Between her day job as a commissioning editrix for Dazed & Confused and her passionate fashion musings on Style Bubble, Susie Bubble has made it her business to know the London style scene inside and out. So, who better than the fringed fash-phile to guide us through the shopping gauntlet that is London's East End? From Bethnal Green to Brick Lane, we tagged along for an afternoon weaving in and out of Susie's favorite shops and stalls.
King & Queen of Bethnal Green: Just a few months old, this weekends-only boutique is a magpie-esque treasure trove of vintage designer wares, collectible records and books, and reworked, made-to-order leather pieces from owner Kim Heidi Lewis's Kimiko Red line. A black fabric necklace from Policy and an amazingly supple Edwardian-style sheepskin leather jacket caught Susie's eye, but it was a gorgeous Parisian vintage ivory dress that made it to the till. 41 Temple St., E2; 0207 729 0197
127 Brick Lane: Though the price tags might not be credit crunch-friendly ("850 quid for a pair of shoes?" Susie yelped), past-season finds from the likes of Rick Owens, Roksanda Ilincic, and Balenciaga could certainly invite a splurge. Our pick: Aviu's ruffled neckpieces.127 Brick Lane, E1; 0207 729 6320
Above, clockwise from top left: Susie trying on specs at King & Queen of Bethnal Green; a detail at King & Queen; Susie trying on a Kimiko Red jacket at King & Queen; accessories at King & Queen; Â£850 Rick Owens booties at 127 Brick Lane; another detail shot at King & Queen of Bethnal Green.
Luna & Curious: Old and new collide in this whimsical shop full of beagle dog masks, dainty jewelry, monogrammed teacups, and new and vintage pieces, including a barely there feathered halter that Susie pondered throwing over a white tee. 198 Brick Lane, E1; 0207 033 4411
Shop172: Young indie designers rule at this hip little shop, which boasts a nicely curated mix of Ground Zero, tu.tu.blu, Dharma Taylor, Marios (a Susie fave), Kapow!Wow!, and more. 172 Brick Lane, E1; 0207 650 8873
Above, clockwise from top left: Luna & Curious Shopgirls; a tree-headed mannequin at Luna & Curious; Susie browsing at Luna & Curious; a red ruffled neckpiece at Shop172; Susie shopping at Shop172; mannequins at Shop172.
Sunday Up Market: Savory ethnic foods and a hodgepodge of wares from vintage purveyors and up-and-comers await at this popular market. Susie ogled some retro Barbour jackets and Hidden Pang's playing card sunglasses before settling on a black grosgrain-trimmed jacket for a fiver from one of the vendors lined up along Brick Lane. Ely's Yard, The Old Truman Brewery, E1
The Shop: "You never know what you're going to find here," Susie said as we entered this bursting-at-the-seams vintage shop (a menswear store is next door). Susie's scores: a fuchsia crushed silk dress (Â£18) and a green African tribal print top with funky accordion-style pleats running down the arms (Â£12). 1-3 Cheshire St., E2; 0207 739 5631
Above, clockwise from top left: Sunday Up Market; playing card shades at Hidden Pang's Sunday Up Market stall; the African top Susie scored at The Shop; browsing street vendors at Brick Lane; street vendors; The Chanel-esque jacket Susie scored for Â£5.
Public Beware Co.: This two-level Japanese shop sports quirky plush toy chandeliers and a stash of trendy yet eclectic dresses. 7 Dray Walk, E1; 0207 053 2185
Absolute Vintage: You could get lost for days rifling through this vintage emporium's piles of reasonably priced accessories and frocks. Sister store Blondie (114 Commercial St.) sports a smaller, well-edited selection of oldies but goodies.15 Hanbury St., E1; 0207 247 3883