The Soho area has long been known as an eclectic and energetic place, and was the perfect setting for GQ's event. In this post I'll be writing about my top three shopping experiences: the theatrical make up shop Illamasqua, Liam Gallagher's contemporary Mod themed shop Pretty Green, and the well established Ben Sherman. I've chosen these brands as they are unique and exude that special British quirkiness.
Illamasqua cosmetics pride themselves in being different. Developed out of the desire to express individuality in an 'alternative' way, it is a brand which celebrates subcultures and theatricality. Sourcing its products from Kryolan - a theatrical makeup company - Illamasqua cosmetics are heavy duty and are not for the faint hearted. This is a brand which does not shy away from the spotlight, and their GQ event highlighted this wonderfully audacious attitude. Two voluptuous models sat in their window displays, playfully performing to the crowd, and drawing much attention to the shop from the street. Inside, their colourful products were proudly displayed, and their high energy music reflected the image of the brand. The collection which was the most enticing was their Generation Q collection, designed for all ages, races, and types of people. Illamasqua revel in being a unique brand, and the GQ event made it clear that in turn they want to celebrate uniqueness. This has always been their highest value, and is shown by their continued support for the beautiful Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Another super-trendy shop which deserves to be noticed is Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green. Again this is a wonderfully British brand, which was launched two years ago, and draws on inspirations from the swinging 60s. The DJ played some classic songs, most significantly from The Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street, which was the inspiration for their most recent collection. Although this album was not released during the 60s, it is still reminiscent of the Mod era, and suits the Pretty Green brand perfectly. The stand out pattern of this collection is paisley, a fantastically British pattern. Another exciting recent collection was developed in collaboration with the cult film Quadrophenia; a collaboration which has produced some innovative yet nostalgic contemporary modern pieces. This is definitely a British brand to watch, and if you ever visit the Carnaby store be sure to pop upstairs to visit John, Paul, Ringo and George!
Ben Sherman completes my GQ Carnaby Style Night top three. It is the most established brand out of my three choices, however in recent years it has given itself an impressive make over, and has really learnt how to play up its British roots. On Thursday night they provided men with free wet shaves from Sharp's Barbers, treated shoppers to the beautiful sounds of a live band called Dry The River, had an in-store DJ, and gave its shoppers the opportunity to win an exquisite parka coat. Their premium collection is certainly very British, and very stylish - reflecting exactly what the brand is about. The stand out pieces from this collection were the bowling bag and the on-trend creepers. It should also be noted that the Ben Sherman staff are extremely helpful, informative, and enthusiastic about the brand.
The event was a success, and was a perfect taster for London Fashion Week which began yesterday. LFW has got off to a very good start, so stay tuned next week for my exclusive coverage of David Koma's show, and the gossip from the Cutler and Gross LFW wrap party.
Love Lucy x
P.S. I have renamed my blog as it matches my URL and sets me apart from a similar blog name. I hope you approve of the change!