October 23, 2009

Anthropologie, welcome to London!

It's finally here- the long-awaited opening of the first Anthropologie store in Europe. I had to see it, so I made my way to Regent St. this afternoon. I know lots of design buffs like Anthropologie's style, so I thought I'd post my findings.

One of the coolest displays in the store was the hanging teabag design in the windows on the ground and second floors - paying homage to the English, no doubt. The teabags were different colors, as if they'd used herbal teas of all sorts, and upstairs I noted they actually still smelled faintly of green tea!

Most impressive is the wall of greenery- plants and grasses fill a wall illuminated by natural light flooding in from a skylight above. It's beautiful. The staircase flows alongside the wall, so it feels very open and bright. Hung in the stairwell are candy-colored chandeliers of flowers and reclaimed materials, made by South African artists Magpie Art Collective.

The homewares section has huge antique Belgian or French painted armoires and cabinets filled with pretty glassware and books. This dining table above is fantastic.

I love the structure of this shelf with molding from the top of an armoire. Could I make one? I think so!

Overall, it's a lovely interior but I was floored by the prices! Wow. It's as if the American numbers were kept on the tags and they stuck a "£" in front. Decorative cushions were £90-250. There were some special one-off pieces, too- like antique (I think) Turkish-looking quilts for £2,200 and a really cool carpenters' bench for over £9,000. These prices are expected for a small boutique or designer store, but I was surprised to see not just the homewares, but the clothes priced as high as they are. Recession? Who says? Because if Anthro's London prices are any indication of what consumers might be willing to buy, the recession is over!

I felt right at home inside the store, because the interior is completely consistent with the U.S. stores I used to visit. It is so consistent, in fact, that I could have been in Anthropologie anywhere: New York, Charlotte, anywhere. There wasn't much of a British flavor, except for this Union Jack wall hanging by Becky Oldfield, of Lost & Found design.

Very cute, albeit small, childrens' section

Yes, I could have forgotten I was in the UK, except for the view outside the window- unmistakeably London! It's cool to have Anthropologie in London, and I'm glad it's here, though I can't say I'll be a frequent shopper there. I'll have to stick to buying from the US & having it sent over...


Toni said...

that store is so awesome!!
yay for England, how exciting!
thank goodness there is one right down the street from me

That's Not My Age said...

With a brother in NYC I'm a regular visitor to Anthropologie, so am v pleased that we have one in London at last. Hooray!

isupereco said...

I love that wall garden they have there.. it really greens the place up