Merchant Archive is quite possibly our perfect shop. If you’ve had the joy of visiting the Notting Hill boutique, we’re fairly sure that you too will have been seduced by its inspiring, expertly curated and impeccably sourced range of vintage and new clothing, accessories, gifts and homewares. Founded by fashionista Sophie Merchant in 2007, Merchant Archive is a unique treasure trove of antique trinkets, stylish furnishings, achingly cool fashion labels and beautiful vintage pieces; it’s a store we could browse for hours.
And then this year, the curator-in-chief Ms Merchant decided to make an important step from buyer to designer, launching Merchant Archive’s very own label. Of course, the standalone label’s brand of vintage-meets-modern is as a consummately stylish as the original boutique itself. Sorry to be a cliché but yes, you guessed it – these are what we’d describe as ‘forever’ pieces. Classics, with a contemporary twist if you like.
For Autumn/Winter 2014, the collection takes inspiration from references as eclectic and diverse as you might expect from MA. Avant-garde cubist painter, Marie Laurencin and Chicago street style photographer Vivian Maeier provided the starting point for the latest collection. And did we mention expressionist painter Franz Marc’s Tiger is in there too? And some aeroplane prints. On paper, this might sound a little out there, but it really works.
The sophisticated colour palette is all you’d expect from someone with excellent taste: there’s deep blues, warm berry and rust tones with accents of silver, cobalt and ochre. Chic bow-accented jackets and full midi skirts channel a late 1950’s aesthetic while boxy tops, joggers and boyfriend trousers bring the collection smartly into the Noughties. Let’s not forget the showstopping frocks or luxe fabrics either – two aspects that particularly characterise Merchant Archive collections. Subtlety, a sense of refinement and a timeless understanding of silhouette and style are what make this label one that will continue to transcend trends.
For more information and to shop the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, see the Merchant Archive website.