It is a truism that there are not nearly enough shops left where you can buy ribbons; in the world, in England, in London. And if you want to roll up (oh let the ribbon puns begin) and compare periwinkle blue grosgrain ribbon in eight different widths, then only one shop will do: V V Rouleaux. Often referred to as ‘that ribbon shop’ in hushed tones,V V Rouleaux have been trading in ribbons for 26 years now. And yet it isn’t just about a fabulous range of stock, though they have that, it is about getting and keeping customers, keeping on top of trends, looking the part and, most importantly, serving the customers well.
They have just revamped their website, but to visit V V Rouleaux in person is to be in haberdashery heaven. Rolls of ribbons are housed, or rather cupped, in curved galvanized shelves, inspired by milk-cooling trays founder Annabel Lewis spotted and had copied. The floors are unvarnished wood, the furniture surely sourced in French brocante. Ribbons, of course, are everywhere. So too are artificial flowers, vintage wedding headpieces, feathers (short and stiff, long and flighty) and checked, pleated ribbon inspired by ribbon tokens left to identify babies in the Foundling Museum. There are things here for 50p and there are things here for much more than that – handmade pretties kept in glass cases that just make you coo in delight.
Aside from us amateur shopper-makers, V V Rouleaux caters to the fashion trade. Local fashion people often stop in for a selection of new season colours, to make mood boards and the like. And designers themselves have been spotted amongst the frills, looking for inspiration, ribbons for frocks or just enjoying the tactile pleasure of the shop. This is an extract from Jane Audas' article in the Decorative issue
Paint your own wrapping paper
Design and paint your own giftwrapping this Christmas with Annabel from VV Rouleaux. Spend time in their Marylebone workshop where you an find inspiration from Annabel's collection of ribbons and trims.
On the course you will be referencing and copying original 1840 ribbon design documents. Kim Sisson, a decorative paint artist, will be on hand to assist in the creative process.
You will leave the course with 5m of hand painted gift wrapping.
Price includes all materials, there are only 6 places available on this course.
6 December, 5-8pm £95
Hosted by Annabel Lewis
102 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2QD