The Graceful Goddess vintage fashion pop-up shop at 199 Portobello Road in London is midway through its two-week residency and is proving to be quite a crowd- pleaser – in the time I was there last Saturday morning, there was a steady stream of visitors, some literally stopped in their tracks whilst driving by.
So what is drawing the crowds? What makes this pop-up so interesting is the combination of three vintage dealers sharing the space, each with complementary collections. There really is something for everyone here, whether you are an haute Chanel goddess, a McQueen glamazon or a Gucci geek.
As you go through the door you are faced with a couple of gorgeous Chanel 2.55 quilted handbags, with a rack of classic Chanel jackets a few steps away, and also a rather gorgeous pair of tweed knee-high boots. Many of these items have provenance, having been owned by celebrity-clients or fashion industry insiders. This is typical stock from buymywardrobe.com and very tempting it is too. A friend is currently searching for the perfect, classic Chanel jacket and I have urged her to visit this shop ASAP.
There is also a great selection for an edgier taste, including some wonderful McQueen tailored dresses and a sprinkling of Alaia, including a very unusual black “ringmaster’s” jacket. I also spotted a lovely 80s Yohji Yamamoto red and white oversized jacket – very now but also a piece that would not date. Much of the McQueen stock comes from Graceland, a vintage business run by stylist, Grace Woodward.
For those of us with a more eclectic eye, there are some truly beautiful vintage pieces from earlier decades, including some wonderful original Yves Saint Laurent – I spotted an original “le smoking” tuxedo suit and a very lovely pale blue mohair coat. There is a rack devoted to evening gowns, so this is just the place to come to shop for Christmas parties too – I fell in love with a glittering Oscar de la Renta full-length shirt-dress (see picture) and a dramatic black velvet and white satin Malcolm Starr gown. These come courtesy of Wilma Mae Basta’s Gathering Goddess vintage emporium – a source of really beautiful and highly unusual pieces. You can be sure of finding things here that you will not see anywhere else: a 30s sequinned cape and beret, previously property of an Argentinian glamazon; or an exquisitely-made 40s slip in ivory satin and lace.
Then there are shoes – Manolo Blahnik and Charlotte Olympia among them; handbags; and jewels. In short, this shop promises to solve your Christmas present buying for any female friend. Though if you are anything like me, you will enter with the best intentions of shopping for presents and emerge with a few (ahem) presents for self…..
The Graceful Goddess closes its doors on Sunday 29 November, so be sure to visit 199 Portobello road before the goddess has left the building.