Yuksel Karaagac's shop, Resurrection, is a treasure trove of vintage fashion for women, new clothing for men and a range of bags she has just introduced, made of classic leather with a twist. But her real skill is her ability to alter clothes, making them larger or smaller to fit their new owner - some of the transformations in her portfolio are astonishing. She seems to be able to make any garment fit without any telltale sign of the alteration.
Yuksel came to this country to study at the College of Fashion from her home town in Turkey – she smiles "you will never have heard of it but say it's near Ephesus". At the College she specialised in tailoring and design.
On graduation she worked for a number of fashion designers including Nichole Fahri. Eventually Yuksel ended up running the alterations department for a leading wedding dress designer at Debenhams. When that firm was taken over she made the decision to go out on her own; she found premises in Archway.
"I came here because the business conditions were right. Now I'm a destination store from all over London for people seeking vintage fashion and expert alterations. My customers include a number of well-known actors - even one of the cast of Game of Thrones. I recently modified a gown for someone going to the BAFTA ceremony and a few weeks ago altered a complete outfit for someone to be interviewed on London Weekend Television dressed as a 1940s woman."
Yuksel is a real enthusiast for her stock "Look at this beautiful lining, no one has time to do these sorts of things nowadays". And she's right, she stocks dresses with beading, embroidery and hand stitching that you would never find on a modern garment. It's an enthusiasm and a set of skills that she shares with others. "It's a pleasure to teach other people. I have a small class here every week but I stopped advertising it because all the places are taken. It's great to get together over the sewing machines." (Her students are doubly fortunate because her machines, appropriately enough, are all beautiful vintage models.)
"I came here to Archway almost by accident because there were suitable premises here, but it's been a great experience. I will never forget that the people here been a great support – a number of customers come every week whatever the weather. When business conditions are less than perfect that's wonderful. Archway is a unique area - I don't know anywhere else in London which has got such a combination of people."
Resurrection is on Archway Island and is a member of the archwaycard scheme