Feature: Jenny Coggins
ON straying from Oxford Street, many an innocent and fresh-faced
shopper has been shocked to find that the seediness of Soho is
so close to the PG-rated high street.
If ever you find yourself lost looking for a way out (while trying
to avoid eye-contact with the bouncers on strip clubs ready to
invite you in) then never fear!
Navigate yourself away from spankarama.com with the knowledge
that Soho offers more for shopping than just the sex trade.
Fabric shops and record shops have amalgamated in the area and
are far more worth a peek than the stuff you'll have to pay to
Kliens, on Noel Street, is a specialist haberdashery,
housing great selections of buttons, feathers, ribbons and sew
If you are yet to accomplish a sewing machine, this is a brilliant
place to get your customising fix.
It's a buzz in affair, which suggests the staff are happy to
keep out any browsers, but if you are a dedicated hand sewer this
is the place for you. Open 10-5pm, Monday - Friday.
The Silk Society, on the corner of Berwick and Noel Street,
is small but perfectly-formed.
You will find the most delicate and feminine fabrics in Soho
here, but they come at a price: some as high as £18 a metre.
Just as well, then, that they accept most types of plastic. If
it's just a little something you are after, then have a look at
their button assortment.
Broadwick Silk, in Broadwick Street, is worth going to
if only to stare at the beautiful and colourful silk window dressings.
These displays set up the tone for the whole shop which is more
vibrant than its other silk rivals but still refrains from being
tacky. The staff are very helpful and are willing to offer advice
with dressmaking queries.
Phonica, in Poland Street, has barley just opened but
already it is one of the must visit music shops in Soho.
Dedicatedly, selling vinyl you can pick up 70s reissues to hip
hop to soundtracks. The staff are superfriendly and the place
begs to be in lounged in with transparent egg chairs and fluffy
cushions. Open 9.30am - 7.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Berwick Street has the most music shops on offer. Selectadisc
is dark but full of CD bargains. They have a good back catalogue
of singles, and also offer the latest releases at considerably
less than major music stores. You can pick up a CD in the week
of release for £9.99 and a vinyl for £9.49.
This is also one of the few shops to actually open on Sunday
Also worth a look is XSF Records, which devotes a wall
to decks ready for the deep funk and house to be listened to on.
If you are feeling in a sensible shopping mood and want to make
money before you spend it, then pop into Reckless Records,
who will buy in your CD tastes of days gone by.
And if you still really must indulge in some sexy-shop sightseeing,
do it tastefully at Agent Provocateur, in Broadwick Street.