I have been meaning to review Crescent Trading since Jay suggested I might like it.
I managed to take a day off work and, accompanied by the ever plucky and up-for-it Megan of Pigeonwishes, we had a quick lunch and took off for deepest Hackney. As we walked from Liverpool Street to Quaker Street in Spitalfields the heavens opened and we got hailed on! Big lumps of hail settled in Meg’s plaits, her beige shoes were sodden, and we were extremely damp when we arrived at the bright, welcoming showroom.
This is a place where you are greeted and made to feel welcome. My soggy bag and scarf were placed in the office while we had a good look around. Phillip and Jeremy showed us lots of fabrics, offered samples and told us the composition, use and price. The last surviving cloth merchants in East London with a tidy, well organised warehouse, they have a great range of quality stock, most of it ends of rolls and oddments, with a great showing of wool.
There were nice silks too, including the remains of Jenny Packham’s previous season. The silks were mainly around £12 a metre. If you are thinking of making a Chanel jacket you may find something suitable. Or a Westwood outfit. It was said that Vivienne herself frequents the shop from time to time.
Between the rolls of fabric Megan and I fell in love. With some wonderful cashmere cloth. From Johnstone’s of Elgin this fabric was light, super soft and beautiful. Johnstone’s sells it at £155 a metre; here in the shop it is a mere £50 a metre. Out of my price range, for sure, but the two shade of grey (slightly animalistic) piece at the bottom of the frame pulled me in. Philip said his partner had a suit made in it, and I am sure she looks amazing. Megan and I just breathed in the atmosphere around the cloth. Truly great fabric.
If you want high quality fabrics you can buy them here, but the prices are fair rather than keen. Although Philip explained their prices are much lower than Berwick street I have found better prices on the high street. The lovely blue double crepe that I bought from Crescent for £20 a metre (he gave me 1.5m) is available (ex Roland Mouret) at Simply Fabrics for just £8 a metre. On the other hand double crepe wool is £35 from Truro on the internet and £90 a metre at Joel’s. This raises the question for me about how much everyone marks up their fabric and what constitutes a bargain.