As my daily commute begins from my house to what seems like the rest of world, I hop on any bus that takes me down Kingsland Rd. A few weeks ago I spotted a new store being done up and wondered what it was going to be! A few days later I received an invite to a launch party for a new vintage store and yes yes yes it turned out to be that same little store I spotted. I was so upset that I wasn't able to attend as I was on a lovely shoot for Urban Species but I did receive messages from friends letting me know that the Hendricks Gin drinks were absolutely amazing which made me fume even more. Not to mention my talented friend Steve Smyth who has just finished his European tour with the brother/sister duo Angus and Julia Stone was blessing everyone there with his incredible voice and capturing charm.
So I paid them a little visit on Sunday and all I can say is ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! For starters I was blown away by the beauty of not only the store but the wonderful owners Claudia and Joe. I felt quite humbled at how hospitable they were and how much they wanted to show me. I felt such a sense of pride and love from both of them towards Storm In a Teacup. This shop is as they would like to call it the 'twisted child' of Claudia Raba, International Model and Joe Miller, artist, stylist and self proclaimed philanthropist. Indeed, a little kid in a candy store is the way any person would feel as this shop is part vintage and designer boutique, part Willy Wonka fantasy and part Wild-West saloon. One of the first things that I asked Claudia was 'Where did you find all these amazing pieces?' and she simply smiled and said 'We have been collecting these pieces for years'... Personally, I wouldn't be able to let go of such wonderful garments if I had been collecting for years - perhaps you could call it selfishness on my behalf. I have great admiration for both of them for holding onto their dreams and producing a original and one of a kind concept for a store.
Each piece in the store is pretty much in flawless condition, unique and quite breath taking. With Claudia working first hand with high-end designers and photographers such as Bettina Rheims and Martin Margiela during her modelling career, it has given her a unique and sophisticated eye for detail. Combined with Joe's styling work for clients such as Vivienne Westwood, Agent Provocateur and C.P. Company, they have pretty much the ideal credentials for selecting unique and original items not easily found elsewhere.
The Wild-West saloon look and feel of the store reminded me of a friends little tiny bar that I used to go to called Shady Pines Saloon in Sydney, Australia. Where you would sit in the midst of old wooden counters, peanut shells, buckets of ice and fantastic music in an old fashioned style. All the sweets in the store pop a massive smile on my face. Storm In a Teacup is about what make Claudia and Joe happy, sweets, clothes and impeccable styling - what more could anyone wish for? Their "kid in a candy store" view of fashion led them to the inevitable introduction of the Victorian sweet shop style counter, which they lovingly crafted themselves from 150-year-old oak sleepers. Within it lie glass jars of sweets and confectionery, which are hand made and supplied by a 100-year-old factory in a small East Yorkshire village. Every little corner in this store is well thought of and the one song that came into my mind while I was admiring all the garments was Hank William Sr- Ramblin' Man ...
Their immaculate collection includes pieces from Comme des Garcons, Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake, Vivienne Westwood, Alaia, Jean Paul Gaultier (sigh) ... along side individually selected vintage, antique items.
You should pay them a visit..