Because there’s no place quite like the Great British high street – from its niche independents, to seasonal Pop Ups and those expansive yet elegant department stores – Because Magazine is on a mission to champion the bricks-and-mortar of London in all its glory. Each week, we’ll beeline to the rails of our favourite retailers to scope out the must-have pieces and in-store exclusives that are more than worth making an effort for. This week, we're at St. Christopher's Place discovering Georgia Hardinge's concept store. 

For her debut store, sculptural and sustainable designer, Georgia Hardingecollaborated with multidisciplinary spatial designer, Lucy Sanderson, to create a unique retail experience.

In the construction process, the duo looked to repurposing building materials into permanent sculptures. “The idea behind the space was that everything would be celebrated, even what was already existing," explains Lucy. "Initially the plot was two Georgian buildings and a wall would have gone through the centre of the space so a lot of the walls are inverted."

Further pushing this sustainable concept that everything in the space deserves a second life, sustainable materials – including 
perspex, foam recycled glass and aluminium – have been reused. "For example, the base of our table is insulation used on foam piping and a recycled glass top," adds Lucy. "We have a lot of foam that usually gets used in building sites and we've left it in its original state – this operates as a way of absorbing sound and heating, whilst bringing an element of colour."

Fittings aside, both the smell and sound of the space has been created in response to the store designPerfumer, John Foley, concocted a scent called Floral With a Dark Heart – with the core ingredients champaca, charcoal and 
benzene, while musical artist, Sophia Loizou, created a corresponding sound piece.

Innovative and unorthodox, we could wax lyrical about the new space for hours, but keen to learn of the pieces to covet we quizzed Georgia on what we should be making a swift beeline for...

What… Illusion Kaftan.

Because...“The kaftan is also a good seller of ours... Everyone wears it on the beach! It is very easy to dress up or down – you can wear it with trainers if you like. When I originally made the pattern, I deconstructed a skirt and created a new shape for it because an original sun ray skirt goes from small to large at the bottom, whereas down here you are going from small in the centre to large around the arms, so it takes on a new shape. The most important thing when you are doing pleating is that it has to be flattering – back in the old days people always used to think that pleats weren’t flattering; I think I've modernised it and developed a new way to think about pleating."

What… Electrum dress.

Because... “The 'Electrum' dress is one of my best sellers. It's made with pineapple pleating (called 'fancy pleating'!) – the pleating is not particularly common because it has a chevron shape. We put it into the pattern and then steamed out the bottom so it takes on a new shape.”

What… Dazed dress.

Because...“The Dazed dress from our Spring/Summer 2019 collection is our number one best seller online – it fits the body perfectly and you don’t have to be 'skinny'; it suits all body types. We've 
dressed over thirty different influencers in this piece and it's graced the cover of the Telegraph Magazine worn by Dina Asher.”

Support bricks-and-mortar: visit Georgia Hardinge's store at 20-21 St Christopher's Pl, Marylebone, London W1U 1NW.

 Also on Because Magazine:

 Caroline Issa has created your dream summer capsule in collaboration with Label/Mix. 

 This is what #TwinningButNotTwinning looks like

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