When I think of the words 'Labour of Love' I instinctively think of one thing- A hit album by the band UB40, featuring such classic hits as Cherry, Oh Baby, and- of course- Red, Red Wine. This is probably because I always thought this shop was called Love's Labour's Lost instead for some reason. And because UB40 have produced some banging tunes, and what with it coming up to summer their faux reggae stylings are burning up the playlists at BBQs and the like. Enough about my somewhat dodgy music tastes, what's the shop like?
Well for a start it's very small but well stocked with a selection of independent designer labels, which inevitably means it's also very pricey. Which also makes it dangerous, as the items sold are gorgeous, the type you look at and think 'my god I'd look great in that, although I wouldn't be able to wear it anywhere because I'd have to stay at home eating fluff and toilet roll for the next 6 months to afford this outfit, and by the time I could afford to go out I'd be so skinny from having eaten the aformentioned fluff and toilet roll that it wouldn't fit any more and I'd just be that crazy girl with the baggy outfit that would look really good if only she filled it out a bit/wasn't the colour of a ghost because she hasn't left the house or had any nutritional value in her diet whatsoever because I'm pretty sure there are no vitamins in fluff'. You know what I mean?
There's also a great selection of jewellery from the likes of Tatty Divine which is slightly less expensive and good for giving to close friends as gifts, if you can bear to give it up, and there's a selection of coffee table books, birthday cards and so on to peruse. I've always found the staff to be quite friendly considering I normally browse for a long time and then leave without buying anything, but maybe once I step out of the door they start bitching about me or making a voodoo doll of me. Who knows. Basically, if you want a fantastic, original outfit and have money to spend then check Labour of Love out. If not, either go anyway and look at the pretty things as a form of torture, or buy UB40s hit album, play it loudly from your mobile phone in public places and see all the people flock to get to know you- you don't need great clothes to get attention ladies.
A very dangerous place for ladies with a penchant for shopping!
All the labels have been carefully selected, meaning that the stock truly is some of the best in London. Almost every item seems timeless, different, beautifully made and skillfully cut, and the interior has been equally as well styled. It has a great mixture of affordable smaller items and more expensive clothes. However even the more expensive pieces are well worth every penny.
Quirky, kitschy, funky, elegant, weird, beautiful. And more. Labour of Love is an amazing little one-room shop that feels vintage and almost costume-y, but upon closer inspection, a lot of it is quite dignified. It's an easy place to spend money as they have things you didn't realize you needed (another cashmere sweater, an art book, a big yellow hat). Many labels - including their own - are hard to find elsewhere.
You kind of have to visit this shop to see what I mean, so go.
Labour of Love is an interesting and eclectic shop for women, mainly focused on clothing, it's only very small but it has a little bit of everything and is very good at evolving with the trends. It stocks pieces by some great young designers that aren't plastered around the high street, and you could probably pick up the perfect party dress and the jewellery, bag and shoes to match - not to mention the music for getting ready to.
Think Eley Kishimoto, Kind knitwear, Mimi bags, and Bernhard Wilhelm sunglasses - actually it's probably a bit too cool for most of the visitors to Upper Street these days. But anyway who am I to comment on a feminine boutique? just go there and have a look - but maybe on payday.
This shop is truly what it proclaims itself to be - a labour of love - and this is surely what makes it so successful. Working on the principle that if you sell things you love, other people are bound to go for it too, this shop is packed with lovely clothes by underground designers, interesting jewellery and a pick of the best books and cds around. They also recently launched their own label which seems to have a strong vein of 1930s Berlin cabaret pulsing through it. One of the first places to stock people like Laura Lees (long before Topshop got their mitts on her) and an excellent place to pick up unusual presents, it's also worth popping by in the sales as, since stuff here is a bit more eccentric and not so trend led, you can pick up heavily discounted pieces that won't look horribly dated next year. I treasure the few things I've been able to afford from here.
A sour shop assistant.
I was very pleased to finally find the place as i had to travel from Marylebone, however when me and my friend arrived we didnt even got a hello from the lady who worked there. It was some good things in there but i seen stronger design and to be honest i felt it was a bit copycatty. I like to see more of the stronger independent design. When i asked the lady some questions she pretended she didnt hear me. That turned me off completely so me and my friend left with empty bagsHanna and Lisa
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