After a day amongst the mass market ‘Made in China’ jubilee paraphernalia of Oxford Street, it’s nice to step back in time to how things really were when the Queen came to the throne. We are of course referring to Elldrew’s favourite little shop in the world – and sit down because this is not some chic Italian designer or a Parisian Couture house (although subject to a recent Vogue magazine shoot) – but Blustons on Kentish Town High Street.
Sandwiched between the gaudy signage of Chicken Cottage and Somerfield, Blustons (for Coats and Gowns) remains unchanged and is precisely the type of shop your grandmother would have bought her coronation celebrationary gown in. It’s also quite likely that the stock hasn’t changed much either – Elldrew are convinced we saw a woman wearing a frock from their window display on recent coronation footage, a tad hard to be sure when viewing black & white footage. Clearly catering for woman of a certain style and generation (think Molly Sugden) Blustons sells an amazing array of prints in a rainbow of brown, taupe and olive, broken up with the occasional mint green, pastel pink or lemon yellow; colours to perfectly complement a blue rinse.
But don’t think we’re putting Blustons down, we love it. An amazing timeless polka-dot dress has been centre stage in their window display for at least the last decade and we could think of a dozen fashionista’s that could pull the look off today. And despite being somewhere that needs only to polish it’s windows to look in keeping with the jubilee retrospective, we were chuffed to see the welcome addition of some Union Jacks for this weekend’s festivities!
Although we’ve never been in-store (Elldrew have no use for girdles, slips, or house coats) we’re pretty sure service at Blustons comes with a personal touch and not just a robotic “you ok?”. We’re convinced that upon opening the door we would be ushered into Mr Peackock calling “Are you free, Miss Brahms?” only to be shown a selection of appropriate merchandise…one simply does not browse. Even yesterday, despite closing early, the proprietors of Blustons didn’t just turn around the sign on the door, instead they understand it’s important to share with their clientele that they’re closing early because of a wedding – Gucci wouldn’t do that!
Blustons we salute you (and we think it’s about time you received the royal seal)! This weekend when we are toasting Her Majesty’s 60th year Elldrew shall secretly and silently also be toasting Blustons – here’s to another 60+ years old gir*, and that iconic polka dot dress!
*Actually opened in 1931 so here’s to another 80 years!