Ground floor at The Shop at Bluebird

At a time when high street footfall is down and online spending is up, retailers are focusing on the customer’s in-store experience. Say hello, then, to The Shop at Bluebird, Covent Garden. The recently opened design emporium in a former Grade II listed carriage hall. Long a tourist hotspot, Covent Garden has been transformed into a beauty quarter over the last few years, with big brands like Chanel, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury moving in. But I’m more interested in the calm environment of a grown-up lifestyle store than bright lights, banging music and bronzers.

The fashion illustration gallery

The building has been beautifully renovated – a gigantic, glass-covered atrium in the middle of the store fills the courtyard with light and makes it feel ‘open air’; while original features such as wooden beams and brickwork give a nod to the hall’s heritage – all the considered work of retail design agency Dalziel & Pow.

And, I don’t know about you, but I do still love to touch, see and try clothes on.

The coach house’s original beams are visible in the fashion department
In the Fornasetti corner

This wonderful space on Floral Street is a gorgeous, grown-up shop and a good move for The Shop at Bluebird. There are plans to lure the Chelsea Set with a top floor restaurant, bar and roof terrace. Plus, fashion, interiors, beauty (including a Blink Bar), lifestyle, art  – on the first floor there’s a lovely fashion illustration gallery on the first floor featuring the elegant work of David Downton painterly prints of Gill Button. The fashion offer is largely designer (Valentino, Margiela, McQueen, Chloe and so on) but with popular, mid-range labels like Rixo, Forte Forte and Ganni. The Shop at Bluebird was the brainchild of Belle and John Robinson, the founders of Jigsaw, and so the high street brand’s Covent Garden store has relocated from Long Acre to the ground floor of this building.

Often when I’m in town and in-between meetings, I’ll head to Liberty to mooch around, see what’s new and, if necessary, use the loo (always good to know where to find one when you’re out and about #thatismyage). And, if it’s not too busy, I’ll engage in a spot of much-needed eyebrow-tending at Blink. The Shop at Bluebird is a lovely, new pitstop on the London style circuit.

Looking up at The Shop at Bluebird

 

On a much smaller scale, atelier 75 is a quiet space minutes away from Oxford Circus, in the heart of London’s historic Fitzrovia. In the building, on New Cavendish Street, that was once John Frieda’s salon (he’s moved down the road ), the ground floor has been stripped back to pristine white walls and artisan herringbone parquet giving atelier 75 the modern contemporary feel architects and designers appreciate. It’s probably no coincidence that it’s just behind RIBA; my favourite building that side of town, says style editor Angela Kennedy.

atelier 75

Housing a very personal collection of clothes and accessories, atelier 75 is the work of two successful woman who eschew grandiose fashion glitz for a more pared-back, purist point of view.  The women behind it are Linda Bennett (of LK Bennett fame) and her good friend Jo Ogden (who has worked in property.) Both have an appreciation of grown-up, unfettered design – pooling their talents to launch this distinctive, little destination shop.

Inside atelier 75. Interiors by Jo’s daughter Isabel Ogden, an award-winning architecture graduate

Their united love of craftsmanship and quality is represented by a collection of clothes from under-the-radar brands like the Sofie D’Hoore, British knitwear designer Marion Foale (I was delighted to see Foale’s charming hand knits in store) and Italian A Punto B for architectural lines. Bennett’s famous kitten heels have been replaced by espadrilles from Spain and Italian Del Carlo platforms,  and atelier 75 does feel like the kind of shop you discover on holiday and keep popping back to every evening for a pre-dinner browse.

 

For those without plans to visit London, here’s a selection of labels available at The Shop at Bluebird and atelier 75. The Shop at Bluebird’s online store is hosted by Farfetch.com:

Please note: affiliate links in this post may generate commission.

The review of atelier 75 was written by freelance style editor Angela Kennedy. All other blurb, Alyson Walsh.

The Shop at Bluebird, 29 Floral Street, London WC2E 9DP (020 7351 3873).

atelier 75, 75 New Cavendish Street, London W1 W 6XB (020 7 580 0733).

10 thoughts on “The Shop at Bluebird and atelier 75: two new, grown-up London stores worth a look-in

  1. Shopping in the Kings Road as I remember it a la late 1960s – knowing I was going to be wowed, surprised and experience something new and very different! Thank you – must visit soon !

  2. Useful to know about the new Bluebird on Floral St. I used to go there for original Paul Smith shop and the big Nicole Fahri. It’s a district I don’t visit much anymore but useful to know about this and the other shop featured here Having my own little Fornasetti corner all hand me down originals from parents I was interested to see Bluebird Fornasetti area.
    All these clothes look exactly what I’d like to buy and wear. Have similar in wardrobe and trying not to be tempted by new clothing purchases Going away soon to son’s wedding without a new garment but lovely choice of silk Paul Smith and Whistles and Dries van Noten dresses I already own and all requisite jackets belts shoes sandals and jewellery at my disposal already. I’m confident I shall look good and not too dowdy but the parents of the bride and groom a minor feature of the event.

  3. Nice to have some suggestions for browsing in Covent Garden. I’m often there for work related doings but for a long time now I’ve hurtled past the shops which are dominated by “designer” brands. Hate that description as every garment has a bloody designer not just the outrageously expensive ones!

  4. Oh to be in England and browsing round those lovely shops ! Living quite a distance from good shops I rely heavily on the Internet for clothes. But I’m beginning to feel the need for some real retail therapy. As you said , Alyson to touch, feel and try on, you can’t beat it. I must get on the boat and have a day out !

Leave a Reply

Thank you for commenting but please be respectful and considerate.
If you want to be in my gang, play nice.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.