Have you always wanted your own boutique?
I come from a farming family in Somerset, so when I was 13 my dad said that my brother would inevitably take over the farm and asked me what I would like to do. I knew that I wanted a shop.
How did you go about it?
I’ve always made things and loved fashion, but I was a bit of a party girl. Then I trained in dental hygiene and I still work a couple of days a week in Harley Street – I can’t leave my clients.
Why did you choose Kilburn Lane?
It chose me! I was friends with the man who used to run a furniture store here, but he gave it up for a creative director role and gave me two days to decide. I came in here with a little wardrobe of clothes and I can’t believe how it’s taken off over the last two years – I’ve found my thing.
Can you name-drop a few fans?
I always feel uncomfortable doing this… Roisin Murphy visited yesterday; Kate Moss and Kimberley Stuart also shop here. Stylists, fashion and interior designers come here regularly, too.
How would you describe your style?
Vintage with a contemporary edge.
Who are your favourite designers?
Ossie Clark – his clothes move beautifully and don’t date. I love the beauty of Yves Saint Laurent – he was a master. Bordelle, based in Notting Hill, creates amazing stuff.
What is your favourite era for fashion?
I love the decadence of Victorian times – the fashion is as beautiful as couture, but at a fraction of the price. Everything from that period a one-off and has survived the test of time. Twenties and ’30s stage burlesque is such fun. I think ’30s fashion hangs so beautifully and I also love the simplicity of ’40s fashion. I like vintage clothes to look like they’ve been worn; I want people to enjoy their clothes.
What are your fashion no-nos?
Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Who are your style icons?
Coco Chanel and Charlotte Gainsbourg. I like the effortless, demure look of red-lipsticked, fag-smoking French actresses.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Lychee martinis and Marlboro Lights.
What’s your current bestseller?
Fleet Ilya’s cuff clutch [£495].
Have you ever struggled to part with an item of clothing?
That’s something I’ve had to get over. A stylist noticed it once when she was buying a Victorian seaside skirt – it was red and white striped like a deckchair.