6 October, 2013
The L Atelier is London’s best kept shopping secret.
Where do women go if they have money to burn and an outfit to buy for a special occasion? Until now, the answer for people with plenty of cash and a desire to find something that stood out from the crowd was Voyage, the exclusive, members’-only boutique in Fulham Road, London.
Voyage has, however, gone into liquidation after running up debts of £3 million. Now the discerning shopper heads for L Boutique in trendy Notting Hill. Opened at the end of last summer by Lucia Silver, it has become one of the capital best kept secrets. While naming no names – Silver is keen to be a model of discretion where her well-known clients are concerned – certain celebrity guests at the Tomb Raider premiere wore outfits from L Boutique. And when invited to Sting’s 50th birthday party, his neighbour snapped up a pair of ruby -red, bias-cut, silk lounge pants and a Twenties kaftan with gold trimming. Another guest couldn’t resist a Thirties lilac- sequined shawl and amethyst and ametrine- encrusted choker pendant.
Silver, an ex-advertising executive, had a very firm idea of who her shop was for. ‘The sort of woman who I wanted to aim my clothing at would be looking to develop their signature style.’ To help them, Silver offers a personal styling service. ‘I spend a lot of time talking to people on the sofa,’ she says. ‘The idea is for someone to leave the shop feeling fantastic. Upstairs there is an off-the-peg collection where people can try things on and I can get an idea of what they want.’
Such service isn’t cheap. Hair accessories start at £25, but a French silk camisole is £275 and a kimono, £900.
Does this herald a new trend in shopping, a move away from snooty stores towards embracing every customer as an individual? One thing is certain, parting with hard-earned cash is a pleasant experience in L Boutique.
‘Someone came in last month,’ laughs Silver, ‘and said, “You know what this is? This is Voyage but with a cuddle!”.’