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For a distinctly more stylish approach to Christmas shopping, can we recommend The House of Voltaire? In this rather chic pop up shop above Rupert Sanderson's shoe store in Bruton Place (another reason to visit) you can find a new type of commerce, it's art-as-product, where artists have designed T shirts, bags, cashmere blankets, dog bowls and Christmas cards which are part art, part stuff to use (carefully) about the house. There are also limited editions and original works by leading contemporary artists
As you admire the Betty Jackson/Dawn Mellor designed T shirt you may get served by a luminary from the art world such as artist Julie Verhoeven or the divine Princess Julia, both participating artists. While we were there we nearly swooned with excitement at having our festive tea towels (three for £20) wrapped by artist Michael Landy. And there were cup cakes.....
Money raised through this temporary store will go towards the Studio Voltaire art charity project, based in Clapham, which supports young artists with studio space. We were very taken with the store graphics and lovely wrapping paper that APFEL studio designed for the project, it's worth buying something to have it wrapped and packaged in a printed canvas bag. Nice store design too.
House of Voltaire is upstairs at 19 Bruton Place, London W1. Open every day until December 4th. Check website blog for details of which artists are selling when, if you want to meet your favourites.