Sisters turn back time at vintage shop
By Louisa Emery
"Our flat is beginning to look a bit eccentric," says Katie Rose Whiting.
A lifetime of hoarding has grown into a business and this month House of Lalka opened up its first pop-up shop.
But it is not company creators fashion designer Katie Rose and her sister Alice who are responsible for the collection, it's their late grandmother Regina Chmurska.
Their latest venture was launched after sorting through her huge assortment of clothing and accessories gathered over more than 50 years.
Katie Rose said: "There was lots of stuff that we couldn't wear ourselves, it was too big or not our style. She was a dress maker and had wanted to open up a shop herself."
The pair began with a stand at Vintage At Goodwood and discovered they had a market.
Alice said: "We are recycling fabric, making use of things with holes in. We are aiming to not just be a fashion label, more a lifestyle company in a similar way to Cath Kidston."
The pair are selling the clothes to raise the capital to remake garments in a similar style.
They have begun designing dresses and bags to be made in India next year.
Alice said: "It does feel sad to be selling off the things she collected but it is making her legacy last longer."
Prices start around £45 for a dress and £15 for shoes and jewellery. House of Lalka will be operating from Sisters and Daughters in Tranquil Vale, Blackheath from now until June next year.
House of Lalka modelled their vintage collection at The Reminiscence Centre in Blackheath.
Katie used to work in Sisters and Daughters and would come to the cafe and shop on her break.
She said: "I would come here and think about what I wanted to do. I realised there was nowhere selling vintage clothing around here."
The building is full of bric-a-brac, nic-nacs and antiques and is operated by Age Exchange.
It is staffed by volunteers and works with older people to improve their quality of life through reminiscences.
They run workshops, organise knitting circles and go out into schools to talk about the past.
Go to age-exchange.org.uk