Laced With Love

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LACED WITH LOVE

WORDS BY MEGHNA MUKERJEE AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUHI PANDE

As part of our Kickstarter rewards, we offered backers the chance to have a story written about a place, establishment or person they would like featured on The City Story. Deborah Cohen recommended VV Rouleaux in Marylebone. Thank you, Deborah, for your support!

Haberdasheries are a thing of amusement for me. I grew up, luckily, watching my very creative mum turn old shawls and saris into dresses for my sister and I, coats for the stray dogs around where we lived in Kolkata during the winters, ornate table mats and pillowcases. If I didn’t like an outfit, my mum knew exactly where to add a pattern to turn it into one that I adored. We would often go pick up the trimmings together and the excitement I felt imagining what would eventually become of those supplies is palpable, even in memory.

I have unfortunately inherited none of that resourcefulness, but I know my mum will love VV Rouleaux. It sits at the corner of a street dotted with some interesting retailers – a buttons-only store, a shop selling all kinds of jams and chutneys. But VV Rouleaux is in its own league and is on a mission to make anyone feel unique. It’s the Marilyn Monroe of haberdasheries. You cannot help being drawn in.

You can find an overwhelming variety of ribbons on offer – silk, cotton, velvet, satin, and taffeta. Printed, monochrome or polka-dotted, this shop has all the trimmings and tassels you’d never think existed and didn’t know you wanted. Reams and rows of colours capture your imagination – a future cushion cover here, a potentially fancy waistcoat there and maybe some kitsch buttons for effect on a necklace.

Printed, monochrome or polka-dotted, this shop has all the trimmings and tassels you’d never think existed and didn’t know you wanted.

It’s not just the variety of ribbons and materials, though, that captive your senses at VV Rouleaux. There are the feathers – lavish and bold – that sprinkle glamour across the small store. The gorgeous hats, fascinators and hair bands make you want to throw a Great Gatsby themed party just to have an occasion to do them justice. These pieces are for the confident. There’s hardly anything understated about VV Rouleaux.

Annabel Lewis, the founder of VV Rouleaux, closed her flower shop in Parsons Green to open a ribbon shop in 1990. Her love for flowers, however, is apparent here as you can feast your eyes on a selection of beautiful, hand-made flowers of all colours and sizes. It’s an ideal destination to find statement corsages as well.

VV Rouleaux has won numerous awards for its impeccable style and its products adorn the pages of almost all leading fashion and interior decorating publications regularly. You can also buy these products at UK’s high-end retailers such as Liberty and John Lewis. But this store at Marylebone embodies what VV Rouleaux is about – individuality and panache. From its vintage, quirky lampshades to the glitzy window displays, it spells out exclusivity in every inch, giving you all the ingredients you need to create something special, something rare.

I now have a bunch of multicoloured lace and ribbons from VV Rouleaux occupying a shelf in my cupboard (I dare anyone to go in there and not spend a pretty penny). I don’t know how to use any of it but I’ll save them for the next time I see my mum. While I can only admire the rows of silks and satins and run my fingers across the different textures, my mum can bring them to life. She always knows exactly what to do with a smile and a ribbon.

VV Rouleaux, 102 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2QD. Phone: 020 7224 5179
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