London's best shopping events
Dust off your credit card for London's best shopping pop-ups, exhibitions, sales and fairs
London's known for its fine array of shops and boutiques, but you can visit those any time. Here you'll find details of the sales and events happening in London this month – the list-based equivalent of taking the fashion scene's pulse.
- Critics choice
Sir Paul Smith started his career in fashion at the age of 16, with a menial job in a clothing warehouse in Nottingham. At the age of 68, he has ammased a clothing empire that spans the world, with over 200 shops in Japan alone. Defined by an instantly recognisable brand of English eccentricity (think peeps of Union Jack lining, pinstripe tailoring with outlandish pocket draws, brogues with a flash of colour at the laces), the Paul Smith label is one of the country's best loved sartorial success stories. Sir Paul remains the driving force behind the 14 annual collections, as well as the prolific output of collaborations and side projects the brand undertakes. Interestingly, he is also a klepto- or clutter-maniac - with one of the most curio-stuffed offices in London. Every one of his stores is different - designed to suit their surroundings rather than sing from a uniform branding song sheet. 'I like things that don't go together' explained the designer in the exhibition preview, 'by combining odd fabrics and things on my office walls, I might get an idea for a clothing combination like tweed and silk'. This exhibition will recreate his office in its entirety, providing a key to his eclectic tastes and sources of inspiration. It will also detail his rags to riches career path - rebuilding his miniscule first store in the museum, showing archive collections, and of course, a vast number of the antiques and objects that frame Sir Paul's network of neverending ideas. Following
The ever-expanding Judy's Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair is returning to its plot at Old Spitalfields Market, offering a selection of accessories, homewares and fashion from past eras on the first Saturday of every month. Now covering over 30 cities in the UK, Judy's has built a reputation for good quality, carefully selected items that draw crowds to their events. Whether you're hunting for the perfect chunky knit or even the ideal piece of taxidermy, Judy's has it all. Get ready to rummage.
- Critics choice
See some exquisite regal fashion in all its splendour at a new showcase of gowns worn by HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Twenty-one never-seen-before dresses will be on display, including as well as film and imagery providing the context of their outfits. Highlights include Her Majesty the Queen's couture gowns by Hardy Amies and favoured tailor Norman Hartnell; Princess Margaret's fur coats and hippyish '60s apparel, and naturally, plenty of '80s glamour from the most celebrated Royal clothes horse, Diana Princess of Wales. Sadly, no trying on allowed (we asked).
On the first Tuesday of the month, Hackney’s Dusty Fingers Vintage Night Market lights up the dusk at this magnificent old church. As well as offering a mixture of 30 stalls selling an array of vintage and mid-century furniture, there are also stacks of collectable vinyl from £6 and moie posters for you to browse through. Faded images of old-school Czech film stars can be snapped up for less than twenty quid, lit by £15 angle poise lamps. Not only is it a perfect place to stop off at after work, but you can also grab dinner there at the Hanoi Kitchen pop-up.