Fashion & Shopping in West London

Fashion & Shopping

What I know about

. . . Jewellery

Jewellery designer Laura McDonagh on why she loves Portobello


Photography by Hannah Palmer

boutique of the fortnight, portobello art market


Who or what sparked your love of jewellery?

I have always enjoyed wearing quirky jewellery but by making everything seem possible, Jenny MacDonald of Kensington & Chelsea College ignited my love of designing and making jewellery.

Which materials do you most like working with and why?

Painting anodised aluminium or blowing glass bubbles are wonderful antedotes to the precision of working with gold or silver and mean that I can design larger pieces that although bright, colourful and contemporary are light and easy to wear.

What’s it like being part of the Portobello Art & Design Market?

I love the buzz of having a group of artists together adjacent to the main Portobello Market. Despite the recession, people still appreciate interesting pieces of work, so I feel really privileged to be included. We differentiate ourselves by selling work that we have designed and made ourselves, so our clients can take home unique pieces at affordable prices.

You also live in the area. Does it inspire your work?

There is always so much going on in Portobello, and so many different sorts of people that you can’t help but be inspired.

How would you describe your personal style?

My lifestyle is dominated by animals and sport, so my style is definitely casual.

Is jewellery a luxury or necessity?

Obviously a necessity. Although I suppose food and water should get a slightly higher priority.

What is your top tip for a tourist in London?

Use the buses as much as possible as you get a great view of London life and understand the layout in a way that you don’t when you only use the tube.

Where do you usually grab lunch in Portobello?

Such a selection. I often get lunch from The Grocer on Elgin but for a longer lunch I love going to the Electric Brasserie. In the evenings I favour Uli or Ripe Tomato on All Saints Road.

Who would you most like to design jewellery for and why?

Stella MacCartney – she is local, designs wonderful clothes, is a hard-working mother who also loves animals.

What’s the most extravagant luxury item you’ve ever bought?

A beautiful handmade antique side-saddle I had a few years when it was really painful for me to walk or stand but I could still gallop around the countryside if I rode side-saddle. 

What are you working on at the moment?

I have started to use Argentium silver which is as pure and hard as sterling but is tarnish resistant. I continue to develop new catches and ways of wearing the same piece of jewellery in different ways.

What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?

Probably a glass and silver bangle that tested my technical and design skills and was chosen to be displayed in the V&A. I don’t wear it very often but it lives on my desk and I love looking at it. Otherwise my interchangeable geometric pieces are a great favourite as I can take just one necklace away for the weekend and change it to complement my outfits.

What’s your philosophy on life?

If everyone helped whoever they could without expecting to be paid back the world would be a better place.

Portobello Art and Design Market, Acklam Road, under the Westway, London, W10;; Open every Sat 10am–5pm

Laura McDonagh;;
07768 727 729

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Shopping News & Events

Buy & Tie Hermès Sale

J'aime Mon Carré Hermès Pop-Up Shop, 79-81 Ledbury Road, London, W11; Fri 25 Nov–Thu 23 Dec; Thu–Sat, 10am–6pm, Sun, midday–6pm

The luxury French fashion house opens a hip new temporary space selling its iconic scarves, with a stylist and photographer on hand to help primp and prep.

20th Century Theatre

Ethical Just Got Fabulous, 20th Century Theatre, London, W11; Sat 4 Dec, 10am–6pm and Sun 5 Dec, 11am–5pm; free

Supported by Magic FM and Champagne Lanson, shoppers will be able to browse a unique selection of ehtical Christmas gifts, from clothing, accessories, homewares and jewellery to handpicked stocking fillers. Visitors will be treated to live jazz, mulled wine and a raffle for a chance to win a Fabulous Christmas Hamper worth £1,000. Proceeds from the raffle go directly to Magic 105.4’s Cash for Kids, a charity which supports disadvantaged children within London.;
020 7240 4795

The Dock

The Dock Christmas Market, Wharf Building, Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10; Thu 16 Dec–Sun 19 Dec; Thu–Sat midday–8pm, Sun 11am–5pm; free

Tom Dixon's Studio invite you to a collision of food, design and fun. With stalls from New Caribbean Design, Phaidon Bookstore, Postcard Teas, Tina Sparkle Cashmere, La Fromagerie, London Lager, The Bath Pig, Vallebona Sardinian Delicatessen and many more.

On Thursday night there will be live music from The Bonfire Band, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts in the outdoor living room.

Hammersmith Town Hall

Vintage Fashion, Textiles and Accessories Fair, King Street, London, W6; Sun 6 Dec; 8am–5pm; 8am–10am £10; 10am onwards £5

Find over 100 exhibitors and this long-established fair.

Paddington Christmas Market

Norfolk Square Garden, London, W2; Mon 29 Nov–Fri 3 Dec; midday–6pm; Wed until 8pm; free

Craft, gift and seasonal food market.

We Make London Christmas Craft Show

Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, London, SW3; Sat 4 Dec; 11am–5pm; £2, children free

Handmade items from 80 designer-makers, plus fancy-dress competitions, Christmas tree decoration activities for kids, guest appearances from Snow White and Peter Pan and a café serving seasonal goodies.

The Temporium

221  Brompton Road, London, SW3; Thu 9 Dec–Sun 19 Dec; Mon–Wed, Fri and Sat 10am–6.30pm, Thu 10am–9pm, Sun 11am–5pm

The Temporium is a new retail space on the Brompton Road that will bring together some of the UK’s most exciting design-led brands. From fashion and fine jewellery, to watches, ceramics, glassware, books, furniture, lighting and more The Temporium has been conceived as a temporary emporium designed to pop-up in different locations over the next 12 months.

Jade Jagger

43 All Saints Road, London, W11; Thursdays; 6pm–9pm

Jade Jagger is now open late every Thursday evening with a 10 per cent discount on all purchases.

That’s Entertainment

Riva and Tom, the guy and girl behind cool toy store – think Steiff bears and ‘70s space hoppers – are opening up the rest of their 1,200 sq ft premises into a surrealist-inspired children’s club as a venue for parties and anything-but-your-average kids’ classes in September.

With the help of their regular young customers they have built a life-size indoor house with picnic lawn and enormous magical toadstools and lifelike trees, accessed through a secret door at the back of their shop. The house will host book readings, magic tuition, gigs for kids and classes for budding fairies, wizards and philosophers. They will also hold children’s birthday parties with a variety of imaginative themes, from the traditional afternoon tea (catered by Planet Organic) to a sleep-over in the library with midnight pizzas, film-screenings and free run of the shop.

R.S.Currie & Co, 105 Westbourne Grove, London, W2;;
020 7792 2236

Best of British in Fulham

Union Market, 472 Fulham Road, London, SW6; Mon–Sat, 8am–8pm

Just opened in the old ticket hall for the original Fulham Broadway tube station is Union Market, a farmer's market-supermarket that stocks mainly British produce. Think cured meat from Monmouthshire, wine from Kent and Damian Allsop chocolates, plus many other delights. Don't delay in checking it out.

Rag & Bow Vintage Sale

Paradise (by Way of Kensal Green), 19 Kilburn Lane, London, W10; first Saturday of the month; midday–5pm

Rag&Bow is the resident affordable monthly vintage sale, selling an assortment of handpicked women’s clothing and accessories.

Soupa New Online Emporium

soupa online emporium shop

WLL's very own website designer, Josephine Spencer, runs a creative network which has just set up an online emporium. Featuring products from talented creatives including limited edition prints, screen printed t-shirts and collectable comics. You're bound to find something to please.

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