London’s Vivien of Holloway is a cornucopia of vintage inspired fashion, overflowing with fifties dresses, polka dots and petticoats.
Walking into the store, hundreds of dresses are systematically arranged by vintage size and pattern, available in everything from simple florals to cupcake prints. Co-ordinating boleros also perfectly sorted alongside, with displays of retro underwear and accessories towering above. A classic glass cabinet acts as the till point, displaying old school trinkets, satin gloves and jewellery, all adding to the thorough vintage aesthetic.
But the dresses aren’t genuine vintage – they’re recreations of retro styles, which takes away the vintage store rummaging and eases the process of retro dressing. Every garment is made in the UK, from the £89 halterneck circle dress to their £140 wiggle sarong dresses.
This glamorous boutique started out in lesser glamorous circumstances – above a motorcycle shop in Camden, before moving to their current Holloway Road premises in 2009. Founder Vivien, who began sewing vintage-style clothes at the age of ten, started selling her creations to lovers of all things fifties, which grew from a London market stall to a popular cult boutique.
Their dresses are perfect for everything from parties to weddings (you’ll often see troops of bridesmaids in the fitting rooms); just be sure to get measured by one of the store assistants, who are also dressed head-to-toe in a rockabilly style, to find out your vintage size before trying anything on. One spin in a petticoat and you’ll be sold.
Location: 294 Holloway Road, London N7 6NJ
Tel: 020 7609 8754
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Nearest tube: Holloway Road or Upper Holloway
Images: Vivien of Holloway