London Calling

One of the fantastic things about London is how it builds on its history, so that the old is built on with inspiration to be modern and a style leader.  This is what gives London style its depth and complexity, sets it ahead and creates such satisfying fashions in design. I’ve been having a wonderful visit – and the weather is good!

William Morris hanging London Taxi and a Beetle

Liberty’s  – the famous store designed by William Morris has beautiful gleaming wood with a London Taxi  and a psychedelic beetle hanging in the building’s  gallery.

The Victoria and Albert Museum - modern glass sculpture




The Victoria and Albert Museum – a premier decorative arts museum – is resplendent dressing up a  Victorian dome with a marvelous,  huge modern glass sculpture.  The combination of colors and textures here is the business.

The Liberty

Nike's floral first liberty collection

Who could resist these floral print Nikes at Liberty’s?

London is known for design and its support of handmade, artisanal wares.  Head to Columbia Road on Sunday for the flower market, a real London experience and for it’s shops that knock your cute little socks off.  Columbia Road includes my close friend and award-winning perfumer Angela Flanders, whose shop there is utterly atmospheric and wonderfully aromatic.

Next door, at 94 Columbia Road, I just went to an opening of a jeweler friend of mum’s – Daphne Krinos, whose jewelry is at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Daphne Krinos Jewelry

Daphne’s work

Wear it out

Wear it out

The Shop - Vintage Clothes Accessories & Textiles


Not far away from Columbia road is Cheshire Street, where you can find The Shop, a riot of vintage apparel.

The Shop, vintage apparel.

Just look at these Fifties print curtains.

Fifties print curtains

Fifties print curtains

I picked up some fantastic presents – scarves, a natty bow tie for a friend’s husband and a 1940s print dress that fits me like anything.

















Of course, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without afternoon tea (incidentally it’s afternoon tea, not high tea – that’s a different sort of meal altogether).  My friend  Christine and I had a lovely afternoon tea at The Grosveonor Hotel.  We enjoyed lapsang souchong and darjeeling tea with a sublime slice of Victoria sandwich cake.  What would you have for afternoon tea and what would you do in London?

All this is design inspiration for me.  It’s what helps gives my designs their individual flavor.

Antonia Balazs