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Blustons of Kentish Town - London RIP

Blustons of Kentish Town

"It survived WW2, but now this purveyor of magnificently dated garments has finally closed its doors: RIP Blustons of Kentish Town"

Blustons of Kentish Town

London seems to have morphed into a place where one short-lived, half-arsed concept thought up by some berk with a radical haircut is replaced by another short-lived, half-arsed concept by another berk with a radical haircut.

Longevity ceases to be a factor as London develops into a city for faux hispters from Winchester with money and the memory span of an ageing goldfish. Thus, I was shocked to see the demise of a true survivor, the splendid Blustons of Kentish Town. This was the real deal, a truly wonderful anachronism. This was a shop that, from behind an inter-war shop front with a false display window surrounded by a tiled entrance, sold magnificently dated clothing with handwritten explanation notes describing the particular garment.

The signage with the title ‘Blustons’ was something that you could imagine being surrounded with sandbags to avoid Hitler’s wrath. The shop was opened by Jane and Samuel Bluston in 1931 and has been run by family members since. However, as with so many one-off family-run shops, the costs have increased as custom has fallen off. I was told that it increasingly relied on the fashion sensibilities of Irish women of a certain age and members of the transgender community.

Now it has closed. The frontage remains as the building is listed but it will never be the authentic Blustons again. The sadly deserted shop window has venerable steel mannequins forlornly resting on a bed of fake grass naked and unloved, and Kentish Town becomes a high street like so many in London, with pound shops and Iceland for the poor and posh coffee shops and delicatessens for the affluent and ne’er the twain do meet.