Jeanette's Opens

The fabulous Jeanette opens an exciting new retail space in East London that goes back to the spirit of punk.

Text by Kin Woo Photography by Morgan O'Donovan

Just like punk invigorated the hard times of the 70’s, this economic meltdown seems to be rejuvenating our sense of adventure. Tired of large, impersonal, slick places; we have left department stores as ghost towns as we go further leftfield, seeking a one-of-kind experience. From set designer, Tony Hornecker’s cabaret/restaurant, The Pale Blue Door to video director Saam Farahmand showcasing Matthew Stone’s show in a tiny, unmarked gallery on Vyner Street, some of the most exhilarating times to be had in this financial crisis seem to occur in intimate, unique spaces that reflect the clear vision of the owner. Add to that, the much anticipated shop opening of Jeanette’s on Redchurch Street. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was 15 years old living in Aberdeen”, exclaims James Main, more well- known as the very-definition-of-fierce, Jeanette. He now adds shopkeeper (“or shopgirl!”) to a fabulous and varied career starting with door bitch at the sadly missed Boombox (where he could often be found rocking new season Gareth Pugh), model, stylist, and more recently as a Giles-Deacon clad Selfridgette.

The shop, set in a converted garage in the heart of newly flush Shoreditch, has a raw, unvarnished feel to it. More than just a place to buy beautiful clothes, there is a sense of a creative community rallying around it, with even a performance from the infamous House of Egypt vogue troupe (of which Jeanette is a pivotal member) in the works. In this respect there is some of the spirit of Vivienne Westwood’s seminal SEX boutique. Says Jeanette, “I didn’t have any specific reference like that, but it all just came together.” By that he means, specially made interiors for the shop by the likes of close friend and photographer, Benjamin Huseby (a print of the transsexual, Pia), a hanging drape by artist, Giles Round and limited edition printed shirts by Turner Prize winner, Mark Titchner. The opening party was a buzzy Jamaican-themed affair, crammed with friends, admirers and fashion heavyweights anxious for a look at the enviable selection of designers which together make for some of the most exciting names in British fashion today. Specially curated items from the archives of Kim Jones, Joe Casely Hayford and Judy Blame sit next to Christopher Kane’s prehistoric pieces and Richard Nicoll’s Linder collaboration. Meanwhile the gorgeous embroidered work of Louise Gray, delicate knitwear from James Long and the punk couture dresses from NOKI are exclusive to the shop. “I wasn’t thinking of the recession,” says Jeanette, a fashion romantic to the end, “I was just putting things in that I loved.”

Jeanette's now open on 64-66 Redchurch Street, E2 (entrance on Club Row) Wed - Fri 11 am - 7 pm, Sat - Sun 11 am - 5 pm

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