LETTER FROM…London

Story and photography by Grace Carroll, a Toronto fashion writer who moved to London to “conquer the fashion world” and live with her rock star BF.

It’s mid-August and I’m standing outside of one of London’s hottest fashion parties of the summer: Wolf & Badger’s Summertime Party in Notting Hill.

As I contemplate how to navigate my way through the crowd to reach the guest-list girl, I smirk at the thought of gelato being served to guests outside. Considering, of course, that the blustering winds and sudden low-temperature has me shivering profusely despite wearing a long-sleeved silk blouse and trousers in what should be the summer’s hottest month.

I slip through the door with my friend Becca in tow just as it begins to pour down outside. Everyone is packed into the boutique, and the claustrophobic environment creates a comforting coziness, sheltering us from the nasty storm that has erupted outside. We weave through the crowd until we discover the bar and each pick up a glass of Pimms (the only drink available) before tucking into a corner to catch up on our latest gossip. ‘Where is the vodka?’ I wonder. ‘I thought this was a fashion party…’

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LETTER FROM…London

Grace Carroll, a regular contributor to The Style Notebook, is a Toronto fashion writer who moved to London to “conquer the fashion world” and live with her rock star BF.

My flat has become the crash pad of choice for friends and family making pit stops in London-town this summer. Just days after my brother finally packed up and headed to Florence, my dear friend Brian Cleaver shows up on my doorstep.

A Toronto native who is now a full-time New Yorker, Brian is an exciting young photographer who glamorously crossed the pond for the weekend to celebrate his friend’s Marie Antoinette-themed B-day bash in Kent. As the spectacular soiree is not until Saturday night, I’ve got exactly one day to play host and show him a good time in the big smoke.

Brian meets me after work in Shoreditch and I drag him along to my meeting at Blackall Studios, a great gallery space just a couple of blocks away. Angel McKenzie, a former reality TV Big Brother star, is inside taking down her artworks that had been on display over the past week.

I was familiar with her show, thanks to the personal tour she gave me during the opening the weekend before. “It’s all about nudes, nudity and for me it’s what the future will look like—we’re all going to walk naked because of heat (…) and global warming” she tells me. With her use of bright colours and use of neon fur trim to frame her canvases, I find her work quite humorous although it’s hard to tell if that’s the intended reaction.

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LETTER FROM…London

Meet Grace Carroll, a Toronto fashion writer, who moved to London to “conquer the fashion world” and live with her rock star boyfriend. She’s smart, super stylish, and just a bit cheeky. We love her. You will too.

My younger brother, Jackson, has popped in to visit me in the big smoke for a week (or two, as he slyly mentions upon arrival) in the midst of his month-long summer Euro tour. I’m his second, earlier-than-expected stop after a romantic rendezvous in Paris with his long-distance lover went sour. In a bid to help him forget about his first nasty break-up, I do what any good older sister would do: ply him with alcohol, feed him vast amounts of artery-clogging foods, and promise him that he will soon stumble upon a dapper Englishman who will sweep him off his feet.

Recovering from the previous night’s arrival/forget-him celebration, Jackson and I warily gather ourselves mid-day to head into east London for a late lunch. Attempting to impress him with my-so-called “Fashionable London Life” we pop into 11 Boundary Boutique in Shoreditch, where I kiss-kiss with the shop girl (my friend Dana) before whisking him away to experience my favourite meal in the city.

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