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A note from us...
Summer is upon us. The days are lighter. The streets are busier. The beer gardens are buzzing with life again.
Our summer issue of W11 has turned all romantic taking inspiration from the beautiful pastel houses of Notting Hill. We wanted this issue to leave you excited for long summer days spent strolling through W11 soaking up its culture.If shopping is your thing we thought to save you some time we’ll find you the six of the best boutiques off Portobello (p2). From boutiques to vintage to market stalls Notting Hill is bursting at the seams with fashion. Speaking to Peter Goldsmith, Creative director of ‘Goldsmith Vintage’ we find out why vintage will out live the high street (p3). As summer is nearly here there is only one event on everyone’s mind… Notting Hill carnival ‘part of the fabric of the area.’ Read our carnival piece discovering 55 years of history (p7). Turning our thoughts to romance, meet Harriet Hastings one half of the power couple behind ‘Biscuiteers’. The fashion worlds only choice of biscuits (p8). There is nothing like reading a love story so we have wrote one especially for you, our beloved readers, along with an editorial giving our story a true story book ending. (p9). W11 hopes you fall in love with summer, just like we did.
CONTRIBUTORS Abigail Alder “Live it. Learn it” page 2
Kira Kolosova “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way” page 8
Chanel Kadir “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” page 13
Lakiesha Goedluck “Where there’s a will there’s a way” page 4
Chelsea Davis “Creativity is the greatest form of rebellion” page 3
Isabel Calabria “Keep your head, heels and standards high at all times” page 5
Jamal Sharpe “Dressing well is a form of good manners” page 7
BORED OF PORTOBELLO? WORDS Abigail Alder
Come and step off the beaten track of Portobello to discover some of Notting Hill’s hidden treasures. Here are six of the best stores for men and women. WOMENSWEAR
THE WEST VILLAGE
The West Village is a contemporary boutique neatly placed off the buzzing Portobello. The boutique stocks something for a woman at almost every age, from on trend summer coloured skinny jeans to friendship bracelets. For staple pieces from designers that are not always found on the high street The West Village is the place to go.
The warm welcome you receive from the staff at Austique is a lovely refreshing change. Austique is a store of treasures stocking designers from the likes of Alice + Olivia, Mark Lupfer to Zimmermann Fashion along with Austique’s own brand. It’s the one place to shop if you like high-end designers with a side of friendly customer service.
MERCHANT ARCHIVE Pushing open the glass door into Merchant Archive you step into boutique luxury. This boutique is a one-stop shop; you can pick up a staple dress with a plate set from Merchant Archive contemporary 2 own homeware range. If you haven’t got the money you can always walk away with an amazing scented candle.
Woodhouse is a hidden boys only shop on Westbourne Grove. This store is man heaven stocking 25 in store brands and 85 on their website you will only need to come here for your ss14 wardrobe. But Woodhouse is not just all clothes and trainers; their main feature is in the basement a barbershop by Cater and Bond offering traditional services.
WOLF & BADGER
Wolf and Badger does not have a large range of menswear but what they do have is worth travelling to Notting hill. Stocking designers that are first starting out; the brand was the first to stock Made In Chelsea’s Oliver Proudlock’s collection Serge DeNimes with his new ss14 range in store now.
Just a stone throw away from Portobello market, The Grabstore is located in the basement of Converture, which stocks everything from womenswear, to children’s clothing. This laid back brand will bring out your inner surfer. With it’s range of printed shorts it will have you counting down till the summer months.
“VINTAGE CAN LAST ANOTHER 40 YEARS, BUT YOUR TOPSHOP CLOTHES WON’T LAST ANOTHER 2. IT’S ALL ABOUT QUALITY”
WORDS Chelsea Davis
The most famous street of the Notting Hill District, Portobello Road, offers a vast array of vintage clothing in the true spirit of London fashion. Vintage capital and sellers are struggling to stay afloat, but Goldsmith Vintage are in a league of their own. Creative director and owner, Peter Goldsmith created the business on nothing but £40 and a keen eye for trends, turning his passion into a must see shop in Portobello Road. me about yourself and your career before T ell opening Goldsmith Vintage
I’m 30 and have never studied fashion in my life. Right now I am the creative director of this store and the managing director of Online Vintage Limited. I’m a Camden Town native so I’ve been surrounded by fashion my whole life. I lost my job 4 years ago and couldn’t survive off my savings any more so I decided to get into the vintage business
sometimes America. You have to pick what you know will sell, no shit. Was fashion a major influence in your life? It was always a factor. Growing up in Camden I’ve been around strange fashion, the rave scene and going to tranny clubs back in the day. I just know it, it’s a part of me.
How did you first get involved in the vintage market? I started a stall in Brick Lane in Truman Brewery on £40 and it slowly grew. I got all my pieces from car boot sales. The first piece I bought and sold was a mole hair cardigan. The stall became very popular, soon I started trading on Portobello Road which was so profitable that I was able to buy a store. I was very lucky, really.
What kind of people are your clientele/ target audience? All sorts of people walk through these doors. All spectrums of people. Tourists are Goldsmith’s main buyers. They are richer and don’t care about money. We’re here to make money. You go into business to fucking sell, not to look at pretty things on a rack that never move. You have to sell what you know customers will buy.
Why did you move to Notting Hill for the business? East London sort of exploded. The people there were really into fashion but had no money, which isn’t great for a business. There was nothing left for me.
What is your best selling stock? We have pieces from the 20’s all the way to crazy cocktail dresses from the 80’s. The best sellers are always the fur coats and knit sweaters.
Is there competition between the vintage stores in Notting Hill? Definitely, although each store has a different niche. My store is more loud and in your face, and I think that’s what people come to see. You really have to follow the trends when considering stock or else you won’t make any profit.
What’s next for Goldsmith Vintage? We are opening another store on Berwick Street in Soho. The store here has been so successful that we are expanding the business. Most vintage stores have trouble keeping their doors open because of mass production and mainstream hellholes like Topshop and H&M, but Goldsmith have dedicated customers that allowed us to thrive. Vintage fashion is so high quality that people keep coming back.
Where do you get your stock from? Internationally. Mostly from places in Europe, Asia and
THE NOTTING HILL SPY
Victoria, 73, resident, full time grandmother I Notting Hill because: ‘I’ve lived here since the 70s. I mean the clientele has changed a lot since then, it’s not the same but I still adore it.’
Wayne, 28, visitor, sales assistant at Ben Sherman I Notting Hill because: ‘of it’s vibrancy of both the area and it’s people.’
Summer, 31, resident, start up brewery I Notting Hill because: ‘I’m not originally from here. It’s very different from back home in Australia. The area is so relaxed and colourful!’
Anne-Marie, 27, resident, interior designer I Notting Hill because: ‘of the people’
Abs, 23, resident, works at Supra I Notting Hill because: ‘it’s chilled out - welll not today! But usually, it’s got this quiet vibe that is very much me.’
Angela, 23, visitor, bartender I Notting Hill because:’ I’m new to this country. I’ve never visited Notting Hill before, and everything is so...pretty.’
“If an outfit doesn’t work, I won’t leave the house. That’s probably why I’m late all the time!” WORDS Isabel Calabria ith groups of clothes in piles on W the floor, this nonchalant attitude
Leading us through the cosy hallway to the bedroom to finally give us a glimpse of his is evident when looking around Hugh wardrobe Hugh, dressed in dark blue jeans, Sanderson’s flat on Ledbury Road in Notting a black t-shirt and black Chelsea boots, Hill. While Sanderson was busy preparing begins to tell us about his favourite items to talk with us, we had a look around the and shopping habits. “[My favourite item apartment. The two-bedroom property is is] my red coat from Zara, I saw it and fell primly located in the heart of Notting Hill in love, I had to have it.” The white gloss just off of the vibrant Westbourne Grove. wardrobe standing at the foot of the bed is With big windows and wonderful views the noticeably predominantly full of coats of place is perfect for a young, working man, different colours, materials, cuts and sizes. and our guest agrees. “I’m addicted to coats, I get bored with basic items but coats are always interesting.” Famous for its quirky flair and unique look; So when asked which item in his closet he the affluent area of Notting Hill attracts would never throw away his answer left us an array of people looking for new and far from dumbfounded; “My Reiss coat. It’s original things. To begin with, Notting Hill black and it goes with everything and I know was a hub of innovation and provided the I’ll always feel comfortable in it.” idiosyncratic with a place to vent their style, but now, having calmed down, Notting Hill His love for clothes clearly expressed in his has settled into its classy and sophisticated white walled bedroom; we’d like to know identity and is thriving. what about fashion makes Sanderson so excited. Sitting down with a cup of tea in A 23-year-old analyst, Sanderson has a china mug, Hugh tells us about his 9 to 5 lived in Notting Hill for almost a year and job and his future goals and desires, finally expresses that the area has a noticeable settling on what he enjoys about clothes and style “smart, classic and traditional are fashion. “It’s really fun and it’s a way of all words I’d use to describe Notting Hill. expression.” Having said that there is a slightly edgier undertone to Notting Hill that sets it apart Going on to tell us what things have or from places like Chelsea.” When asked how haven’t influenced his style, we asked Hugh he would describe his own style, enthusiastic how living in Notting Hill impacts his style. Sanderson made no hesitation with his “I wouldn’t say it does. It does make me answer “Classic with a twist!” Elaborating, want to dress up more but I had this style he told us that his outfits almost always before I lived here and I’ll have it long after feature a statement piece to set him apart I move away.” He passionately continues, from everyone else and finished passionately “You shouldn’t let an area define you and with “I normally look at the outfit as a whole how you dress because individual style is rather than deciding on one thing first. If an very important and you shouldn’t be swayed. outfit doesn’t work I won’t leave the house, You shouldn’t allow anyone or anything it’s probably why I’m late all the time!” define who you are or how your dress.”
“You shouldn’t let an area define you and how you dress”
CONCEPTION, CONVERGENCE, CONFLICT AND CONSERVATION
The tale of Notting Hill Carnival WORDS Jamal Sharpe
With only a few weeks until the second largest street carnival in the World, W11 immerses itself in the kaleidoscopic colours and feathered textures of Notting Hill Carnival. The rich and rather cinematic heritage of Notting Hill Carnival is unveiled from conception to community resilience and police officer dance-offs. 2.5 million people the August bank F orholiday is more than a day off from work.
slum conditions”. Performers, once involved in Jones’ carnival, participated in Laslett’s street It is a time to celebrate London’s diverse festival. Trinidadian steel bands and Jamaican culture and join the festivities of Notting Hill Reggae-playing sound systems soundtracked Carnival. The weekend-long event contributes the festivities from the traditional starting point £100 million to London’s economy, creating of Powis Square. In subsequent years, the around 3,000 jobs. However, with a lack of event attracted non-locals and press coverage funding and rising property prices, Europe’s with its party atmosphere which mirrored largest carnival could cease to exist. Port-of-Spain and Rio de Janeiro during their historic carnivals. “It would be sad to see the Notting Hill Carnival go. It’s part of the fabric of the area CONFLICT: 1976 was the year in which the — part of its history and sets us apart from party atmosphere soured. Animosity between other areas” laments Marie, a Notting Hill carnival-goers and police —which had resident of 20 years. Locals fear “the area is been pent up for some time— erupted into loosing it’s Caribbean feel”, says Louise Aiken violence, resulting in over 100 people needing of local boutique Sub Couture. The loss of medical attention. Carnival has been peaceful Carnival would be another thick coat of subsequent to the riot of 1976. gentrification to the area, masking Carnival’s history which spans 55 years — 49 on the Notting Hill Carnival has stood resilient in streets of W11. a valley of setbacks, but a creatively-stifling lack of funding is the latest threat to its CONCEPTION: Carnival’s conception began existence. Although the annual event injects in 1959, when a BBC-televised showcase of £100 million into London’s economy, former Caribbean talent was organised by Trinidadian carnival director Chris Boothman notes journalist and activist Claudia Jones. In a time that the government fail to reinvest revenue when racial tensions manifested into riots, into carnival projects. Also Carnival is not the indoor event at St. Pancras Town Hall a copyrighted brand, like the Olympics, so aimed to ease tensions and promote positivity. “anyone can come along and say they’re doing The event was rhapsodised by Jones with “a Notting Hill this and Notting Hill that” notes people’s art is the genesis of their freedom”. Boothman. The event’s name is vulnerable to exploitation by unofficial carnival bands and Although corralled to a town hall, the carnival parties, who independently pocket revenue was successful. The following years saw gained. Seymour Hall, Kensington Town Hall and The Lyceum host Jones’ Caribbean Carnival. CONSERVATION :In November 2013, Calypso-singer The Mighty Sparrow and the a King’s Cultural Institute project was Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra were some established, releasing the Carnival Futures: of the internationally-renowned acts who Notting Hill Carnival 2020 report. The report performed. However in 1964, when Claudia offered scenarios for the future of Carnival Jones died, her carnival shows were brought to with an aim “to develop and strengthen a halt. Carnival in years to come”, as its preface states. The report inspires a new generation CONVERGENCE: In 1965 Rhaune Laslett, of carnival conservationists who, like the a community activist and former social worker, community of Notting Hill, seem resilient in succeeded Jones — incorporating elements of their stance to preserve Carnival’s heritage. Jones’ carnival into Laslett’s own Notting Hill festival. Laslett and her community took to Experience the kaleidoscopic colours and the streets “using song and dance to ventilate infectious party atmosphere of Notting Hill all the pent-up frustrations born out of the Carnival on 24th and 25th of August 2014.
WORDS Kira Kolosova
Can you be on the edge of fashion and still indulge into the backstage banned pleasures like sweets? The Biscuiteers prove that you can.
say that in order to be successful, all T hey parts of your life should be in balance:
family, relationships, career and hobbies. Harriet Hastings, who co-founded the fashion forward Biscuiteers company and boutique in Notting Hill with her husband Steve Congdon, managed to find this equilibrium. The couple launched their business online in 2007 and a phrase “why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?” became their slogan. “I had just left a job as head of consumer brands at a PR agency and was keen to see if I could create an online brand of my own. My husband runs his own catering and events company and we felt that there was a big opportunity in gift food. Biscuits seemed the perfect place to start as they lend themselves so brilliantly to so many designs”, says Harriet. The biscuits were a perfect platform for the couple's creative minds: they started to produce them seasonally as fashion collections, which caused a furore. The company received so many orders, that they realised the need for a bigger space, so they moved into their proper bakery in November 2007. Since then, they have created their handmade bespoke designs for legendary brands like Burberry, Prada, Mulberry and many others, and also published their own “The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits” in 2010, which led to the brand's worldwide recognition. In their boutique in Notting Hill, you can try their delicious biscuit, chocolate and cake selection as well as participating in one of the themed icing lessons. You can even become a student at the Biscuiteers School of Icing and learn the art of creating your very own tin of biscuits. Despite the success of their enterprise, Harriet is proud that their biscuits are still made based on the old fashion non-industrialised techniques, which might be the reason why they are so in demand. The company continues to collaborate with fashion brands and you know you got it
right when Anna Delo Russo posts a picture of your work on her instagram. “Our first fashion collaboration was with Anya Hindmarch. We created a tin of her iconic handbag designs for sale through Selfridges. For our latest collaboration we have created a range of Ricky handbags for Ralph Lauren for their press tour”, says Harriet. “We love working with fashion brands – it is always exciting to work on the launch of a new handbag or perfume. As you would expect they are very particular about their designs but that is part of the fun and the challenge”. To have a business with one's partner and take care of four children (young Biscuiteers, as Harriet and Steve call them) is also quite challenging. But Harriet and her husband handle it perfectly. “Day to day he runs his catering company and I run Biscuiteers but we are working pretty closely together. The worst part is talking too much about business when you are not in the office. The children get very bored of the subject”, shares Harriet. She believes that mutual support and understanding of pressures and rewards of running your own business are one of the main advantages of co-founding a company with your partner. And having a complimentary skill sets is also very helpful. When asked how she makes it work, Harriet gives a very wise advice: “Carve out your own space. My husband and I work on completely different aspects of the business and respect each other's expertise. I think that helps”. And looking at what the power couple have managed to achieve, one cannot argue with that.
A West Side Story
Behind the pastel houses exists a tale of forbidden love Beginning in the hustle and bustle of Portobello Market, the two fell in love over a little gem that captured both their hearts and eyes The romantic atmosphere draws them closer and the tale of a West Side Story begins..
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST The Dotmasters print
WORDS Chanel Kadir
Notting Hill turned from a beast filled with crime to a beauty where the streets are filled with market stalls, entertainment and picturesque houses. However, the Graffik Gallery keeps to the urban roots of W11 filling its confinements with street art. Hill was once an area where the streets N otting were policed. It wasn’t an area where the streets were filled with unique market stalls and boutiques. It was an area where the person you’d bumped into on the street would either be a prostitute, a pimp or a drug dealer.
Oh how it’s changed. Now the houses are painted in soft pastels and drowned in beautiful plantation, which adds romance and femininity to the area. The streets are constantly buzzing with people weaving in out, trying to get to the next market stall or vintage store. The area is booming with character. There is no place like it. However, there is still parts of W11’s roots firmly stuck in the ground. Keeping the urban vibe alive from the 90s, the Trellick Tower keeps that criminal vandalized theme. The tower is most famous for the graffiti work that has been done on a large scale at the bottom. At the bottom of the tower was the WRH (We Rock Hard) wall that was done by graffiti artists Doze, Prime and PIC in 1995. It was coming up to their 10th anniversary as We Rock Hard; so they wanted to create a piece that followed a theme of ‘Staying Power’. Staying true to its theme pieces of the art are still there over a decade later. After the WRH wall was done, street art in Notting Hill had lowered drastically as it transitioned into an area populated by posh boutiques and fancy restaurants. But the Trellick Tower remains the place to go for street art in the West with the standards of graffiti rising as artists paint bigger and bolder pieces. Street art has become very popular recently with people venturing to East London to get their glimpse of famous artwork like the Crane at Brick Lane or trying to find a piece of Banksy’s work. The Dotmasters, a graffiti artist and regular contributor to the Graffik Gallery, says ‘it’s a growing movement free the pretensions of the fine
art world that has a very direct communication with the general public. There’s an element of urban exploration that gives the streets a different dynamic with a Robin Hood aesthetic.’ The Graffik Gallery brings the essence of the east and the old urban ways of the west to Notting Hill. ‘The area has been famous for graffiti for over a decade with spots like Trellick Towers and the Pit getting the early graffiti artists spraying regularly. So we thought why not come west and give the Notting Hill residents a taste of urban art,’ says, Ollie Cox, the PR of Graffik Gallery regarding the choice of locating their gallery in Notting Hill. This adds to the already vibrant character of the area. The gallery allows street art fans to go to one place and see the work of famous artists from all over the world instead of roaming the streets or travelling to different countries to get their glimpse. They have featured urban artists like The Dotmasters, Banksy, Obey, Mr Brainwash and the list goes on and on. The Graffik Gallery also allows you to express your inner Banksy by offering workshops where you create your own street art. Visit the Graffik Gallery at 248 Portobello Road.
Bin bag artwork by The Dotmasters
JULIA CHETATTI Chanel muse and accessory designer. www.w11magazine.blogspot.com