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Buttons and Bows in Marylebone

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
Published February 3rd 2012
Buttons and Bows in Marylebone

V V Rouleaux
Wired Star Ribbon

When finances get tight, as they do in these times of economic difficulties, we can save money by making or altering our own clothes, soft furnishings and gifts. Everybody is well aware of Marylebone High Street, but how many people venture round the corner to Marylebone Lane? This winding street betrays its origins as a country lane, and links Marylebone High Street to Wigmore Street. There may be a few empty shops nowadays, but those of us who are even slightly creative and imaginative will enjoy visiting The Button Queen at no 76 and V V Rouleaux at no 102.

The Button Queen

The Button Queen is a treasure trove of antique and modern buttons. You can browse through their extensive collections which include items dating back to the nineteenth century and continue through the last century from Art Nouveau to Art Deco and right up to the 1950s. They will be happy to cover buttons for you in a wide range of finishes and also carry an extensive range of menswear buttons. These include blazer buttons, horn buttons, dinner jacket buttons and dress shirt studs.

The Button Queen
Outside the Button Queen

The business was originally founded by Toni Frith, who moved shop several times before opening at 19 Marylebone Lane. The present shop is now run by her son, Martyn, and his wife Isabel. In these days of clone town Britain, it makes a pleasant change to visit a family run, independent, retailer that has been trading for more than half a century.

The Button Queen
Framed Buttons Inside the Shop

V V Rouleaux

V V Rouleaux has been acclaimed for more than twenty years since Annabel Lewis closed her florists in Parsons Green and switched to selling ribbons. Within ten years she had relocated to Sloane Square and opened a second branch in Marylebone Lane. Annabel has won numerous awards and her goods are often featured in glossy magazines.

V V Rouleaux
Outside V V Rouleaux

If you're looking for inspiration, or have a project in mind, your imagination will be sure to run wild once you start examining her wares. You can buy trimmings, braids, ribbons, cushions, headdresses and hats, feathers, fabrics and fabric flowers. You can also buy products for bridal outfits and for Christmas. The shop is a veritable Aladdin's cave.

V V Rouleaux
Coloured Wired Luxor

V V Rouleaux
Femme Francaise Cushion

So if you can't afford that new outfit, but would like to adapt something from your existing wardrobe, why not pop along to Marylebone Lane for inspiration. After all, Scarlett O'Hara made herself a dress from velvet curtains.
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Why? To update your wardrobe without spending a fortune
When: The Button Queen is open from Monday - Friday between 10.00 and 17.00 and Saturdays from 10.00 to 14.00 and VV Rouleaux is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 09.30 - 18.00, Wednesday 10.30 - 18.00 and Thursday 09.30 - 18.30
Where: The Button Queen and V V Rouleaux
Cost: Whatever you want to spend
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