London's Top Vintage Deals

Christopher Wise

When a stylist needs to outfit Hollywood's biggest stars, she relies on an A-list of favorite shops and fairs

London-based costume designer Jacqueline Durran had a hand in dressing Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Episode III, Halle Berry in Die Another Day, and Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Most recently, she scoured the city's vintage markets on behalf of Keira Knightley, to find period shoes for Pride & Prejudice.

"A lot of people in London were very interested in vintage before it was called vintage," she says. "There's a real culture of not throwing anything away, of recycling." Durran is responsible for outfitting people from head to toe, but the most fun part is always, of course, the shoes.

Cloud Cuckoo Land

"I can't stand all those retro shops where everything comes from the 1960s and '70s," says Durran. "I prefer ones that have a wide range of items from the 20th century, and Cloud Cuckoo Land, in Islington, has lots of stuff that's much older." She is particularly fond of Cloud Cuckoo Land's selection of classic 1940s wedges and sexy 1950s stilettos. 6 Charlton Pl., 011-44/20-7354-3141

Battersea Vintage Fashion, Accessories, and Textiles Fair

Vintage dealers from all over the country come to the bimonthly fair. "There are a couple of shoe dealers in the mix, and I've bought a bunch of shoes from them over time," Durran says. The stock is from the 1800s to the 1970s. Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, 011-44/20-8325-5789,, admission $7


Durran also worked on 2004's Vera Drake, and she found the perfect shoes in this store near Victoria Station: "It's got a crazy mix of things, and you never really know what you're going to find." 12 Upper Tachbrook St., 011-44/20-7828-5752

The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles, and Accessories Fair

The monthly vintage fair is not to be missed, says Durran. Her favorite recent buy was a pair of red snakeskin stilettos from the '80s. "They have this fabulous butterfly detail on them." Hammersmith Town Hall, King St., 011-44/20-8543-5075,, admission $9

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