When Stuart Simmonds and Isabel Merola of The Middle Clash saw the little shop at 5 Kent House Road, it was love at first sight. The shop was nowhere near refurbished, but it didn’t matter: it was the one they wanted. Even before it was confirmed, Stuart could regularly be seen taking photographs to plan his installations. Really, with that much enthusiasm how could we say no?
They open this Saturday 13 July, and will use the space as an open studio and shop to sell clothing that they hand-make on site. Inspired by the history of the shop, they would like to produce clothing that reflects its heritage. The back office will predominantly be used for studio space, for sewing and painting, while the front room will be the main shop area.
Out on the forecourt they hope to hold events and work outside when the weather permits, using the space to draw interest from passing traffic and the High Street. Stuart is a great fan of live installations: you may see a local dance or theatre group runnning mini performances in the windows or on the forecourt. Don’t be too sure, either, that the mannequins in the window aren’t alive…
Weekdays: 11am – 6:30pm
Weekends: 10am – 6:30pm