Bird’s Yard, 83 Kirkgate, Leeds

EDITED 6/8/10 after I got some new information!

Have been to visit this new venture today in Leeds. Bird’s Yard is a beautiful buidling, which I believe to have once been a photography studio, that has been converted to hold lots of little stalls for local creative talent. Featuring vintage clothing, handmade clothing and jewellery, antique jewellery and quirky bits and bobs from local artists.

The building itself is worth the visit, very unusual and well restored. Walking through the stalls is such a treat, a little maze, not knowing what you’ll find next, particularly when you end up in a darkened room full of naked mannequins wearing nothing but hats and sunglasses on. You weave your way upstairs to a beautiful, airy room with lots of windows featuring mannequins wearing various elaborate outfits on, including a bespoke garment from Daisy Cutter, which looks as though it should be in a Tim Burton movie! Parts of the building look more like an art gallery than a shop, it’s great!

The vintage clothing comes mainly from Bird Shell, who have specialised in the most sparkly and over the top gowns, but also from a little room, Kee’s Boutique, starring some lovely original 50s pieces as well as some handmade items inspired by the era.

Daisy Cutter Bespoke has teamed up with a local jewellery maker to create the Ruby Soho boutique, which sells affordable vintage inspired accessories and very affordable customised and hand made garments from Daisy Cutter. They also stock Anna Fur Laxis t-shirts designed by Kev Grey (Anna Fur Laxis is my favourite Burlesque performer!)

Other brands that stock their crafts in Bird’s Yard include Ages of Elegance, Couture Hats by Beth Hirst and printed work from Beating Arts.

Overall it is a delight to see a replacement for the old school Corn Exchange, a little haven for the alternative and the bizzarre, it is also comparable to Manchester’s Afflecks Palace, although Bird’s Yard is cleaner, smaller and more original. It can be so dull when a city becomes full of the same old high street shops so it makes me smile to see something new and individual. I wish Bird’s Yard much success and hope that you will go and visit them! Check them out on Facebook.

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