To truly know a city, you must wander its streets.  As a devotee of Paris, I had ridden the Metro when traipsing through the City of Light, but when I started using the Velib, my knowledge of the city radically shifted.  The relationship between various neighbourhoods was made clearer  to me and the city suddenly became much more intimate. When Benedictus invited me to London, I had the same problem.  My experience had either been in limos or the Tube so I have set it upon myself to reacquaint myself with London with my feet.  In this ongoing series, we will be looking at streets great and small for the fashion enclaves that they nurture.  To begin, Floral Street. With spring (barely) upon us and the crocus just beginning to shoot through, Floral seemed apropos.  It evens seems to be a fashion meme at the moment with floral, particularly for men, becoming the pattern for shirts and trousers.

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Like most of London, there are stories behind Floral Street.  Originally called Hart Street, the name was changed to accommodate the primary trade of flowers but it was also a fruit market.  The street was a cul-de-sac and during the 18th century there were no fewer than eleven pubs on the road and many illegal brothels.  Floral Street also had a thriving gay community in the 18th and 19th Century until Old Compton Street took over that moniker in contemporary times.

Ted Baker, 9-10 Floral St, London WC2E 9DS  T: 020 7836 7808

Ted Baker has

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Nicole Farhi, 11 Floral St, London WC2E 9DH  T: 020 7497 8713

Nicole Farhi is well known

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Nigel Hall, 15 Floral St, London WC2E 9DH  T:  02078 367922

Nigel Hall is an excellent around clothier with clean lines and light lining.  Good for those who use pomade.

McClintock, 29 Floral St, London WC2E 9DP  T:  020 7240 5055

There are several McClintock’s around town and this small shop front is one that has an excellent selection of eyewear.  McClintock concentrates on hand-made eyewear, stocking the staples such as Paul Smith and Oliver Peoples, but also having lesser known brands such as Res/Rei, YMC v McGinn, Filao Paris and Kirk Originals.  Maybe the MOSCOT of London…

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Paul & Joe, 33 Floral St, London WC2E 9DP  T:  020 7836 3388

Paul & Joe are a lively group out of Paris with stunning prints for both men & women.

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The Tintin Shop, 34 Floral St, London WC2E 9DJ  T: 020 7836 1131

Ahh…That loveable Belguim journalist/detective.  If this is your thing, this is the place to be.

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Agnes B., 35-36 Floral St, London WC2E 9DJ  T:  020 7379 1992

Agnes B has been a long time favorite.  Sitting somewhere in between the minimalism of Jil Sander and the lyricism of Liberty, Agnes B walks the perfect Gallic line.

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Mulberry, 38 Floral St, London WC2E 9DG  T: 020 7379 9065

The eponymous Mulberry is close to an IT bag without actually buying an IT bag, becoming an iconic British lifestyle brand with its headquarters in Somerset.

Camper, 39 Floral St, London WC2E 9DG  T: 020 7379 8678

Camper shoes can be described as….quirky, comfortable.  Not my cup of tea, but it may be yours, roundtoe.

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Paul Smith Floral Street, 40-44 Floral St, London WC2E 9TB  T: 020 7379 7133

Many people have already waxed on the eccentric English tailoring that Paul Smith embodies and his shop on Floral Street will not disappoint.

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