– By Soraya Bakhtiar –
Very few places have the luxury to transport you through years and countries simultaneously successfully and yet, keep their independence. When I entered Start, located in the up and coming Shoreditch (42-44 Rivington Street) I was stunned by the cunning and masterly orchestrated mix of elements: neon lighting and antiques pulled together by bare brick walls. Silence reigned in the store, and music wouldn’t have added to the atmosphere. It was up to my imagination and what I could see there to be transported through eras of fashion and design.
All of the sudden, I felt like I had been transposed to Tribeca or the Meat Packing District in this full fledge art gallery store and yet I felt the uniqueness of London everywhere around me, starting with European antique jewellery cabinets. A place in between here and there. It took a black cab driving by on my way out for me to be brought back to London, and out of this magic no man’s land.
Founded in 2002, the charismatic Start couple, Philip Start (Woodhouse) and his wife Brix (former guitarist, TV presenter and style expert) are the heart and soul behind their three flagship stores on the famed Rivington Street: Start Women, Start Men and Mr. Start, Philip’s own tailoring line. They hand pick every item with care and an acute eye for style. Their poise and impeccable taste is on every shelf, rack and display. For ready-to wear, you’ll make sure to find the most eclectic medley of the trendiest designer brands from Alexander Wang, Acne, Isabel Marant and Carven to name of few of the never-ending which extends to the store’s lower ground floor illustrated by a neon “treasure” sign. If Ali Baba had a fashion cave, this would be it.
This time around, the popular Molecules fragrances are presented in a red limited edition packaging. Comme des Garcons and their various scents along with high-end candles and perfumes from Dyptique Paris, my personal favorite L’Ombre Dans L’eau, a fresh and clean smell with orange blossom notes. A pure delight that will awake your senses.
Witty accessories from notebooks, neon nail polish to embroidered headbands are brought to the table, without of course disregarding a very important selection of sunglasses by the great Thierry Lasry. Overall, Start carries some original gift ideas for every budget and with Christmas and Hanukkah right around the corner, it’s time to think of those you love (or simply be a little selfish) with last minute gifts if you haven’t started yet, you still have plenty of time to go on a treasure haunt!
And last but not least, denim lovers will be happy to find a “denim-clinic “with a large range of carefully selected denim for all body types, answer the quiz online to find your perfect pair of jeans. For our dear friends across the Atlantic, if London isn’t your next destination on your bucket list, fear not, as Start offers international shipping on their e-boutique.
The message is clear, for quintessential fashion, look no further than Start.
42-46 Rivington Street
London EC2A 3BN,
Soraya Bakhtiar grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, with Iranian and Egyptian roots. She currently contributes to PinkMemo’s New York Front Row blog, while updating her personal blog TheTrendReport, and frequently contributing to OliviaPalermo.com