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The press have branded her ‘Queen of Soho’ but she’s not the kind of royalty that typically springs to mind. As the granddaughter of legendary porn baron Paul Raymond, India James inherited much of his Soho estate and, with it, the area’s legendary streets as her kingdom. She knows its shops, cafés and bars like the back of her (very well manicured) hand.
India studied Art at City and Guilds and has now teamed up with her architect boyfriend Will Pelham to open a 5000 sq ft art space on Greek Street called the Soho Revue. While the name pays homage to her grandfather’s notorious theatre and strip club – once the world centre of erotic entertainment – the ethos of her gallery couldn’t be more different. Fed up with seeing young contemporary artists pushed out of London, the couple decided to use their prime space as a platform for the very best emerging talent; far from being a vanity project, they aim to put bread and wine on the tables of the artists they showcase.
As London Fashion Week is soon to be based down the road in Brewer Street Carpark, it seems appropriate that India has also started a collaboration with London’s first independent fashion gallery, Maison Mais Non. Set up by Topes Calland and Micheal Neeson, the gallery’s current exhibition ‘Artist: Artisan’ is a collaboration between four Central Saint Martin’s graduates and four Savile Row tailors, and displays a synthesis of creativity and craftsmanship. Now in talks with the British Fashion Council about hosting their presentations, we predict that the Soho Revue will soon become a crown jewel of fashion week.
India seems to be taking London’s art scene by storm, crown and sceptre in hand. Here is her guide to her kingdom…
10:00AM: Stop for coffee at Masion Bertaux 28 Greek Street, W1D 5DQ Step back in time to London’s oldest patisserie. With delicious cakes and quaint outdoor seating, it’s the perfect place to people watch.
11:00AM: Visit my gallery! Soho Revue, 13 Greek Street, W1D 4DP Currently exhibiting the entrancing works of Oliver Marsden and Maison Mais Non’s ‘Artist:Artisan’.
1:00PM: Break for tapas at Pix-Bar 16 Bateman Street, W1D 3AH Help yourself to incredible array of food at this tapas bar. Try the chistorra kebab, calamari and aubergine caviar.
3:00PM: Shop at Liberty London Great Marlborough Street, W1B 5AH It’s not exactly a secret but it’s the greatest department store in the world.
7:00PM: Dine at Social Eating House 58 Poland Street, W1F 7NS A great restaurant with an eclectic interior and electric atmosphere. Try their alcoholic sundaes.
10:00PM: Fuel up at the Black Dice Bar at MOMO 25 Heddon Street, W1B 4BH Momo’s café and terrace provides a sanctuary from the busy streets of Soho. Enjoy sheesha and cocktails until you’re ready to pop before heading downstairs to the Black Dice Bar for something stronger.
12:00AM ’til late: Dance the night away at The Box 11-12 Walker’s Court, W1F 0SD A cabaret and fetish burlesque club where you’re guaranteed to see something weird and wonderful.
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