Maddie Salters pays a visit to Coverture & The Garbstore in Notting Hill for the launch of Emma Greenhill’s Matchmaker line of scarves.
A colourful, pop-art window greets guests at Coverture & The Garbstore, a Notting Hill transplant that has grown and flourished since its relocation from King’s Road. Nestled into a quiet but hip street a stone’s throw from Portobello Market, it is a fashion and lifestyle haven where authenticity comes first, and a carefully selected group of designers brings together womenswear, mensware, kidswear, and home ware in a cohesive, stylish collection.
I visited for the launch of Emma Greenhill’s scarf line, Matchmaker, newly added to the mix. When I entered the shop, I was surprised to find a typical London townhouse re-imagined as something straight out of Vogue meets Through the Looking Glass. The shop only stocks clothes made of sumptuous fabrics, in keenly elegant cuts, with more than a dab of luxury showing through. But, refreshingly, none of it takes itself too seriously. There’s a bouncy, fun nature to the odds and ends around the shop (from tableware with grumpy fruit painted on, to bright yellow back-to-school backpacks pinned to the wall) that’s warm and welcoming. At the center of it all, the new Emma Greenhill display.
Emma’s scarves ring with bubbly fun. Presented front and center, the scarves were hanging from the ceiling and draped across the railings, and their main display table was covered with flowers and children’s cut-and-paste paper art. Made from cashmere and modal, feather-soft to the touch with impeccable threading, each design reverberates with color. Bright poppy reds and electric violets splash eclectically along the length of each, and unfolding one will reveal an entire painting, frantic with shapes, energetic with lines, and representative of the artist herself.
Emma Greenhill, and irrepressibly friendly artist, paints all of her designs with gouache on canvas first. Then, she painstakingly photographs her work to be screenprinted onto the scarves in Italy, at the same factory that produces the likes of Alexander McQueen. When I asked what she was inspired by, her answer was “Gertrude Stein, Cartier, and my Grandmother.” The combination couldn’t be more clear in her blend of high-quality raw materials and personal themes, with splash portraits that recall Stein’s Luxembourgh gallery, once laden with vibrant works by Matisse and Picasso. Her favourite in the new collection, Iris, bares a bright portrait of the grandmother who it was named for.
The whimsy of the entire evening was bolstered by Traveling Gin, a drinks duo who parked their bicycle-come-bar right inside the store and were on hand to sling fizzy, tangy blackberry-and-thyme cocktails infused with their gins. Paired together with rawfood cheesecake bites, decorated in edible flora, gave even more of that Wonderland charm to the evening. ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ done deliciously.
Coverture & The Garbstore is a must visit for any London local looking to spruce up their wardrobe this season with a blend of artisan craft and high-fashion. The Emma Greenhill collection certainly adds a powerhouse element to this, with scarves that would look at home at the cafe or the National Opera. Their bright, sunny mien will be especially welcome for bringing a bit of springtime back to us, as we finally plunge into autumnal weather.
Coverture & The Garbstore is located at 188 Kensington Park Road, W11 2ES. Find out more at couvertureandthegarbstore.com.