After 20 years, a change of clothing
ROWING UP IN Hendon, I would nag my mother to take me shopping with my sister in Golders G r e e n R o a d . Shops such as Cream (with its funky strawberry-patterned shopping bags that were as cool as what was inside) and the double shop New Man/ Woman used to draw in the posher crowds from Hampstead and beyond. Boutiques and bespoke shops reigned. Please Mum was a godsend for special occasions. However, fast-forward 20 years and you are surrounded by discount and charity shops.
A mile up Golders Green Road, the contrast couldn’t be greater. Temple Fortune is a haven for ladies who lunch; yummy mummies sip on their Starbucks while pushing Bugaboos and loyal local shoppers spoil themselves with a new dress or a pair of shoes, just because. My earliest memory of visiting Temple Fortune is the post-school trip to Brian’s shoe store. Shoes were displayed on giant coloured corkboards, while the streams of ribbon that took the place of the stock room door kept my siblings and me amused for hours. These days, high-end boutiques have been added to the mix. Genevieve is a one-stop shop for clothes, shoes and accessories, with occasionwear at the forefront. Easy separates are the speciality at Speedway. Although the label has been around for decades it remains a popular choice for relaxed dressing. Long gone are the days where the word “Speedway” was emblazoned across many a chest in North London; instead the brand has had a shake-up with stylish and understated leisurewear that embodies the essence of downtime.
Plus-size fashion is catered for at Beige, for both casual and formalwear.
Miri is a relatively recent addition to the parade. Understanding the modesty needs of the orthodox community in which she grew up, Miri Urbach also loves fashion and says: “there’s no reason why women can’t have both”. Her shop sells a mix of bridal, ready-towear lines and casual sportswear.
If you need a gift or jewellery, head for aptly named Temptation. It’s a fullon array of treasures, from girly adornments to quirky homeware.
Leibergs has been a lingerie and swimwear haven since the year dot. The shop and service is old-school but thoroughly refreshing. (Don’t be surprised if they offer you tea!).
Pop into Rojo or L’Arizia for shoes to complete your look. You’ll rarely find a bargain but you will be spoilt for choice. L’Arizia has top designers plus high-fashion brands — and if you love glitz, shine and height on your footwear, you won’t leave Rojo empty-handed.
Local shopping today is primarily about food and coffee shops but it’s only with local customers’ support that fashion can survive on the highstreet. Thankfully the Temple Fortune folk are serious fighters!
Temptation (left) and Genevieve (above)