24 October 2016

I would happily live in the House of MinaLima

I heard about the House of MinaLima when it first opened a few months ago. An exhibition and shop of graphic art featured in the Harry Potter films, it's a dream come true for any Potterhead (i.e. me). A few Sundays ago I finally got myself down to Greek Street to see it for myself.

The pop-up is testament to the incredible design duo, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (who sound like Harry Potter characters themselves, no?). The designers met on the set of Harry Potter back in 2011 and began a beautiful alliance.

The shop looks like something you'd see on Diagon Alley, at complete odds with the neighbouring Soho shops and pubs. Consequently, there's really no missing it. MinaLima's storefront offers a taster of what's to come, with many of their colourful prints on display and someone on the door encouraging you inside.

The ground floor is the shop, crammed with MinaLima merchandise from Harry Potter and other works from the design house. The Harry Potter prints in particular are eye-wateringly expensive (upwards of £100), but there are plenty of badges, notebooks, cards and mugs to satisfy your graphic design cravings on a budget.

The first floor is all things 'Woop Studios' (their collective nouns series) and MinaLima's Own Collection. Everything is a real feast for the eyes.

The prints are fun, striking and colourful. MinaLima have a distinct style, which you get a real feel for on the first floor, pre-Potter.

Then as you descend the stairs, you start to lose your head a bit (well, I definitely did)...

It's here words kind of fail me. It's so cool, guys. It's just really, really cool.

Watching the films, you just don't appreciate the sheer amount of print collateral that goes into them. Every poster, every packet of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans; the decrees (courtesy of the Ministry of Magic and Professor Umbridge); and all those Daily Prophet issues...

Not forgetting all the merchandise from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. A celebration of things orange.

And up another flight of stairs, to the 'Print Room'.

Here are some of the highlights. I could have taken photos of every single thing on display, but then where would be the fun when you visit?

'The Tale of the Three Brothers' from The Deathly Hallows... written entirely in Runes. Of course.

Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take my (incredibly delayed) letter to attend Hogwarts. Sigh. They continued to haunt as me as I reluctantly left after probably spending waaaay too much time ogling everything about three times over.

Oh, and the best thing about the House of MinaLima? It's FREE. So you can literally just pop in. I visited at around noon on a Sunday fully expecting a queue (I'd been warned it can get quite busy), but I was one of the only people there. It was almost like my own special preview.

The House of MinaLima is open until February 2017. But I'd go sooner rather than later. I mean, I plan to return before it closes, so you might even see me there.

P.S. If anyone fancies getting me a Harry Potter print for Christmas, I'd love you forever. Just saying.

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