London is obviously one of my favourite places in the world to purchase (amongst Paris, Antwerp and Stockholm), what with the amazing shops like Dover Street Market (OK, pretty much all of Dover Street is amaze now) and the LN-CC, uber department store Selfridges, and the more boutique style places such as Liberty or Browns. But ironically, for the city whose fashion week schedule is rammed with up-and-coming designers, it lacks a range of stores which stock London's new names in the world of fashion. Browns Focus is probably the best known, although it does cater for a specific, very high-end market. LN-CC has a few, but a lot of the 'unknowns' there, as some people might describe them, are actually very popular designers from Japan or Korea who are just starting to make it in the European luxury world. Apart from that I can't really think of anywhere to find designers straight out of college. Enter Machine-A.
I knew it had existed in a temporary form before, but I never made it to the original Machine-A as I was trapped in Oxford at the time. So when I found out a new, and permanent, incarnation was opening on Brewer Street, I was beyond excited. I've been following their Instagram updates every day, patiently waiting for the store to open. Alas I wasn't invited to the opening party which happened last Sunday (boo, I missed the 30% discount on offer), but first thing Monday morning I was in there like a flash (or as fast as I can run after downing several caramel macarons in the Sketch parlour). They'd obviously just finished setting up as everything was sleek and polished, and their PR was giving a journalist a rundown of their business plan (did I overhear sales through Instagram??). I carefully perused the rails. Alex Mattsson, Shaun Samson, Louise Gray, all mixed in with Raf Simons, Mugler and Bernhard Willhelm. Heaven. I'm afraid I didn't manage to take any photos – I actually flew home from City Airport 2 hours later and had left all my baggage at the hotel – so I've nicked this one from Machine-A's Facebook page. I think you can see why I love it. It's not big (in fact, it's just two rooms), but it feels like an alien space pod, it's expertly 'curated' and the sales assistant was very helpful/knowledgeable. Perfect for a morning of light shopping.
In the end, I came away with this Alex Mattsson t-shirt, the print designed especially for the store, and a little Raf Simons SS13 goodness that I'm saving for a special occasion to début (Paris, perhaps?). Cyber chic, non?
Wearing t-shirt by Alex Mattsson for Machine-A, jacket by Firetrap, bracelet by Maria Francesca Pepe, thermal top by Uniqlo, jeans (WHAT is on my knees??) by All Saints, trainers by Kris Van Assche.
While we're on the subject of Alex Mattsson, can we talk about the Norwegian designer's SS13 collection? Those layered, kaleidoscopic prints! And the cool-kid slouch. He almost makes me want to give up my life-long ban on baseball caps.
Here I am making sadface because my family have left me all alone for the weekend. Wait a second, that means I have the house to myself?? Time to work like a maniac to really loud Spice Girls, eat brunost smeared on everything, and cook delicious fried green tomatoes for dinner without anybody else trying to pinch them.