Gallery: London Diva brings 50s flare to Ipswich

Lucy Parker models the latest fashions from London Diva.

Lucy Parker models the latest fashions from London Diva. - Credit: Lucy taylor

A new store is bringing a piece of Camden Town into Ipswich, with 50s style dresses, tutus, gothic lace corsets and punk handbags.

Owner and father-of-two, Indi Singh owns a stall in the famous London market place, and he opened London Diva in Tower Ramparts shopping centre four months ago.

He moved to Ipswich last year to be with his wife, who he met by selling her a dress in Camden, and then decided to become business partners with his sister-in-law, Iana Burton, who manages the shop while Indi is in Camden.

Indi said the shop’s philosophy was unique, timeless and elegant clothing at a reasonable price.

“I think 50s are coming back into fashion, I haven’t seen anything like this in Ipswich”, he said.

Without the restrictions of a commercial high street retailer, the independent store offers personalised style and an open mindset.

Iana said if there was a particular size or colour a customer wanted and they didn’t have it, she would call Indi and he could bring it straight from London.

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In line with this, London Diva often has one-off items, just one dress in one size with no others like it.

“Some people want to be different. They know they will not be walking down the street and someone else will be wearing it.

“We try not to repeat stuff so people will have an exclusive item”, Indi said.

The store now has a plus size range going up to sizes 20 and 22 after their customers said they wanted more choice.

Indi said in Ipswich it was the bigger sizes that people were missing, and the style and patterns of the 50s dresses were complimentary for all body shapes.

Lucy Parker, from Manningtree, who took on the role of model for the day, said it was nice to discover something different in Ipswich, and she especially liked the polka dot dress. She said she was surprised at the quality of the material and how well the dresses fit, feeling ready to swing with the luxury petticoat adding a bit of drama and extravagance to a timeless look.

Standing underneath the cobweb ridden ceiling, amongst the hanging spiders and light up pumpkins, Indi said he was expecting the shop to do well over Halloween because of the gothic style dresses they stocked.

Their best seller is a black corset dress with lace that Indi said proved popular among the Goths and Punks of Ipswich.

London Diva sells popular gothic brands such as Voodoo Vixen and JawBreaker, and Indi said he planned to get Hell Bunny in before Christmas.

With dresses ranging from £24.99 to £34.99, jackets from £29.99 to £34.99 and handbags from £19.99 to £24.99, vintage style is very affordable.

Iana said London Diva did not have a specific target audience, as their clothes appeal to all ages.“Some of our customers are in their mid 40s and they want something with the shoulders covered, so we got some longer sleeve dresses in which look fantastic”, she said.

Indi said he eventually planned to bring in a men’s range and move to a bigger unit in Tower Ramparts.

“The men’s stuff we sell in Camden is like nothing I’ve seen in Ipswich, men don’t have a lot of choice like ladies do.”

The new shop suggests a growing passion for vintage clothing in Ipswich. Kelly Fairweather, owner and seamstress at Fairweather Vintage which opened in 2011 said she welcomed the new store. “Variety is the spice of life – independent shops can provide this in a town like Ipswich and the more the merrier in my opinion.

“There has always been a market for vintage clothing, but before I opened Fairweather Vintage three years ago, there was no opportunity for people to acquire such delights in Ipswich.

“Now, vintage is at their fingertips and there is no excuse not to dabble in this popular and affordable trend.”

Kelly said the appeal of vintage clothing was its feminine and flattering style that helped women feel beautiful. “It also encompasses an element of nostalgia and can transport you back to a bygone era where life was less stressful and people dressed to impress at all times”, she added.