fred butler’s guide to london

To celebrate the launch of her new book, It’s a London Thing, Fred Butler gives us her insider guide to the city.

by Lula Ososki
20 September 2016, 2:25pm

James Barnor at October Gallery

The sheer size and abundance of things to do in London can be overwhelming at times. From north to south, east to west, each area is like it's own separate city, but style blogger and accessories designer Fred Butler knows her way around them all. Having lived in the Big Smoke for over a decade, Butler has got to know the ins and outs of the city as well as amassing a range of talented, creative mates along the way. For her new book It's A London Thing, published by Prestel, she has curated the perfect (and totally needed) guide to London including her own recommendations and additional tips from respected London talents, such as NTS radio founder Femi Adeyemi who gives his favourite record shops and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes who gives an insight to the best views of the city. To celebrate the launch of the new London bible, Fred gave us a mini guide to some of her favourite things emerging from the capital.

3 designers to celebrate...

Photography Tara Darby

Zandra Rhodes
Zandra has just unveiled a capsule collection of her famous archive exclusively for MATCHESFASHION.COM. Each iconic dress as worn by Princess Diana & Pat Cleveland have now been reproduced, printed and beaded by hand at her London studio - where she was photographed for my book by Tara Darby!

Bethan Wood
Bethan is the most prolific designer I know and it's hard to keep up with her projects, especially as they are so internationally dispersed. However, she has returned to London for the Design Festival to install the inaugural designer takeover of the window installation at the newly located Design Museum. Visiting this is going to be killing two birds with one stone! Here is one of my many portraits of Bethan - she is always so exquisitely adorned!! Six Vases by Bethan Laura Wood, The Design Museum Shop,15-25 September 2016

Image courtesy of AI PR

On the subject of prolific, the Patternity girls are active collating and communicating patterns to make the world a more playful and peaceful place. This season they are collaborating with Sonos Studio, RIBA, Ace Hotel, Natuzzi and this Sunspel collection of limited edition T-Shirts. They have installed a site-specific exhibition of prints in the store on Redchurch Street for LDF and running a public street rubbings workshop. (Spot the classic Patternity tights on the cover image of my book!) PATTERNITY + SUNSPEL: Everyday Simplicity, 5-7 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ 17-25 September

3 shops to visit...

Duro Olowu Boutique
Duro's boutique is one of my favourite treasure troves in central London as it transports you to a souk in Marrakech with its embellished textiles to Frieze Art Fair with the artworks on the walls. His own line is dispersed amongst a collection of artifacts, antique accessories and books acquired from his travels. If you weren't in London for his recently curated exhibition at The Camden Arts Centre, this is a neat glimpse into that magic world. Duro Boutique, 14 Masons Yard, SW1Y 6BU

Lazy Oaf
The IRL flagship store to the internet sensation - this is the place to get your mitts on their ever expanding cute collections for girls and guys. There's always a featured collaboration and installation downstairs with the current takeover from Canadian Roundhouse Apparel of their embroidered patches. 2 Ganton St, London W1F 7QL

Just as Fashion East returns to its east London roots, DarkRoom has relocated from their central boutique to a pop-up as a barge on the Regent's Canal till Christmas. This collaboration with Burt & May is housing both their range of tiles, fabrics and paint in addition to their own new A/W range of interiors and accessories named "Building Blocks". For LDF, the floating hub is also home to an exhibition of Egyptian hand-sewn applique textile hangings.

3 exhibitions to see...

Photographers Gallery: What SoHo Wore
You have to dart up the side street of The Photographer's Gallery navigating between LFW venues so I recommend darting in one time! Nina Mahandar's "Wore We Wore" project has taken residency in the foyer with a projection of her photographic archive of A People's History Of British Style". She is specifically concentrating on SoHo for this commission so submit your SoHo / LFW snaps to have your street style featured. 16-18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW

Daniele Tamagni

October Gallery: Daniele Tamagni and James Barnor
The photographer who has inspired both Paul Smith and Solange with his discovery and documentary of the Sapeurs from the DRC has opened an exhibition of that seminal work in London. Daniele's snapshots of both African and worldwide streetstyle are being shown alongside James Barnor's historic portraits on similar themes. James black and white portraits of London in the 1960's and Ghana in the 1950's perfectly balance with Daniele's hyper-colour contemporary cultural commentary. 24 Old Gloucester St, London WC1N 3AL

The V&A Museum: You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970
You never really need an excuse to visit the V&A but the newest show to have just opened is all about London's swinging 60's with a pop-up salon by Sassoon within the show on Sundays. See the iconic five point bobs being cut on competition winners live whilst you soak in Andy Warhol's "Souper Dress". If you can't get to Kensington, there's a pop-art pop-up shop on Carnaby Street sponsored by Levis. (er, also jot 14th October in your diary for my book launch Q&A at the V&A with fashion historian Amber Butchart) Here's my photo of their 60's furniture in the permanent exhibition. Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

Fred Butler is signing copies of It's A London Thing on Wednesday 21st of September at Selfridges London. More info can be found here.


Text Lula Ososki 

City Guide
Fred Butler
it's a london thing