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Mercedes Grower

 in People
Words Kirk Truman Portraits Joseph Lynn “You’re feeling stuff which is enormous – it’s like being hit with a double-edged sword…” If you knew where it would end, would you ever begin? Breakups. They’re a pain in the ass, and have a habit of being weird, powerful and at times life-changing – sometimes all three. For Mercedes Grower, how we slam the brakes on in a relationship became the inspiration behind her first independent film project.…
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Wild at Heart

Words & Portraits Etienne Gilfillan With its fantasy Tudor architecture and majestic doors flanked by two Imperial Guardian lions crouched among baskets of geranium, sweet pea and red roses, Liberty’s entrance always makes me think of the set of some silent Hollywood epic. It’s somehow rendered even more cinematic by the stylish female figure tending the blooms of this grand store’s floral emporium, Wild at Heart. You can’t miss Astrid Haynez, the store manager, and you certainly…
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Daniel Lismore

 in People
Words Kirk Truman Portraits Joseph Lynn “Soho became a playground to me. I’d walk around the area in awe…” It is mid-afternoon in Dean Street’s Groucho Club when Daniel strides up to the first floor to meet me. Strikingly tall, with impossibly long wavy brown hair, he’s draped in a long grey coat and insists that, today, he is dressed down. I suspect, though, that no day is really a dress-down day for the inimitable Mr Lismore.…
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Teddy Ondo Ella

 in People
Words Kirk Truman Portraits Etienne Gilfillan “For me, it was about creating a beautiful label with the right clothes to help tell the story of my Gabonese culture…” We first meet at Marylebone’s Ivy Cafe, going on to wander through the backstreets of the neighbourhood, crossing the border into Fitzrovia. We pass window after window, discussing London’s high streets, men’s and women’s fashion, Paris, New York and the eternal, magnetic pull of the metropolis. Teddy Ondo…
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Betsy

 in People
Words Pippa Brooks Portraits Etienne Gilfillan “…I get a kick out of the journey, the challenge and all that makes me tick.” Betsy strides into the room in silver platform heels, photo-ready with immaculate hair and make-up, and immediately launches into a major anecdote about her recent experiences during Paris Fashion Week. ”There was Karl Lagerfeld, Mario Testino, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell… the most eccentric, glamorous people EVER! So we had dinner and I sang for…
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Fenella Fielding

 in People
Words Robert Chilcott Portraits Etienne Gilfillan “Of course, being dressed as a prostitute meant that everybody was terribly interested to have a word with you and so forth…” The husky, seductive voice is unmistakeable after all these years: no one else sounds like Fenella Fielding, who remains a unique and much-loved figure of British stage and screen. You can hear for yourself: she’s currently reading her memoirs at a Saturday matinee residency at the Phoenix Artist Club…
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Vulgar Tongues

Words Cathi Unsworth Portraits Etienne Gilfillan “Cant – thieves’ slang – is the oldest slang we have, and Soho in the past was never short of characters who were living on the far side of the law…” Soho and its environs, with its hostelries, clubs, ‘vaulting academies’ and nefarious street trades, can be credited as one of the greatest sources of slang. Through its ‘rookeries’, teeming with ‘jades’, ‘footpads’ and ‘mollies’, once strolled a venerable…
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Joe and Co.

Words Matthew Ross Photography Kirk Truman It was 1997, and Soho was down to the roach of its truly gritty days. Joe Mills bought the lease on a debt-ridden Peter Street cobblers and opened The Lounge, his first hair salon. The door was kept locked, and female clients were chaperoned to the salon from Wardour Street. DJs, Maltese gangsters, working girls and celebrities: Joe worked his craft on all comers. Two decades later, the neon…
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Alex Zane

 in People
Words & Portraits Kirk Truman “A little bit of luck, and a little bit of talent. It was the right place and the right time…” It’s early on a cold December morning in London. “It’s been a while since I’ve walked through Soho at this time. It’s wonderful: you get to walk about and see last night’s decadence splattered all over the pavements. The bottles being collected ring to the sound of the mischief, mayhem and…
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Aesop

Words & Photography Kirk Truman “Everything is driven by the product itself and the quest for superior quality…” Even on a crowded London high street, there’s a certain store that stands out from the crowd. There aren’t many brands that have successfully mixed aesthetically pleasing design with high quality skincare products, but Aesop has done exactly that, and much, much more. It all started in Melbourne in 1987, when hairdresser Dennis Paphitis launched a small range…
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Lesley Lewis

 in People
Words Kirk Truman Portraits Etienne Gilfillan “It’s an institution, but I’ve made it my own institution with time… I do with it what I feel is the right thing to do with it.” When you walk into 49 Dean Street, it looks as though every inch of the walls is decorated with pictures evoking the memories and characters of the Soho of yesteryear. You soon realise, though, that it’s not just the walls here that tell a…
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Bao

Words & Photography Kirk Truman “Initially, we weren’t set on it having any longevity…” I am anything but patient, but to get into Bao I waited for 20 minutes with a can of Taiwanese lager in my hand. I’ve been watching the ever-expanding queue outside for a year now as I’ve gone up and down Soho’s Lexington Street, and wondering: what makes all these people stand in line for a restaurant that only seats 15 people…