Last week I was thrilled to be invited in for a special exploration of one of my favourite boutiques in Edinburgh, Godiva, which is located just beyond the Grassmarket, surrounded by amazing bars and restaurants (my faves include Lovecrumbs and Dragonfly), vintage shops galore (Armstrong’s is a must-see) and of course the unforgettable Edinburgh Castle view! For any tourists here for the Edinburgh Festival this summer, or if you’re a resident and just fancy some shopping, Godiva should be number one on your to-do list, if you love supporting independent designers, chatting to the loveliest staff in the city, and admiring the beautiful visual merchandising amongst handmade, bespoke and vintage fashion.
I arrived on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, dressed inappropriately for the weather as per usual, in my velvet devoré trousers from Topshop, suede boots from River Island and and a vintage fur coat. When meeting new people its my automatic reflex to give them a wee cuddle, of course in this case with my soggy fluffy coat it was not a pleasant experience for Natasha Cornall, online and social media manager at Godiva Boutique. However, we immediately hit it off, as fellow Midlanders and vintage/retro lovers. Natasha spoke about the store and its wonderful stock with such enthusiasm and authenticity that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the brand all over again.
What is interesting about Godiva is how the store manages to mix new designs with vintage pieces so seamlessly to fit with one strong brand identity; a kitsch and colourful print paradise! In the past I’ve bagged some serious vintage bargains from Godiva, including a beautiful silk men’s shirt and a multiway brown leather backpack; in the shop at the moment its all summer colours and floaty shapes, along with classic accessories like leather handbags and printed scarves, with even shoes, belts and jackets thrown in for good measure. I was gifted by Natasha a wonderful Godiva 10th anniversary special edition silk scarf which now alternates between hanging proudly on my bedroom wall to slinging around my neck or hair on any rare non-windy days!
Natasha talked me through a lot of the different brands, particularly the Scottish designers as supporting local creatives and ethical fashion is what Urbanity is all about! The fashionistas that really caught my eye were the cult Scottish fashion brands Rowan Joy and Karen Mabon. Karon Mabon creates handmade silk scarves, and other lovely wearable art, like this beautiful ‘hairdressers’ piece, stunning sleepwear, and a gorgeous umbrella, currently being exhibited at Local Heroes. Rowan MacKintosh of Rowanjoy designs and makes bespoke bridal-wear along with delightful womenswear, with some exclusive one-off vintage-inspired garms available at Godiva Boutique.
Yet another great aspect of Godiva (c’mon guys, give me something negative to write about!) is the jewellery. From statement dinosaur brooches that I never knew were a wardrobe necessity until now, to delicate, minimalist pendatnts, they have independent jewellers from all of the UK displaying their unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings amongst the cute and kitsch decor of the store. The brands that really caught my eye, the magpie that I am, were Matthew Calvin and Silk Purse Sow’s Ear.