Mrs Robinson is a very cool homes and interiors store based on Lordship Lane, Dulwich, London SE22 8HD. It’s owned by Michelle Failes and Gloria Failes – the daughter and mother outfit who started selling vintage clothing from indoor markets in and around London over 30 years ago. They steadily progressed into mid century modern furniture and home accessories. Currently Gloria runs the women’s boutique and Michelle concentrates on the furniture and gift shop, which is the larger of the two sites.
Mrs Robinson Shop Exterior
The shop name, Mrs Robinson, pays homage to ‘The Graduate’ which is a film loved by Michelle and Gloria. They adore the styling, the era and the mood – something they wanted to emulate with their shop. They tell me – “Anne Bancroft is the epitome of an Icon in our minds. Nobody smokes a cigarette in lingerie like she does. The film features tons of stylish interiors and reams of Avant-garde visual snapshots. We use the film as a backdrop to a style preference; however it does not dictate everything that we do.”
They sell a mix of vintage, modern and reproduction furniture and accessories. They also have a range of kitchen accessories, garden furniture, lighting and a huge selection of kitsch products and gifts for every occasion. You can also find Pop Art and an eclectic range of coffee table books. The boutique sells a range of ready to wear women’s clothing and accessories. To give you a flavour of what you can find in-store the owners have selected five products for you to admire ….
Mrs Robinson Product Selection
Aperture Light, from £68
OneQ Arteume Cushion, £45
Brown Salon Chair, £585 (in store only)
Garudio Studiage Wildlife of London Tea towel, £10
Mezzo Radio Green, £48
Their art canvas and textile print collections promote and generate interest in a range of up and coming domestic and international artists and designers; Japanese Artists OneQ, UK based illustrator Jamie Mitchell and Italian Graphic Designer Alberto Stevenson. They keep an eye out for local talents and emerging community artists which they support. Mrs Robinson showcases elements of the creative collective “Garudio Studiage” who produce tongue in cheek screen-prints, jewellery and accessories from their workspace in nearby Peckham. There’s also room for quirky products from Fred and Suck UK. The women’s boutique stocks a range of brands including; Sugar Hill, YaYa, People Tree, Eucalyptus and Quinton Chadwick.
In terms of merchandising, they place vintage and modern side by side, they tell me – “If we love it, then we will showcase it. Our customers tell us that they love the rich complex and diverse range we choose to offer. A best seller is our vibrant range of silk drum lampshades that greet you as soon as you walk in the door of our store. These shades are made especially for Mrs Robinson and each are handmade in the UK … we love to support UK manufacturing!”
Mrs Robinson Shop Interior
The shop floor is laid out like a fun filled lounge in a decadent home. The look is eclectic and vibrant. There are three separate sections in the main store; the main room has a ceiling adorned with a range of unique sumptuous silk shades and chandeliers. Gifts are displayed alongside ornaments across the range of tables and dressers and the walls are covered with kitchen wares and kitsch from floor to ceiling. The side room and back room are decked out like relaxed but opulent living spaces – “We want our customers to visualise themselves in similar luxurious settings.”
Bare brick walls display bold and graphic art pieces and the unique gifts sit on freestanding shelves and as centrepieces on tables. In every corner there is something beautiful and tempting to catch the eye. Michelle and Gloria constantly rearrange the layouts so each week the shop floor takes on a new view.
Mrs Robinson Shop Interior
Mrs Robinson’s attracts the well informed and design savvy East Dulwich and South London crowd. On your visit to the store you can expect an impeccable service – “We pride ourselves on going that extra mile. We cannot emphasis the “personal element” of our service enough. We welcome each of our customers personally to the store and actively listen to determine how we can help. If we don’t have something in stock we will find it for them. Online we also invite queries and special requests.”
The gift shop is situated at 128-130 Lordship Lane, Dulwich, London SE22 8HD. The women’s boutique is opposite at 153 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HD. The shop opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am-5.30pm and Sunday 11am-4pm. You can also buy selected goods from the website www.mrsrobinsonshop.co.uk.
Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Mrs Robinson, special thanks to Michelle Failes, Gloria Failes and Lysa Whatmore.