When Willa Keswick opened her cheekily named fashion boutique on the Ledbury road in June 2011, there was only one thing that didn't seem right about it. The clothes, a mix of designer parkas upwards of £1000 and pocket money purchases that would get you change from a fiver, were on the money; the gifts - from coffee table tomes to Dirty Pretty Things lingerie - were covetable. But the location was all wrong. When your neighbours are Diane Von Furstenburg and Brora cashmere, your footfall simply won't be the studded punky ankle boots and leopard print thong type. So we're saddened but not suprised that West London's only edgy shop has switched to a Shoreditch location.
For someone with a considerable personal fortune, Keswick has been remarkably mindful of the less trust-fundy demographic of touristy Brick Lane. Here, her windows face Rough Trade rather than Brora, and her customers are more likely to own an NUS card than an island. She has lowered prices accordingly - apart from a handful of pieces from Ashish, Rodnik and Louise Gray, stock is cheap, and ravey budget Aussie brand Mink Pink has been a best-seller.
Being a woman of means, Keswick has the luxury of travelling the globe, and the shop is peppered with her finds - anyone who has been to Bangkok will recognise the trucker caps made from coke cans (if not the inflated price), those we've visited Mexico will find the day of the dead frames familiar. Meanwhile a rail of Lucy in Disguise vintage introduces some one-of--a-kind pieces, and not all of them expensive (we saw a dove grey suede skirt for £25). But the real pull is the unfamiliar sights- we loved the Japanese neon tote bags and saucy Manga figurines. While we miss the gorgeousness of the original boutique, we suspect this one will be more of a success story.