The Women’s Room is have a Swedish love-in currently, what with us loving the Hasbeens pop up store at Selfridges last week and now designer Gudrun Sjödén has opened her first, very pretty shop in London and we were there to soak up the colourful atmosphere.
Gudrun is her country’s biggest mid-market fashion export (she turns over half a billion Swedish Krona annually) and she is clearly ADORED by her customers, many of whom turned up in brightly layered and wrapped support at the opening. At one point Jane and I felt as if we were at a textile lecturer’s convention, such was the appreciation of colour (mostly pink it has to be said) pattern and surface texture. It’s a look best described to those who don’t know it as Laura Ashley on Acid, and I suspect it is impossible to be miserable around Gudrun’s customers, they are all incredibly creative individuals with a keen sense of dressing up. And if Camila Batmanghelidjh is reading this, ‘ Camila, we’ve found your sartorial home, in fact we think the windows might have been styled with you in mind’!
And it was joyous to be around Gudrun (who was in sprightly attendance) and her customers, many of whom have loved her since she started the company back in 1976. It reminded us of the brilliant Boden Community we witnessed recently, it’s very uplifting to discover retail can still inspire such devotion and clear enjoyment and fun for customers. Other retailers please take note!
The colourful product is not to everybody’s taste, but if you are looking for a shot of colour for the home or your wardrobe, you might give it a whirl. It is not cheap and we’ve heard the quality can be a little hit and miss, although the company tries really hard to be sustainable in every way, so all credit for that and the catalogue is a colourfully inspiring read. The store itself is very charming and enjoyable to hang out in.
The London store is in 65-67 Monmouth Street, (which also houses another TWR favourite, Orla Keily and don’t forget to get an excellent coffee from Monmouth too) and is very pretty, we love the flowering plants, hope those weren’t just for the opening.
The suspended lamp shades looked gorgeous and the shop is inspiringly merchandised.
Also worth noting is that materiel is sold by the meter…you don’t see much of that today, we suspect Gudrun’s customers are excellent sewers.
At the opening were a gaggle of pretty young girls all wearing a mash-up of Gudrun’s clothes, let’s hope they liked pink!