For years, Brick Lane, the main artery of "Banglatown" in London's East End, was lined with sari stores and cheap curry houses. Then the city's design troops marched in, setting up quirky boutiques and home furnishing shops. Found objects—Rubik's Cubes, potato chip bags—are reengineered as wearable art at Tatty Devine (No. 236; 44-207/739-9009). • Unto This Last (No. 230; no phone) creates sinuous furniture by digitally cutting shapes from wood. • Find funky jewelry in every medium (sea glass to gold) by visiting @ Work Gallery (No. 156; 44-207/377-0597). • Your own outdated duds can be refurbished with cinches and sashes at Junky Styling (12 Dray Walk; 44-207/247-1883), in the Old Truman Brewery. • On nearby Cheshire Street, pick up tops, frocks, trousers, and shoes at the warehouse-sized—and well priced—Beyond Retro (No. 110-112; 44-207/613-3636), where the owners keep the rotation fresh by adding 300 vintage pieces daily. • Labour & Wait (No. 18; 44-207/729-6253) satisfies the British gardening obsession, with pots, tools, wellies, and other gear such as French laborers' shirts, a hot item. • Co-owner Mark Bedford, former bassist for Madness, stocks tea sets, china boxes glazed with retro wallpaper designs, and other Danish ceramics at Mar Mar Co. (No. 16; 44-207/729-1494).
—Kate Sekules