Introducing Gentlewench, east London’s exuberantly eclectic fashion boutique
Stroll through the streets around Shoreditch High Street Overground station in east London, and you’ll find a host of alluring retail delights. Take the 6a-designed Blue Mountain School on Redchurch Street, a six-floor space spanning fashion, music and dining, opened by the founders of cult store Hostem. Or Browns East on Club Row, the first of the renowned London boutique’s roaming retail concepts, and a store bulging with bold and eye-catching options with Instagram appeal.
Should you be lucky enough to take a stroll down Chance Street, you’ll be drawn to the orb-like glow of a huge moon pendant lamp by Davide Groppi, illuminating the eclectic fashion on display inside new boutique Gentlewench.
‘It took us a good few months to come up with the name!’ explains Gentlewench’s buying director Tijana Djordjevic, who before being recruited by the boutique’s owner Wei Yue, had worked for a range of retailers including Browns, Dover Street Market and Mouki Mou. ‘We were trying to facilitate the concept of two ladies,’ she adds, of the term which alludes to antithetical ideas of sophistication and a more shocking, outré sensibility.
This intention culminates in a remarkable buy brimming with niche labels, be they more colour and print inclined, or more artisanal and everyday. Think Georgian label Lado Bokuchava, whose designs feature bold 1980s jackets with inbuilt gloves, Israeli menswear designer Hed Mayner, who specialises in upcycled workwear, craftsmanship-focused Slovakian label Nehera, and Overcoat, an outerwear-focused label launched by a former Comme des Garçons pattern cutter. ‘This was one of the first labels we bought,’ says Djordjevic. ‘The founder is like an architect for coats.’
The warm glow of the Groppi lamp in the centre of the boutique, brings a living room-like ease to the space. Its interior was conceived by Fred Rigby and Dunstan James of Projects & Design, and also features a a pair of slate tables by Pia Manu, bound and wrapped seating units by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba and shoppable figurative vases by Jude Jelfs. Custom fixtures and fittings display clothing, including a curving central rail suspended like a cloud. ‘We conceived the space in a very experimental way,’ Djordjevic says. Whether gentle or more gregarious, we can’t wait to explore.§