London is buzzing with Fashion Week excitement this weekend and a walk around Somerset House and the Strand alone can satisfy every girl’s fashion fix. The shoes! The leopard print details! The bags! The hats!
The nowadays ever-present fashion bloggers were snapping away in some serious cases of trigger-happiness.
In between snaps and poses, designer name-dropping. Chanel, Louboutin, ZARA. Wait, what? Oh, yes! This gorgeous lady in the camel cape was one of the most photographed in the courtyard while everyone was waiting in the queue for John Rocha‘s show. And her cape was from ZARA.
Not that I have been to other Fashion Week events around the globe but I do think that London is one of the few fashion capitals where women would dare wear a statement piece and proudly announce it comes from the high street. Or a basket in a market stall. Or a charity shop. Reading Kate Spicer’s article in The Stylist this week, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement: ‘The UK is a fashion democracy. There is no better place for style-lovers in the world.’
True dat. On my way to Foodlab for brunch yesterday, I spotted the following outfits:
A young woman in an all black outfit with ochre tights. A guy in skinny jeans with a shearling jacket (this season’s obsession) and a pair of Doc Marten’s boots. A lithe girl in a navy blazer dress and ballerina flats. A ladylike ensemble in cream paired with a string of pearls. A short and colourful summer dress (fyi, it was 15 degrees in London at the time) worn with a pair of flip flops and a printed scarf tied around the head. A pretty lady in a fitted cerulean blue coat and finally a young man in a check shirt with a golden chain around his neck and a well-groomed and pointy moustache.
London fashion lacks uniformity. True, women follow trends in London as they do everywhere else. But it seems like they always try to blend that with a non-conformity that puzzles certain fashionistas who are not used to the scruffiness and unpolished look of the British. Some of my Greek friends detested Topshop when they came to visit; they didn’t ‘get’ the clothes and they didn’t like that style.
Spicer’s article (sorry I couldn’t find it anywhere online), points out that ‘fashion here gives all women, not just the rich folks, a freedom to express ourselves exactly as we want to be seen… Where there’s a fashion will, there’s a fashionable way to recreate looks: be it vintage, charity shop, homemade, hiring, customising, high street, the net, borrowing from mothers and grans or stealing from sisters and boyfriends.’
I couldn’t agree more and I have to add: London is not just fashionable; it’s stylish. It’s a fashion AND style democracy. Style makes you something more than just the sum of your clothes, whether it’s how much they cost or how well they’re put together. Style reveals personal choices and things about your character or simply about your mood. And walking in the streets of London, style has many, many different faces. I’ve never felt more comfortable in my own clothes anywhere else (certainly not in Athens). And I’ve never been more positively influenced and challenged by the looks that I see all around me and the effort of most women to not look like everyone else even when they’re wearing a must-buy piece.
So, yes London. You’re just too funky for me. I mean that in a good way.