the swinging 60’s movement, which continued throughout the 70’s. Now there’s been a rejuvenation of the street to bring back some of it’s original history and vibe.
Part of our latest Spring ’23 collection is called Carnaby Street, which we’ll be showcasing at the Brisbane Fashion Festival Runway Show. You’ll get to see all the Carnaby Street inspired prints in styles reminiscent of the fun in the swinging 60’s.
Enjoy, Emma xx