A good boutique sells things, a great boutique sells a lifestyle, which is exactly what The Cross in London does. Established in 1996 by Sam Robinson, The Cross is one of those rare places where you drop by to browse and leave wanting to take everything with you. Much like now, the UK was emerging from a recession when The Cross was founded and it was hard for talented, yet unknown designers to find someone willing to take a risk and stock them. Sam was prepared to take this risk and helped give then-unknown names such as Matthew Williamson, Pippa Small and Neisha Crossland the exposure they needed to grow. Sixteen years later The Cross is still going strong, selling a wonderful mix of fashion, interiors and accessories. Here, Sam, who lives in London with her husband and three children lets us into her style secrets..
My uniform works for me because it’s relaxed enough to drop the kids off at school and then rush to work. As all my pieces are beautifully cut in stunning fabrics I can easily wear them for any meetings I may have. I tend to wear Swildens‘ jeans or trousers by Piazza Sempione during the day. Swildens do a great crop jean with a little side zip. Although JBrand jeans are a brilliant cut for me, so I have a good collection and I always wear MIH cropped Paris jeans in the summer. I’ve also been wearing my new jeans from New York based denim label DL1961, which we are stocking this Autumn.
I like camisoles by Dosa worn and shirts by Rebecca Taylor. I prefer not to wear print or patterned tops as I am quite curvy, but I will do embroidery instead. Megan Park is good for embroidered tops and Zero + Maria Cornejo do great black sleeveless asymmetric tops which work as a great basic. Forte Forte do amazing softly tailored jackets and I try to get one every season. This season’s tuxedo is in a beautiful midnight blue linen.
Now it’s getting warmer I can start to wear my collection of stretch cotton printed skirts by textile designer Samantha Sung. She does a great Pencil skirt just below the knee and a great pleated knee length skirt that looks quite 50’s. I love them because the prints are original and stunning, and the fabric can be washed in the machine. They can be worn with a t-shirt and flip flops or easily dressed up for the evening. They’re perfect for travelling as they don’t crease.
I work on the shop floor so its always flats for the day. Flip flops by Liwan or Star Mela, Candice Cooper leather trainers, Penelope Chilvers desert boots, pumps by Bloch. And, I carry a big bag by Totem or Bolam.
I always wear a gold star sign necklace by Brooke Gregson, my flat diamond engagement ring by William Welstead and my giant chalcedony signet ring designed by Eliza from Felt. I also love Lena Skadegard‘s strands of semi precious beads which I wrap around my neck…
If I’m going out straight from work I may put on a pair of fabulous heels. My current favourites are by Maria Cornejo for Zero. Although, I am more likely to wear a pair of Zero black silk trousers or leggings for the evening with a Forte Forte jacket, big earrings, big rings, big heels…I have a pair of killer heels by Rupert Sanderson that I looove. And, I have a great collection of vintage clutch bags that I will pick from for the evening…
I love Eve Lom’s cleanser and TLC moisturiser and I adore Idrasol body cream by Santa Maria Novella. My perfume for the summer is Eau d’Italie, a citrus fragrance from Positano. Try the great website Cult Beauty for fantastic range of beauty products.
I love going to the kids’ store Bonton when I am working in Paris. When I was last there I had to get one of their neon pink baby grows for my little girl Zosia. Petit Aimé in London’s Notting Hill also stocks some great French kids’ labels. I bought some vintage smocked dresses from Felt in Chelsea Green (also in London) last week. Little girls look so good in vintage! For Zosia’s christening, I bought a pair of handmade gold shoes from The Little Shoemaker. I am lucky as my accountant Marion loves to knit, so I am getting a great supply of hand knitted coats and cardigans from her which look great with the smocked dresses and knitted tights!
I love going to markets and vintage shops and am a bit of a magpie. I have a passion for old French linen embroidered sheets – I sleep in them, have blinds made from them, use them as tablecloths for long Sunday lunches. The Cloth Shop in London’s Portobello Road has a good supply. Other things I love collecting include brightly coloured, vintage bowls from Liwan on Rue Saint Sulpice in Paris. I also love the neon coloured hand towels, linen sheets and pillow cases from Merci in Paris. I have a great collection of rugs recently purchased from a trip to Essaouira in Morocco. And I do love to trawl down Lillie Road in Fulham for furniture and light fittings.
While I love to collect art, I don’t have a huge budget. I love Chris Kenny’s work and have some which I bought from the England & Co. gallery. I have also bought some ceramic works directly from Bouke de Vries who was once my neighbour.
IMAGE: Tamzin Haughton