Swing over to Carnaby
Carnaby Street, which was once the epicentre of the Swinging Sixties, is throwing a fashion party – and you’re all invited, says Kohinoor Sahota
Carnaby Street in the 1960s was more like a catwalk than a shopping destination. Loud music played from brightly coloured shops and people would strut along the street in the latest fashions, from mod gear to mini skirts.
The area attracted a new demographic – teenagers – who wanted to imitate the famous faces that shopped there, including model Twiggy and The Rolling Stones. In fact, this is where Jimi Hendrix bought his tongue-in-cheek retro military jacket, at the boutique I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet.
The Kinks have name-checked the street in Dedicated Follower of Fashion, it had its own show Carnaby Street: The Musical and featured in the hit film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
This month, Carnaby Street – and its 13 neighbouring streets – will be swinging once more at the Carnaby Style Night (4 May; 5pm-9pm). Join the party as many shops have longer opening hours, free drinks and DJs playing. There is live music, too, in Moscot, the iconic eyewear store.
Take advantage of the many offers: get your hair cut for free by Johnny’s Chop Shop, which is setting up a ‘salon’ on the streets; take a yoga class for men at triyoga and help yourself to food and drink at Fred Perry.
There are exclusive offers across the stores: Illamasqua has a drag queen-inspired ‘Men in Make-up’ event; you can customise your trainers at Superga and stock up on limitededition T-shirts at David Naman.
Go to the event wearing your sharpest outfit, as the best-dressed fashionistas will be rewarded with a goodie bag worth £200.
If all that shopping makes you hungry, head to one of the many restaurants and bars that are offering discounts on the night.
While you’re there, don’t miss nearby Kingly Court, a three-storey enclave of boutique bars and restaurants.
Long may Carnaby Street swing! www.carnaby.co.uk