Bust out the birthday candles! The epicenter of London's Swinging '60s, Carnaby Street, is turning 50 this year, with a retrospective book, exhibition, live music weekend, and fashion show set to toast the iconic shopping strip. Of course, nothing says "Happy birthday, you legend" like an afternoon spent navigating the area—including its buzz-worthy Newburgh Quarter—and its new batch of indie boutiques plus a British stalwart or two. Don't forget to make a pit stop at luxury department store Liberty, located around the corner—if you can afford it, dahling.
Lomography Gallery Store
Camera buffs and those of us who just like pretty pictures will fall for this design-oriented shop in a flash. Stock up on photography books for the coffee table, check out the latest Lomographic equipment, or sign up for photography workshops and tours of the neighborhood.
Barbour's vintage coated linen jackets are a big flea market fixation, but you can get the classic British brand's modern-day wares at this new two-level flagship. Look for revamped looks plumbed from the archives, including the International biker jacket with Union Jack-print lining—an Anglophile's dream.
Beyond the Valley
Wallflowers need not apply at this quirky boutique and gallery known for stocking limited-edition designs from up-and-comers and recent Central Saint Martins grads. Think clothing and home wares that would make Susie Bubble's heart skip a beat: Kapow! Wow neck ruffles, recycled Melissa brogues, and the in-house label's Aztec tees and bird-print wallpaper.
Savile Row tailoring gets a Shoreditch attitude at this Newburgh newcomer. For the ultimate "power suit," bespoke blokes should slip on a suit from the label's current Dictators of Fashion collection, inspired by political figures like Mandela, JFK, Castro, Churchill and Mussolini. (Hint: For suits and dress shirts with a kitschier, dandy-esque twist, hit up Blaqua at 9 Newburgh Street)
Social Suicide, 8 Ganton Street, (at Newburgh Street); 020-7617-7696; online at socialsuicide.co.uk.
When only designer will do, steer your stilettos to this label-obsessed boutique, a recent Carnaby addition after 10 years in business. Find girly digs and smartly curated international finds from Tsumori Chisato, Karl Lagerfeld, Rue de Mail, Manolita Watlin, Victim, Mirit Weinstock, and Derercuny.
Your Eyes Lie
This popular Camden-based label has just opened a second shop in the Newburgh Quarter, selling cheeky graphic tees featuring everything from ginger beards to Henry VIII, plus Mafia's gold pendants, A Laboratory's limited-edition hand-painted tees, and Destroy Pop's t-shirt tributes to Grace Jones and Joy Division. BYO skinny black jeans.