There are many fabric shops on the Goldhawk Road, heaving with all sorts of bizarre and bling reams of textiles. if you like glittery fabric, I recommend a visit – you will have never seen such wonders. Walking into one of these plush emporia is like entering the royal harem of Babylon (if Darius had had a penchant for polyester and was looking to save a few quid). I have absolutely no doubts that MC Hammer’s trousers were cut from Goldhawk Road cloth.
Now I know these places can be a bit natty, even sketchy. I once saw one of them being raided by the rozzers – it was the front for a (quite surprisingly large) drugs operation. So I expect the fabulous and the gaudy but my heart skipped a beat when I saw what one unhinged window-dresser has created. Evidently after a good bucket of PCP.
Hang on a second… Is this serious? Is the merchant psychotic? Am I psychotic? Or is this some perverse parody of the film Mannequin?
Henry VIII squatting in a yurt of spangled drapes… Look at the elegant pose, the jaunty cap, the sparkling jewelleries, the butter-stained ruff, the arrogant lust in the eye of the king! The vignette was created by a craftsman so skilful, it would take Shelley to capture his majestic eye for detail.
You have to wonder what they are hoping to achieve, who they are hoping to attract to their wares. Probably the queen. I am sure she likes MC Hammer.
Shepherd’s Bush market is a peaceful place. Hang on, hear me out. It is long and narrow, running along the Hammersmith and City line arches between Goldhawk Road and Shepherd’s Bush, and so has acoustics which seem to dampen sound. Even when the market is relatively full, you sense a heavy hush underneath the bustle, disturbed only by the occasional hiss of a tube-train surfing past.
Admittedly there is some crazy, run-down shit in the market. You can buy hair-pieces and stomachs, cauldrons and fibrous thongs, jackfish and clothes of quite astonishing mis-design. This rack of oddity is typical blog fodder for me.
But today I chose to take a shortcut through the market after all the traders had packed up and pulled down the shutters. I reckon that after all the traders had left the character of the market was clearer to see, distilled in the stillness. However, my next visit will be in the daytime – I’d love to see the goods purveyed by ‘Hash Choice Gents Wear’.