On Thursday I was invited to attend the 6th Birthday party for SMUG, a gorgeous, independent lifestyle and interior shop on Camden Passage. I've adored the shop for ages, especially after attending the Betty and Walter preview there last year (the post from that day is here), and so I was crazy excited to be back and surrounded by interesting and creative people (and beautiful stationary and homewares!) I was quite early (for possibly the first time in my entire life) and so ended up sitting on a little ledge opposite and doodling for a while before going in. Having my teeny little journal with me is so helpful for situations like that - it's nice to always have something to do.
The shop is just as beautiful as always - every single product is so perfectly chosen for the store by the oh-so-lovely founder Lizzie Evans, and presented in such a specific way that oozes this pastel, summery, happy aesthetic and makes you wish you lived somewhere so uplifting and pretty. Weirdly, this perfect layout is not intimidating - instead, you can't help but feel seriously at home in SMUG, and able to rummage through their beautiful things without feeling like you are being watched or judged for flicking through a notebook or something. The whole shop is such a wonderful idea...with close links to designers such as Thornback & Peel and Betty and Walter, it also holds creative workshops upstairs and has a café downstairs that serves gorgeous homemade food. It cannot be described as anything less than an ideal haven for designers and those who love creating and supporting other creators - in other words, for anyone into art, interiors or fashion, it is pretty much heaven.
I think one of SMUG's best features is it's distinct style: everything fits together, so you feel like (and are) being sold products that Lizzie herself genuinely likes, and not products that have just been bought randomly in bulk to try and make money. It is very much a shop for creative people, with pieces made by creative people, chosen by creative people: there's nothing not to like about something so fresh and organic. It really does represent what an independent shop should be.
I had such a lovely evening with the lovely ladies from Rumour PR, and really enjoyed being able to chat to Lizzie and even have a fruit portrait drawn of me by the amazing illustrator Ruby Taylor. The store is really such a beautiful creation and so worth a visit - you can really feel how much energy and love Lizzie has put into making it a reality, and her efforts are visible through the beautiful choice of products and the comfortable atmosphere and uplifting ethos of the shop. If you are in Islington, it really is a must-see.
In other news I got some film developed! I've been using it up over the last three weeks or so, meaning the bulk of the photos I got back documented almost daily my activities over the exam period and the following break from school. Above are from a dreamy afternoon spent cycling in Hyde Park before dinner in China Town.
I love the way some of these came out - I am still learning the ways of my camera, and so it's always a nice surprise when a image comes out the way I wanted it to. The above set were from seeing the 'Artist as Collector' exhibition with my friend at the Barbican.
The Tate Britain - I rarely take portraits but I love how these of my family turned out? The camera I use is so temperamental - sometimes pictures come out really crisp, like these, other times completely dark or fuzzy. Also, the Tate is such a beautiful building.
And a few miscellaneous photos from recently. I'm looking forward to trying to keep up documenting my life in film - I love the way that one roll can hold an overview of the best parts of the last few months. Anyway, have a lovely week - thank you SMUG for a lovely evening!