PORTOBELLO ROAD SHOOT

Penelope and her family have lived in the Notting Hill area of West London for most of her life.  The designer and local photographer, Lily Bertrand Webb came up with an idea of shooting a series of portraits of local creative people in the community in collaboration with Gemma Sort-Chilvers, who directed and styled the project.  The sitters, many of them market traders in vintage fashion, were asked to wear what they like.  The project culminated in these beautiful, natural photographs of local characters each with a story to tell and a strong personal style. 

Like all successful market places, Portobello Road is the beating heart of the neighbourhood, and the local community is passionate to keep it going as a free spirited and diverse centre for small businesses and individual talent. It is this passion that drove the project.  Meet the locals and discover the diversity of talent and creativity one can meet 'down the market' on a sunny morning in Notting Hill. 

Is there a particular memory from the neighbourhood that you treasure most?

"The carnival's vibrant colours and the ability to bring people together."

HERBIE MENSAH

MARKET TRADER AND PART-TIME LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANT FOR ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEED

What is it about the area that inspires you?

"It has been a great inspiration to me in the way that I dress and in giving me ideas for sourcing and collecting clothing and seeing the many different styles, of the way people dress from all over the world."

NICK AND EDIE ASHLEY

FOUNDER OF PRIVATE WHITE AND A STUDENT

What is it about the area that inspires you?

N: "Portobello is a community, the whole of humanity is there: the very wealthiest, the poorest and all ethnic groups. We fight, we laugh, it’s like a family."

E: "I like that everything is second hand, which means it tells a story. All the legends selling the stuff are so friendly, you have a relationship with the person you are buying from and they can tell you things about the product."

What is it about the area that inspires you?

"Portobello Market is a real melting pot. You get people from all over the world and from different cultural backgrounds all in one market. In one day I've seen Kate Moss strut through in the morning and a homeless magician giving quite a show to the locals in the afternoon. Anything goes on Portobello. For a long time, I felt like it was the only place I felt fully comfortable to wear whatever I wanted. Fancy walking down the street with a flower pot on your head for a hat? 'Just another day on Portobello,' the locals would say."

PAULA REBOREDO RONDON AND GILBERTO FRANCA DOS SANTOS

MARKET TRADERS

Is there a something in the neighbourhood that you treasure the most?

G: "The different people, different cultures, and different styles that the market brings every week."

P: "The Pastel de Belém from Cafe Lisboa!"

What is it about the area that inspires you?

"I love the diverse mix of people, both culturally and every other way! To me I'd go as far as to say it's the nearest thing to racial and class harmony in the world. I love the local eccentrics mixing with immigrant families from everywhere who are still outnumbering the hedge funders - just!"

ZAZOU RODDAM AND SENI CROFTS

STUDENT AND A MUSIC BOOKER

Is there a particular memory from the neighbourhood that you treasure most?

Z: "Notting Hill carnival at the end of summer is always so much fun, everyone is always in fun spirits."

S: "Probably either walking down the market every weekend with my dad or the Notting Hill carnival. It's on my birthday every year and when I was younger, about five, I thought the whole carnival was thrown as my birthday party!"

IMMY WATERHOUSE

MODEL

How do you see the future of Portobello Road?

"You can see the gentrification happening almost daily. It’s sad that small local businesses are being priced out by big chains, as if we need another Starbucks. It’s slowly becoming like the King’s Road and if it continues it’ll lose all the magic of why people love it in the first place."

What is your connection with Portobello Market?

"I was born, many years ago now, down the road from the Portobello Road and have seen the market change. Some of it for the good, but it is good that we still have some of the old fruit-and-veg stall holders and the Friday morning market is still the best for vintage clothes. The market is inspiring because of the multicultural population, the smells, the colours, the hustle and bustle of the market. The conviviality and humour that makes up the profile of the market."

GEMMA SORT-CHILVERS AND PENELOPE CHILVERS

What is your best/favourite Portobello purchase?

G: "My red leather Ferrari jacket that Edie’s wearing!"

P: "I bought a nubuck Seventies jacket with amazing pleated cuffs and rounded collar, in an amazing tan, that Gemma used to complete one of the looks in our recent pre-shoot.  I will sell it 'off the page' or in the shop afterwards when the collection is out."

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