Sneak preview: Guts for Garters

The founders, Cassie and Rachel. (Image by Toby Ross Southall)

Last week I was invited for a little sneak preview of Guts for Garters, a new concept store to be launched this March in Camden. The founders, Rachel Chudley and Cassie Beadle, met whilst studying at the Courtauld Institute and aim to bring art, fashion and design together in their new space.

As soon as I walked into the room at the Hospital Club where they’d set up camp for the day, I knew this wasn’t just another concept store. Guts for Garters will run for around 6 weeks at a time around a certain theme, the first one being The Royal We. They have asked several designers and artists to contribute to their concept by creating items especially around this theme, as well as having sourced relevant vintage items.

Although they decided this theme a year ago, the timing of it couldn’t be more relevant, with the royal wedding really making anything royal-related a very hot topic. The best thing about Guts for Garters is the variety in items on offer and the wildly different interpretations of the theme. In the fashion department there are beautiful archive pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Norman Hartnell, next to emerging designers like Andrew Walker who makes bespoke shirts (they’re something else!), Child of the Jago and Grace du Prez. There’s also a vintage offering, of course.

Artists involved in the project include Jamie Reid who brings a punk flavour to the concept (and who you may know from the Sex Pistols’ artwork), Martha Todd (the gorgeous ceramic rabbit), Carrie Reichardt, to name just a few.

Many artists have contributed original items to Guts for Garters, like the incredibly beautiful wallpaper made entirely out of mould (don’t worry, after the pattern was created from mould, this was made into a digital print), the Andrew Walker shirts which are made and dyed onto your body, or the slightly tongue-in-cheek jewellery by Jasleen Kaur.

I’d need more than the space I have on here to explain all the treasures I was introduced to at Guts for Garters, as every little item has been so carefully selected, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking. The mix of all these different ideas make for quite an eclectic bunch, but it never feels like a jumble sale. Everything is carefully selected and curated, which is where Cassie and Rachel’s art history background comes into play. This is essentially a gallery, where you just happen to be able to shop.

Although this was just a taster of what the real thing would be like, I can’t wait to see how it all comes together when Guts for Garters really launches in March. Over the past few years I’ve gotten quite disheartened by Camden, with the lack of originality and continuing development of the market, so it will be great to see something new and innovative opening up just around the corner. Cassie and Rachel have a great concept on their hands, and I have no doubt their passion and talent will make Guts for Garters a great success.

Guts for Garters
Opening March
205 Royal College Street
NW1 London

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