British Airways recently teamed up with singer and style icon Jessie J for an exclusive gig in Abu Dhabi to mark the launch of its new 787-9 Dreamliner London – Abu Dhabi – Muscat service. Through their interactions, they have also invited her to give fashion fans a where-to-shop guide for London ahead of the festive season. Read on as Jessie shares her favourite stores, malls and markets to help visitors to England find anything from vintage looks to designer labels in London this Christmas.
“I’ve travelled the world and people think London is a confusing maze – but that’s what British people love,” Jessie J explained. “You can have lived in the capital for 25 years, get on the bus one day and go two stops further than you usually do and discover somewhere you didn’t know existed. With fashion, if you just take a left instead of a right you can find a cool new shop that will do something different and I love that about London.”
1. Dover Street Market
This is one of my favourite places to go in the whole city. If you want to get a nice shopping experience where it’s quiet and has different vibes then head here. There’s a cool energy and they have different designers like Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garçons. It’s full of the kind of stuff you wouldn’t get in your average shop. Plus there are plenty of good places to eat around there too.
Camden is one of my favourite places to shop – and to perform. There’s such an atmosphere to it. It’s great if you just want a day out too. Head to Camden Market, which I’m pretty sure is the biggest open-air market in town. If you love fashion you’ll find so many different styles here and you won’t pay through the roof for them either.
It might seem an obvious choice but Selfridges is a London institution and it’s always good. It’s an absolutely huge store on Oxford Street. The area itself is worth a visit at Christmas to see the amazing light displays up and down the road. There are literally thousands of bulbs and it’s so festive.
4. Covent Garden
I love to shop there at Christmas time. Covent Garden is another one of those places where you will get your high street brand names but also lots of smaller designers if you spend the time looking. Plus it’s always buzzing with street performers so you’re bound to catch a performance of some sort.
5. Off-Carnaby Street
You can find lots of designers who aren’t so commercial if you go off Carnaby Street (close to Oxford Circus), not on it. Everyone knows Carnaby Street – but you’ve got to go off the main strip and find the little places around the back of the toy store Hamleys. I say that because I used to work there so would always shop around there.
6. Shoreditch (East London)
This is the place to go if you’re into your vintage fashion. Plus it’s good for people watching too as it’s one of those areas in London where the hipsters go so you might pinch an idea or two.
7. Notting Hill
Round the back of Notting Hill there’s a lane of shops which is really good for clothes shopping. There’s also a sick book shop there that I love. Again, explore when you get there. Notting Hill is one of the most expensive places to live and shop in London. Tourists will probably recognise it from the Hugh Grant film.
8. Beyond Retro
This is a great shop in London – well, they have few around the capital. I used to go to the one in Soho and the one over at Brick Lane is pretty good too. Both are in great locations so you can turn either into a day out. Soho is west, but Brick Lane is east – and also the home of curry if you’re a fan!
If you have other great places to shop in London to add on to the list, please share in the comments section below!