We Are Scout - Hunting. Gathering. Making. The Good Stuff


Archive: Jul 2007

  1. London shopping: Tatty Devine


    Walking into Tatty Devine’s refurbished store on Brick Lane in East London is like opening up a teenager’s jewellery box in the ‘70s. It’s full of brightly coloured pop trinkets and jewellery, which, on closer inspection, reveal some dazzling craftsmanship and innovative designs.

    Tatty Devine is the unique jewellery label that launched the whole laser-cut acrylic and “found object” jewellery trend many years ago. It has since spawned a plethora of high-street copy-cats. But try as they might, mass-produced jewellery is just hopeless at pulling off this kind of stuff, which requires not only a unique creative vision, but careful attention to detail. Not to mention pain-staking work. Consider the Dinosaur necklace, for instance. It’s made from 50 individual pieces of laser-cut acrylic which are individually threaded onto the necklace.

    The label has picked up a strong fashion following in recent years, and it now stocks a “Best Of” collection, reflecting the demand for Tatty Devine’s most beloved and popular items, such as the iconic name necklaces (now available in two new fonts), plectrum charm bracelet (£36), cube bracelet (£36) and the wonderful Cinderella-style horse and carriage necklace (£54).

    The latest collection delivers a line-up of Tatty Devine at its best: investment pieces with a brilliant sense of humour and a nod to nostalgic pop culture. I like the Colour Me In Hand brooch (£44), Petal necklace (£102), “Oooooohh” necklace (£46) and “Aaarrghhhh” necklace” (£46).

    If your style is a tad more understated, a Tatty Devine piece can still work hard in your wardrobe. Add a Disco Honeycomb black bracelet (£29) to your ensemble, or pin the beautifully crafted Honey Bee Wing brooch (£46) to your jacket.

    The store also stocks a range of like-minded products from different designers, such as a huge range of pins and badges, cards and stationery, and the new “Smart Women” range from America, which features retro images of 1950s housewives on items including mugs, trays and tea towels.

    Or make like Jean Seberg in Godard’s Breathless and snap up a New York Herald Tribune t-shirt.

    This just in: Tatty Devine has opened up space in their Brick Lane store for art exhibitions. Currently on show is illustrator Stephen Fowler, whose work includes hand-printed record and CD covers. His new exhibition features paper suits and shoes, as well as drawings and portraits of people in their Sunday best.

    Tatty Devine
    236 Brick Lane
    London E2 7EB
    Tel. 020 7739 9191

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Sunday 11am-6pm
    Tube: Liverpool Street

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    57b Brewer Street
    London W1F 9UR
    Tel. 020 7434 2257
    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 11am-7pm
    Tube: Oxford Circus

    p.s. Keep your collection of Tatty Devine pieces in Muji’s clear Perspex jewellery boxes – not only are they super-functional, the minimalist and shiny design make your Tattys look even yummier.

    For more shops in East London, click here.

  2. Updated: Shelf


    I've just updated my post about Shelf, the fabulous shop in Cheshire Street in East London, to show you some of the amazing Russian Doll designs from Melbourne stitch-n-bitch collective, Kreative Kraft Kuties. Aren't they clever birds? You can buy the unpainted raw wood dolls from Shelf.

  3. Street Style: Leigh at Tatty Devine


    Leigh, 25
    A wee birdy told me that Leigh is wearing a white shirt from TK Maxx, a black vest she's had since she was little, a gold hummingbird necklace from a friend, a belt from a jumble sale, a vintage skirt and shoes from a car boot sale. Her saucy red lipstick is from Mac. Try these shades from Mac for a similar look: Russian Red (pillarbox red), Lady Danger (a vivid coral-red), and Ruby Woo (a bluish red).

  4. London shopping: Playlounge

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    Do you:
    a) want to escape the maddening crowds on Oxford Street?
    b) fancy an alternative to high-street chain stores?
    c) like design, art and illustration with a fun and quirky edge?
    d) all of the above?

    Then head straight to Playlounge on Beak Street (just five minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus) and get your fill of innovative and design-focussed collectable figures, vinyl toys, gadgets, books, stationery and games.

    I like many things about this shop. The clever product selection is inspired and beautifully displayed in fluoro Perspex honeycomb-shaped units. Here you can admire the range of vinyl figures, like Tim Burton’s Stick Boy and Match Girl, Gorillaz, In Crowd, and Ego’s DIY Designer Toy.

    There is also a great selection of quality plush including Miffy, Ugly Dolls and German brand Sigikid (I dig the lanky bunny).

    The counter display of small collectable figures and toys are visually enticing (there’s so much to look at) and most ranges are mystery packs (double the excitement). I’ve already started a collection of Australian designer Nathan Jurevicius’s Scarygirl figures, but I also like Japanese design agency Devil Robot’s tofu figures (basically, characters with a block of tofu for a head). Genius. The Mongers Menthols' slogan is "Smoking is Bad" but they are actually wickedly funny smoking characters (like the badass smoking icecream).

    Also on offer are prints by Kozyndan and pixel artist Eboy, as well as an assortment of badges and pins, children’s books, Japanese stationery sets and coasters by Tim Biskup.

    Look out for Una Funkin – a tiny voice-activated oracle (kinda like a Lucky 8 ball but better) and Japanese You Win/You Lose keychain accessories (the character’s eyes flash when you’re about to experience good or bad luck). Could be handy. And I reckon Generation X customers just might get a kick out of Office Cubes (create your own office fun with collectable modular office sets).

    19 Beak Street
    London W1F 9RF
    Tel: 020 7287 7073

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Mon to Sat 11am-7pm
    Sunday 12noon-5pm

    Tube: Oxford Circus

    For more shops in W1, click here.

  5. London Shopping: Steinberg & Tolkien

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    A wee birdy told me that one of London’s top vintage stores, Steinberg & Tolkien, is closing shop on King’s Road in Chelsea. Let’s hope they resurface elsewhere in the future. In the meantime, join the rush for your last chance to pick up a fabulous vintage piece. I’m heading straight for the usually well-stocked Ossie Clarke rack downstairs, as well as keeping an eye out for any Pucci pieces. Make sure you check out the display cases upstairs for vintage Dior and Chanel jewellery, and the hat stands for some really cute cocktail hats.

    Steinberg & Tolkien
    193 King's Road
    Chelsea, London SW3 5EB
    Telephone: 020 7376 3660

    Tube: Sloane Square

  6. London market stalls: The Ladybird Lady at Broadway Market

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    I was brought up on a steady diet of English Ladybird books (amongst other classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dr Suess, Where the Wild Things Are) and I can still recall the 1970s illustrations from the "Learning with Mother" and "Talkabout" series’ that captured and entertained me as a toddler (funnily enough, pretty tea sets, delicious cakes, a bag of sweets in shiny wrappers). As a consequence, I was also a child growing up in Australia who knew how to play conkers. (Not a terribly useful piece of knowledge in a beach-side regional town.)

    So I was just a tad excited to discover The Ladybird Lady’s stall at Broadway Market, with a terrific selection of hard-to-find vintage Ladybird books (from £1 to £10), as well as vintage buttons, toy cars, kids’ games and vintage door handles. It’s a bit of a bower bird’s nest, but a very lovely and nostalgic one.

    The Ladybird Lady
    Saturdays, Broadway Market

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Nearest tube: Bethnal Green Station
    Nearest train: London Fields BR

    For more market stalls and shops on Broadway Market, click here.
    For more shops in East London, click here.

  7. London shopping: Dragana Perisic

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    Perisic’s range of garments, jewellery and bags carry her trademark attention to detail and this season’s collection is all about ultra-feminine whimsical pieces with a tactile edge. Take the transparent black dress in the window: a collection of organza “puffs” that are delicately hand-stitched like a dark spider web – a feature that recurs throughout Perisic’s designs.

    This careful craftsmanship is reflected in the amazing book-cut sculptures by artist Su Blackwell, which are currently on show (and for sale) in the shop. Blackwell literally brings books to life, with hand-cut butterflies escaping from the pages of an old book, and a forest of paper trees growing wildly from the pages of another tome.

    Both designers’ creations work well together to provide a visual treat and a lot of fun. Don’t miss Perisic’s hand-stitched rope dress and her vintage-style tees with a Deco motif.

    Dragana Perisic
    30 Cheshire Street
    London E2 6EH
    Tel. 020 7739 4484

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Friday to Sunday 11am-6pm

    Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

    For more shops on Cheshire Street, click here.
    For more shops in East London, click here.

  8. London market stalls: Kate Sheridan at Broadway Market


    Birds + bags = Heaven.

    Kate Sheridan’s handbags and accessories are a highlight at Broadway Market.
    Her current line-up includes a collection of fabric and leather bags and purses in two different ultra-sweet bird prints: swans ‘n’love hearts and a subtle rainbow print of little birds, mushrooms, leaves and flowers. The wooden bird charms hanging from the handles are a cute detail.

    I love the folky embroidered belts with wooden buckles; skinny leather belts in red, yellow, green and blue (perfect for jeans) as well as the little leather purses in delicious jewel colours.

    Kate Sheridan
    Saturdays, Broadway Market
    Nearest tube: Bethnal Green Station
    Nearest train: London Fields BR

    Sundays, Spitalfields Market
    Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    For more shops and market stalls on Broadway Market, click here.
    For more shops in East London, click here.

  9. London shopping: No-one


    Entering through the quietly cool surrounds of The Shoreditch Station cafe, the most distinctive feature of No-one is the abstract geometric design by designer Melvin dancing across the walls and windows.

    No-one stocks a well-chosen selection of cool independent fashion labels for both men and women, including a small collection of Antipodean designers like New Zealand’s Karen Walker and Deborah Sweeney, and Australian Katherine Pont’s label Mine.

    They currently have some cute cotton frocks to survive the sticky British summer, including MBYM’s summer horse print dress (£45); Deborah Sweeney’s red and white dress; and Mine’s broderie anglaise Alice Meets White Rabbit frock (£165).

    They also have a selection of t-shirts with a strong print direction for men, such as Makin’s cheeky chicken and rooster t-shirt, and the limited edition Fred Perry by David David polo necks, featuring vibrant screen-printed geometric designs that tie in nicely with Melvin’s wall and window artwork.

    Other highlights include their neatly-edited denim line-up of jeans by Lee, Cheap Monday and PPQ (skinny rock cut); Eley Kishimoto heels in primary colours and replica vintage sunnies by Jeepers Peepers.

    The counter display of jewellery and accessories feature fluro plastic letter necklaces and Elke Kramer’s intricate laser-cut wooden necklaces. After you’re done shopping, you can relax with a coffee and take advantage of The Shoreditch Station’s free wi-fi. Happy days!

    1 Kingsland Road
    London E2 8AA
    E2 8AA UK
    Tel: 207 613 5314

    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday 11am-7pm
    Sunday 11am -6pm

    Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

    For more shops in East London, click here.