Whilst there's still ongoing speculation as to which luxury brand (Prada? Louis Vuitton? Ralph Lauren? Who spins these rumours anyway...?) is moving into Shoreditch next, completing the area's thorough de-edgification process, why don't we turn our attention to the people that can stake a characterful claim to the area? Fashion-led-interiors slash interiors-led-fashion brand House of Hackney, recently opened its first proper flagship store on Shoreditch House High Street, right on the border of the borough of Hackney so that it just about stays true to its namesake. Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle's "House" apparently just grew quicker than they had imagined when they first started two years ago, when I first wrote about it. They've really come full circle with the brand, producing a fully fledged clothing range, to match up beautifully with their eyecatching "Colefax & Fowler on Acid" interiors collections. After a year of securing this prime Shoreditch High Street spot, gutting it out and working with the brilliant MRA Architects on the design of the space, the fruits of their labour is finally open and it's really quite stunning. It might be down to the amount of space they have (2000sq feet in ground floor and basement), the carved-in-stone signage and of course MRA's interior design but everything about this store feels elevated and, dare I say a cut above the sometimes rough and hipster tumble of the area. Just like their irreverent and unabashedly pop-edged grandiose prints, House of Hackney's store rebels against the general preference for whitewashed woody-hued minimalism. Set designer Andy Hillman, a collaborator of Tim Walker, has created a window, which immediately immerses us in House of Hackney's Palmeral print.
If that's not a heady enough introduction, then we're immediately drawn to the glorious flowers of Wild at Heart's florist residency in the Garden Room. When I'm feeling particularly flash, Wild at Heart at Liberty has never really let me know bouquet wise. Their collaboration with House of Hackney was quite natural. Literally. The flora and foliage of Wild at Heart has inspired a new House of Hackney Dutch still life-esque print and likewise, Wild at Heart have created bouquets to match up with signature HoH prints.
When we venture further inside, the full range of House of Hackney's wares mingle with each other. Crockery, cushions, fabrics, wallpapers are up for touching and looking at wistfully whilst you daydream about Imaginary Beautiful House. I've had Imaginary Beautiful House in my head for the last excruciating six months as I'm nearing the end of the mind-numbingly boring process of buying our first home. House of Hackney's wares will come in handy then. Their range of prints now has something for everyone - Dalston Rose for the updated chintz-lovers, Hackney Empire and Flights of Fancy for those that don't shirk from decadence and Palmeral and the Inferno prints who can handle plant-based designs. Dare to mix them if you're up for the interior challenge.
The clothing range of House of Hackney made sense in so much that Frieda and Javvy both came from fashion backgrounds and when in situ with the matching interiors, the story feels utterly complete. They've kept shapes simple - shirt and shift dresses, silk tees and bombers, tees and blouses - pretty and interesting all by themselves but espcially exposive when married up with the furniture and soft furnishings as their lookbook attests. It's a part of House of Hackney's business that is now equal to the interiors and growing healthily, especially in Japan. They've got menswear sweatshirts and t-shirts on their way to answer demand and they're bringing out a creeper collaboration with Undeground shoes. There's no question that I'm OBVS gonna get them. Which ones though...? Edging towards the striped Hackney Empire design I think...
Downstairs is where House of Hackney really means business. Their full furniture showroom is laid out by print so that you can sink into their sofas, armchairs, eiderdown and pillowed bed and truly be submerged in all things House of Hackney. I had a real good sit down on the Martello arm chair which is on my dream-la-la wishlist of interiors for the new casa in Clapton. I should have tried on some of the Inferno printed clothing to match up. In the furniture showroom, they also introduce a deeply rich new print called Mey Mey, inspired by a carpet in Liberty's Oriental department, which will also feature in their new A/W 13-4 clothing collection.
If Shoreditch isn't a bus/tube ride away, everything is still available through their website although they're getting a new redesign within the next few weeks. The clothing is now widely stocked, with ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Opening Ceremony and Liberty being prime supporters. I'm kind of amazed that from their at-home showroom two years ago, they've grown so rapidly to become this thoroughly well-thought out and beautifully conceived soon-to-be retail destination in Shoreditch, where fashion and furnishings come together so seamlessly. Blending into the background never looked so enticing.