And so on the first day of London Fashion Week, I headed down to London. But instead of pounding the cobbled paths of Somerset House, spent time in quirky boutique Merchant Archive in Notting Hill, enjoying a long brunch and lunch around Notting Hill and Portobello courtesy of a kind invitation from Farfetch. As an online marketplace for independent fashion boutiques globally, Farfetch showcases boutique partners which are handpicked for their forward-thinking taste and unique viewpoint on fashion. You can shop from any boutique within the network and have your order delivered to your door direct from the boutique itself.
If you could imagine the perfect dressing up box with a well-sourced mix of vintage and designer clothing, Merchant Archive in London's Notting Hill would be it. The vintage is a selection of the most stunning and delicate pieces covering a selection of decades which I am unlikely to find anywhere other than at the best antique fairs. They sit alongside up-to-the minute, edgy labels and quirky household items, art, fashion books, accessories - this two floor boutique holds a little bit of everything.
Established in 2007, Merchant Archive is a vintage and contemprary life-style store, mixing true vintage with new designers and great contemporary labels. Rising from modest beginnings, Merchant Archive started off in the bedroom of founder Sophie Merchant, who sold vintage to design teams for inspiration. Quickly moving into her first store - a Victorian Lipton tea store - Merchant Archive soon became known to stylists and designers worldwide. Recently relocated to a new luxury location in Notting Hill, Merchant Archive boasts two floors of hand-selected garments, accessories, homeware and also plays host to revolving art exhibitions. Brands to look out for - Vintage 1850-1970's, Karen Walker, Emma Cook, Comme des Garcon, American Retro, Folk, Designers Remix, Robert Clergerie, MiH jeans, Paper London, Superga, Lucas Hugh, Zara Simon.
Not being from the capital, when I do visit London I am constantly on the search for shops, boutiques, experiences that I am not able to find in my native Newcastle upon Tyne. Merchant Archive is definitely one such experience. These labels are not stocked in the North East that I am aware of and the vintage is very much high-end, so unlikely that I would come across them myself. Of course for those not visiting London in the near future, it is good to know that Merchant Archive have recently partnered with Farfetch, making their dream pieces accessible to all. There was so much that caught my eye, here is a selection...
The Merchant Archive Boutique ~ 19 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU ~ 020 7229 9006 ~ Nearest tube: Ladbroke Grove or Notting Hill Gate ~ @merchantarchive