Image courtesy of Claire de Rouen.
07 Dec 2011
Places: Claire de Rouen Bookshop in London
The Claire de Rouen Bookshop is not so much a place dealing with passing trade, but rather a destination people seek out, building its reputation based on word of mouth and those in the know
"I remember when I started in my first term at Central Saint Martins there was this amazingly striking woman who you would see walking up and down Charing Cross Road - strict black bob just covering her eyes, what looked like Alaia dresses and amazing lipstick, like some character from a Helmut Newton shoot", Giles Deacon said of Claire de Rouen, in an interview with Vogue.
Ms de Rouen's notoriety is just one of the aspects that adds to the intrigue of her bookshop, Claire de Rouen Books. With people often visiting out of sheer curiosity after being directed to a wonderful narrative on the website ("...The skeleton of an old fashioned telephone sits upon the glass table with a Bailey print"), the shop is not so much a place dealing with passing trade, but rather a destination people seek out, building its reputation based on word of mouth and those in the know. It is the regular haunt of an impressive fan base, with David Bailey calling it one of his "favourite shops in the world".
Offering itself as "A little secret hidden away above a sex shop on London's famous Charing Cross Road", the shop is a tiny but beautifully formed photo book emporium specializing in Photography and Fashion. The bookshelves are brimming with a quaint and eclectic mix of classic editions and rarities, with piles of books and magazines arranged on the floor and on the windowsills. Always keeping an eye on current trends, the selection of new and upcoming photography titles is second to none. Some of the latest titles in stock include Roe Ethridge's Le Luxe, A Living Man Declared Dead by Taryn Simon and Jim Goldberg's Open See.
The Exit Gallery, located next to Claire de Rouen Books is run in conjunction with the shop, and hosts a series of shows aiming to showcase the best in new photographic talent.
If you find yourself in the Charing Cross area, it is definitely worth paying a visit to Claire and her small team of creatives, including Otis, the resident Alsatian Pug cross.
For more information, visit www.clairederouen.co.uk.
Image courtesy of Claire de Rouen.
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