"The arrival of Flip on the London shopping scene at the end of the 70s coincided nicely with the Rockabilly revival - cheap chic at it's best."
Jill from N8 has fond memories of Flip.
The arrival of Flip (American vintage clothing) on the London shopping scene at the end of the 70s coincided nicely with the Rockabilly revival - cheap chic at it’s best. There were branches in three key locations; Covent Garden, King’s Road and Shoreditch. The latter was a far cry from the uber cool district it is today, but interestingly held the best stock. It was mostly frequented by the cognoscenti hankering after a bygone era and students from the London College of Fashion next door. The stock was considered too esoteric for the other two branches which catered for a more mainstream clientele.
Glad rags at midnight
The Covent Garden branch was unusual in that it remained open until midnight every night except Sunday. Therein lay its appeal. Long after the pubs had called last round, the Long Acre branch would still be pumping out loud music and wooing the customers. Even at that late hour, who could resist rail upon rail of glad rags that hadn’t seen the light of day for thirty years? The night was young and impromptu transformations were the norm. Whether it be a Schiaparelli dress for a tenner or a fifties satin party frock for a few quid more, it was time to ditch the Bobo Kaminsky jeans in favour of more singular attire. Try it on, keep it on, pay for it (although a lot of Flip habitués skipped that bit), then sashay on down to the Wag club feeling like a million dollars. Sadly, Flip went into receivership in 1985. The Long Acre site continued to trade for several years under new ownership but lacked the appeal (and vintage clothing) of the original. The Timberland store now trades at that address.