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Camden Market

3 years, 8 months ago

5 Best London Fashion markets

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There’s going to be a palpable sense of relief in the city when London Fashion Week is over: we were momentarily gripped by a fear that without the AW 2015 trends, come October we’d all be wandering around in last season’s coats. So, with that potential shame averted – and presuming you’re not already saving like a fiend for an ‘evening parka’ or selling your soul to get your hands on a ‘pre-bobbled’ sweater – we thought you might like to know where  to find great, affordable stuff to wrap yourself in right now in the self-proclaimed style capital of the universe that is London.

1. Camden Market, Camden High Street NW1

The entrance to Camden Market

The entrance to Camden Market

Camden’s huge and mesmerising collection of markets can be a mite confusing for first-timers. But if it’s clothes, bags, boots and shiny, shiny beads your little heart desires, you want to head straight for The Stables or The Lock. Dozens of purveyors of all things wearable and covetable there will tempt even the toughest of wills into parting with (not so much) cash in exchange for fine feathers. The Lock’s good for accessories like leather bags, custom-made jewellery and interesting shoes. For young designers, independent brands, original ideas and reasonably priced vintage you want The Stables. Open Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5.30pm and the nearest underground station is Camden Town. www.camdenmarket.com

2. Netil Market, 18 – 23 Westgate Street E8

Mabel's Attic at Netil Market

Mabel’s Attic at Netil Market. Courtesy of http://netilmarket.tumblr.com/

‘Inventive and resourceful’ epitomises London and Netil Market is a shining example. Looks like a shanty town and acts as home to some of the city’s brightest little businesses. If you want a traditional barber or a bouquet of wildflowers, a heavenly grilled cheese sandwich or even a fine pair of glasses, Netil Market’s resident talents are happy to oblige all week long. Come the weekend, they throw the car-park open for local designers, artists, vintage collectors, enthusiasts and interesting creatives to trade their wares. Good for original finds, not touristy and still sweetly ramshackle and independent of spirit. Saturday Market Open 11am to 6pm and the nearest rail station is London Fields. www.eatworkart.com/netil-market

3. Portobello Road Market, Portobello Road W10

Saturday at Portobello Market, Notting Hill

Saturday at Portobello Market, Notting Hill

This is one of the best known and largest London markets and specialisation is not its thing (except on Saturdays when it’s the biggest Antique Market in the world, go early). But, if you can resist the allure of tourist t-shirts declaring your undying devotion to London, Portobello Road Market is a great source for extraordinary vintage clothes and new designers. Be warned, this isn’t the place for a quick browse and once you’re drawn in you’ll be here for hours. Good thing food and drink are plentiful and the competitive spirit is strong, so expect exceptional as standard even if it’s only coffee you’re after. Friday and Saturday Market Open 9am to 7pm and the nearest underground stations are Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill Gate. www.portobelloroad.co.uk

4. Spitalfields Saturday Style Market, Brushfield Street E1

Racks of clothes at Old Spitalfields Market

Racks of clothes at Old Spitalfields Market

Once upon a time (about two years’ ago) Spitalfields Market was Sundays only and as much of a London tradition as the local roast lunches. Now the market’s open 7 days and there’s the Kerb Side Food Market for Wednesday lunch too. But if you haven’t got a thing to wear, visit Spitalfields Saturday Style Market. Every weekend 80 plus designers congregate and spend all day tempting the style savvy of the city with clothes, accessories, fabrics, buttons, beads and all manner of stuff to swan around in. This is the definitely the ‘haute’ end of the market, but it’s still affordable and rising design stars are plenty in evidence. Open Saturday 11am to 5pm and the nearest underground station is Liverpool Street. www.spitalfields.co.uk

5. Greenwich Market, Greenwich SE10

Antique jewellery at Greenwich Market

Antique jewellery at Greenwich Market

This has to be one of the most historic markets in the world. Not only is it pretty old (1737) it’s right in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Greenwich so you get to shop in the shadow of the Cutty Sark and just across the road from the Royal Museums. Lovers of all things vintage, traditional skills and trades, fine British tailoring and authentic artisan traditions say this is probably the best covered market in London. Not the place for ‘flea market’ finds but surprisingly reasonable in spots considering there are master milliners and silversmiths in residence. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5.30pm. Fastest route is by train from Charing Cross Station (17 minutes) or you can sail down the Thames to Greenwich on City Cruises. www.greenwichmarketlondon.com

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