Dressing up is by no means compulsory at White Mischief, but we encourage our partygoers to enter into the spirit of things and in doing so we’ve come across dozens of wonderful vintage clothing emporiums, hair salons, costume hire warehouses and more. So we’re delighted to share the best of London’s costume and vintage scene with you here. Remember, while designer clothes may be expensive, imagination costs nothing and it’s possible to pick up some true style for very little cost at these wonderful locations. Don’t forget to tell them you found out about them on the White Mischief site.
Please call ahead before you visit as some locations are not open on weekends or on certain days.
Prangsta 304 New Cross Rd, SE14 (020) 8694 9869 New Cross Gate tube
UPDATE: We are proud to announce that Prangsta is our preferred costume rental company. If you’re going to a White Mischief party and can quote White Mischief you will gain a 20% discount from Prangsta – and read our full article about Prangsta first!
Leading costumier to the vaudeville scene, with an exquisite eye for turning discarded clothes into sumptuous outfits from all eras. Melanie from Prangsta has already kitted a out a few Mischief Makers in superlative Victorian/Steampunk garb and is guaranteed to find the perfect combination of costume and accessories to make your fantasy a reality. Check out the gallery for a few examples of Prangsta’s stunning work.
In terms of sheer scale it’s hard to beat the NT, which holds an archive of costumes from productions gone by. Peasants, 18th century ladies, animal costumes, knights, Classical masks… even the entire cast of Wind in the Willows is to be found here. The NT will let you return as often as you like to try on different combinations, then there’s a fee for the costume as a whole, which can be hired for a week.
The Costume Studio 159 Balls Pond Road, N1 (020) 7923 9472 Dalston train
Aiming itself towards the film and TV industry, the Costume Studio nonetheless does supply outfits to members of the public, and the results are impressive if a little on the expensive side.
Angels 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (020) 7836 5678 Leicester Square tube
Originally a film costumier, Angels has hit the headlines auctioning off items like cloaks from the original Star Wars films. They sell costumes from their website, but Angels’ West End branch is the place to go for your high-end, fancy dress fix.
Mad World 69-85 Tabernacle St, EC2 (0800) 783 6582 Old Street tube
More a conventional fancy dress location, but fairly well-stocked with Victorian and Edwardian looks, plus it’s the favoured fancy dress outlet of the Hoxton massive.
Craftspersons specialising in steampunk and neo-Victoriana
Amanda Scrivener is a clothing and jewellery designer whose work defies easy definition. After attending two art colleges to study textiles, jewellery design and jewellery production, Amanda’s work became inspired by the shadowy side of Victorian England. As her creator persona, Professor Maelstromme, she crafts items in her laboratory which will bring to mind romance by gaslight, arcane science, the steam age, carnival sideshow curios and aged materials from the tombs of Victorian England.
Amanda is engaged to Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Studios, who is famous in his own right for his abilities as a corset maker, leather worker, and creator of infernal devices. Creations from both artists are available from Thomas’s websitewww.bruteforcestudios.com. and Amanda’s Esty site ProfMaelstromme.etsy.com
A collective of artists led by Dominic Flannelcat who alongside performance also create beautiful bespoke masks and steampunk goggles. The steampunk goggles take around a fortnight to create, but White Mischief fans who get in touch in time can benefit from a £5 discount on the goggles.
Steampunk Fashion Directory – enormous directory of steampunk fashion providers
Steampunk Emporium – US-based web store selling all manner of Victorian and steampunk items.
Clockwork Couture – “The fashion house that sits on the edge of time” – also US-based web store
Dress Like A Pirate – Does what it says on the tin – US-based web store.
Shops offering both retail and hire
Blackout II 51 Endell Street WC2 (020) 7240 5006 Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Rd tubes
A Covent Garden staple, Blackout is small but crammed with period treasures (far more for ladies than for gentlemen, unfortunately) – note that Blackout also rents as well as sells.
Modern Age 65 Chalk Farm NW1 (020) 7482 3787
Selling and renting vintage clothing, Modern Age specialises in 40s and 50s looks and has an impressive range of menswear.
Second hand, retro and vintage retail
Beyond Retro 110 Cheshire Street, E2 (020) 7836 5678 Whitechapel or Liverpool Street tubes; or 58 Great Marlborough Street W1 (020) 7434 1406 Oxford St or Tottenham Court Road tubes; or NEW for 2011 Somerford Grove, Dalston, N16
Vintage emporium Beyond Retro’s flagship East London warehouse is a feast of second-hand clothes from the conventional (and affordable) to the wild and daring, plus a ton of accessories from hats to sunglasses. There’s a smaller offshoot in the centre of London.
Radio Days 87 Lower Marsh SE1 (020) 7928 0900 Waterloo tube
Unusually, Radio Days has a remarkable collection of vintage menswear as well as the expected Aladdin’s Cave of ladies’ retro items. Plus vintage furniture, magazines and more: a real gem.
What The Butler Wore 131 Lower Marsh Terrace SE1 (020) 7261 1353 Waterloo tube
Once you’re done with Radio Days, pop in to What The Butler Wore. No butler suits here and only a handful of mens’ shirts/jumpers. But a fair selection of more recent vintage for women.
Take a visit to Alfie’s for several exceptional retailers of vintage clothes par excellence (with a strong leaning towards ladies’ clothes – gentlemen will find some items but not a great deal.) There are some very expensive things at Alfie’s but it can be a good place to pick up inspiration. Outfitters we recommend at Alfies are:
Persiflage (Stand S006-008)
Kingly Court – Carnaby Street W1 Oxford Circus tube
Formerly a series of office spaces, Kingly Court (off Carnaby Street) now bustles with fashion retailers including a surprising number of amazing shops specialising in vintage and high-end, burlesque-influenced clothing. We recommend:
Fur Coat, No Knickers – 07815 051 250 / 07814 002 295
Camden and Chalk Farm NW1 Camden / Chalk Farm tubes
Black Cotton Vintage Arch 50 Stables Market
Run by the lovely El Nino and Lady Kamikaze who have DJd at White Mischief and run their own brilliant Lady Luck and Black Cotton clubs, there’s nowhere that understands the vintage scene quite like Black Cotton Vintage. As well as clothing there is some extremely fine furniture – perfect to kit out your retro lifestyle.
Retro World Arch 54 Stables Market
Also visit Modern Times Vintage in Chalk Farm
Vintage Modes 1-7 Davies Mews W1 (020) 7409 0400 Bond St tube
Extremely expensive but opulent ladies’ vintage shop that has been used by the filmmakers behind “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “Mrs Henderson Presents” and various Agatha Christie dramas.
Pop Boutique 6 Monmouth Street WC2 (020) 7497 5262 Covent Garden / Tottenham Court Rd tubes
Not so much really ancient stuff, but it’s reasonable value for money and slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden. They also supply vintage to Top Shop!
Absolute Vintage 15 Hanbury Street E1 (020) 7247 3883 Liverpool Street tube
Great for the ladies, not so good for the gentlemen, Absolute Vintage stocks huge amounts of accessories and a good range of secondhand clothes from the 20th century.
Retro Man, Retro Man 2, Retro Woman, Retro Woman 2 Pembridge Road, London W11, Notting Hill tube
From the people who brought you the Notting Hill Music Exchange come these four retro clothing outfitters, particularly well-stocked with more recent designer clothes.
TRAID 61 Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UA (020) 7221 2421
Recycled clothing organisation that offers a few bits of vintage in this particular outlet.
Old Hat 43a and 66 Fulham High Street SW6 (020) 7610 6558 Putney Bridge tube
Run by English eccentric David Saxby, “sartorial agony uncle” to The Chap, who promises “Savile Row elegance for Skid Row credentials”. Menswear only, but one of the very few places in London to specialise in vintage menswear and formalwear.
Dolly Diamond 51 Pembridge Road W11 (020) 7792 2479 Ladbroke Grove tube
No website that we can find, but worth a detour if you’re in the Notting Hill area, for mens’ and womens’ vintage from the 20s through to the 70s.
Other, lingerie, accessories, millinery, historical & reproduction vintage
Pimpernel Clothing – Period-styled garments and fragrances – based in the UK.
Victorian Gothic – Reproduction Victorian clothing for ladies and gentlemen, based in UK.
Christina Dettmers (020) 85791450 / (07523) 627323, firstname.lastname@example.org, appointments on request and 10% discount for White Mischief customers
Christina Dettmers is a London-based costume designer, specializing in fashions from 1500 to 1920s, corsetry and accessories for ladies and gentlemen. She supplies faithfully reproduced period clothing meeting highest standards of authenticity, as well as one-of-a-kind bespoke costumes inspired by the beauty of eras gone by. Appointments on request, period styling consultancy available.
direct sales: http://nehelenia.etsy.com
FairyGothMother / Lulu and Lush 15 Lamb Street, Spitalfield, E1 (020) 7377 0370 Liverpool Street tube;
With two Central London stores and an extensive online catalogue, FairyGothMother are one of the world’s most famous and largest retailers of steel boned corsets. Their expansive range, showcased in their opulent boutique in iconic Old Spitalfields Market, ranges from basic corsets for beginners to specialist and bespoke garments for more experienced tightlacers, and offers everything you could possibly need to create your perfect outfit, from Burlesque chic to Gothic ballgowns, lingerie and eveningwear. Read our article about Lulu and Lush
Bordello 55 Gt Eastern St, EC2A (020) 7503 3334 .Old St, Liverpool St tubes
The new Shoreditch destination boutique for sex appeal with a retro twist, celebrating the glamour of a bygone era. A treasure trove of modern corsetry and lingerie with vintage nylons, hats, gloves, bags and accessories. Read for information on 10% discount on Bordello for White Mischief partygoers.
What Katie Did 28 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London W10 5TZ. 0845 430 8943. Ladbroke Grove tube.
Lingerie, corsetry and hosiery with retro and burlesque overtones. As well as the London flagship store they have a very comprehensive online store.
The Vintage Shirt Company East Sussex 01273 471586
Men’s shirts and Accessories from 1700 to Present Day
Nehelenia London 020 8579 1450
Specialising in fashions from 1500 to 1920s, period bridal gowns, corsetry and accessories, supplying the finest historical garments for reenactors, film productions, weddings, museums, theatres and private individuals.
Reproduction vintage mens and womenswear produced in Norfolk.
Offering “High Quality True Vintage and Vintage Inspired Lingerie and all Boudoir Accessories”, Pixxi embraces the essence of romance with quintessential retro lingerie and glamour for that vintage silhouette! Aimed at aspiring Lana Turners and Hollywood goddesses through to cherry pop kittens and voluptuous vixens, Pixxi provides a range of vintage and new-vintage corsets, slips and gowns, stockings, evening bags, corsages, burlesque and pin-up accessories, dressing table gifts, and limited edition fashion and jewelry pieces. Pixxi will soon open its ‘Appointment only salon’ in Brighton.
Vivien of Holloway The Arches, 49 Kentish Town Road, NW1 (020) 7284 2074 Camden Town tube
Hidden away above a motorbike garage, which turns out to be very fitting as Vivien of Holloway has a great line in repro 40s and 50s ladies’ look with a rock’n'roll edge.
Sophie Jonas Designs Brook House Studios, Bluebridge Road, Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire AL9 7SX (01707) 656531
Jewellery and costume gowns – including some costume gowns for men as well as bespoke items – inspired by historical clothing and burlesque.
Bespoke handmade masks crafted out of high quality recycled materials and a million miles away from the usual disguise.
UglyLovely (07891) 041378
A millinery label for men and women, describing itself as “elegance in the unconventional.” The ladieswear is designed with all social occasions in mind, recalling a time when hats were worn free from their current margilisation as formal attire. The menswear flatcap collection is designed to be versatile; the same cap can be worn in the garden before donning one’s finest silk cravat and dashing into town.
Purveyors of the finest magical weaponry. Vintage-inspired lingerie of love and enchantment, for the sweet seductress in us all…
Frillseekers Vintage – A roving vintage boutique specialising in womenswear from the ’40s to the ’80s (with the occasional earlier treasure). Based in East London, but they go wherever vintage lovers need them.
Hair / makeup / styling
Pimps and Pinups 14 Lamb St, Spitalfields E1 (020) 7426 2121 Liverpool St tube
With an amazing 1950s-styled neon interior, Pimps and Pinups does conventional haircuts as well as setting hair in retro styles. In the same trip be sure to visit FairyGothMother / Lulu and Lush which is next door.
Nina’s Hair Parlour 13 Church Street, 1st Floor, Alfie’s Antique Market, London, NW8 8DT (07871) 560526. Marylebone tube. (NB: Special New Year’s Eve offer £55 for hair and make-up or £50 for hair alone.)
Vintage hair expert who has consulted for film and TV and provides hair styling to our friends at Whoopee
Dappa Hair Boutique 53 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London NW1 8AN (020) 7482 1833 Chalk Farm tube
Combining a vintage clothes emporium witha hair boutique specialising in vintage looks. Dappa is offering discounts to guests who quote White Mischief prior to one of our parties. 20% off all vintage hair looks, or 30% off vintage hair per person for three or more who book together.
Charles Fox 22 Tavistock St, WC2 (0780) 2000 369 Covent Garden tube
Long the stronghold of London’s luvvie types for all their greasepaint and wig needs, Charles Fox sells every kind of theatrical makeup plus accessories like eyelashes.
Kelly L Nash 07961 071670
A make up and hair stylist, Kelly provides professional hair and make-up to clients throughout London and within the M25. Kelly has over five years experience in the industry and has worked with various publications and celebrities, also including several music videos.
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