Like other cities around the world that were once major global ports, in the streets of Bristol you can still feel the reverberations from the chaotic mix of cultures that have passed through the city bringing with them their own sights, sounds and tastes. In the same way that places such as Liverpool, Marseille and New Orleans are the sparkling cultural light of their respective regions, so Bristol is an undisputed artistic beacon in the South West.
Where better than in Bristol therefore, to set up a 50s fashion pop-up shop? Just off the bustling Broadsmead, on Bold Street you can find a treasure-trove of mid-century fasion in the form of Lady K Loves. The inside of this gem of a shop resembles an upturned dressing-up box, celebrating the most chic and audacious of the 1950s. On the shelves Lady K Loves promotes itself as selling ‘Ladies Rockability Clothing.’ High-waist jeans are stacked amongst retro swimwear, and pencil skirts hang next to pin up dresses. The shop is owned by Stroud-born Kessie Hodges who designs the majority of the items inside herself. As well as her own products, Lady K Loves offers clothing by other independent fashion outlets in the UK, including the 40s inspired Heyday!. Though the range is eclectic, the styles are brought together in embodying the spirit of mid-20th century fashion. Belts and bags are on offer as well as rocker jewelry and tattoo-inspired necklaces. In addition to all these things there are some more subdued, vintage items similar to these cashmere cardigans at peterhahn.co.uk. Fun and unabashed, the shop caters for all shapes and ages. There is however only a limited amount of items in each size. Kessie herself describes this as a bonus, meaning that you can buy a piece from Lady K Loves and be pretty certain that you aren’t going to bump into someone at a party wearing the same thing. Emergence of Lady K Loves Kessie has been designing clothes since she was a child and when she was working in an office in London she continued to work at her passion. She created a website for Lady K Loves which quickly gathered an ardent following. As she began to do more and more trade shows with her clothes Kessie eventually decided to take the plunge in opening a pop-up shop in Bristol. Although she already had a small studio in Stroud, she believed that a shop such as Lady K Loves would only benefit off the buzz and bustle of a city like Bristol. She has been proved right. Since opening the shop in April all types of individuals have been flooding in and on the back of this success Kessie plans to open up a permanent base in Broadsmead later on this year. Little companies like Kessie’s will only further add to the colour and liveliness of this city. It is the quirky and unique shops like Lady K Loves that sustain the city as a hive of diversity and surprise, and further cement the South West in general as a playground of alternative art and fashion.