The London Look, and how do we define it?
How do you define a city’s style that created fashion icons such as Twiggy, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Alexa Chung? It’s actually a very hard question to answer, and therein lies the answer to the conundrum of how do we define London style. The answer is it cannot be easily defined and put into a box. That is what makes London style in particular so fascinating.
Londoners throw out the rulebook. In London, as long as you’re dressed and not breaking any public order offences for indecent exposure, anything goes. People will literally not bat an eyelid if you’re on the tube at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning in a face of full studio make-up and still wearing a serious getup that would make Daphne Guinness impressed by your outfit choice.
That’s because we Londoners have seen it all and really don’t care. And I should know. With this blog and all the shoots I’ve done over the years, I’ve really managed to test out that theory.
But back to the matter at hand. How to define London style. It is by its very nature undefinable, but it does have elements we can discuss.
Four ways Londoners achieve the London look
- We love to mix high and low fashion, more so than any other fashion-focused city I’ve seen so far. You will get serious cool points if your bag is designer and half of your wardrobe came from Topshop. Our high street is so impressive, it is now conquering the world and bringing British style and brands to places like far-east Asia and America. The only rule to this rule is; your outfit needs to be thought out and bold. And that’s brilliant for our fashionistas. Fashionistas in London don’t have to be dressed in head to toe designer to be cool, and look cool.
- Mixing prints and colours has never been a taboo in this city. The busier the prints the better and if the prints clash and maybe hurt your eyes, then you know you’re onto a winner.
- Londoners have really embraced the athletisure trend popping up in the fashion world for the last couple of years. In fact we’ve embraced certain elements of it, like the chunky trainers that are so ridiculously comfy (and brilliant for running for a bus) and the tracksuit bottoms. We have made it our own, by mixing with high end pieces and polished bags to create something very eclectic.
- Our style is much more urban than what you’d find in both Paris and New York. We’re not as polished as the Parisians, or as moneyed as New Yorkers, so the urban, slightly underground element to the style is something we’ve really embraced. It feeds to the rebel nature of the fashionable Londoner. After all, we are the city that gave birth to both the swinging sixties style and punk rockers.
Below is a small gallery of some examples of quintessential London style, taken from the spring/summer 2019 fashion week last September.
For a city that gave birth to everyone from Twiggy to punk-rock with Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and storied houses like Burberry, this mix of styles and heritages describes London best. It is a contradiction in its purest forms, but it’s this contradiction and the fact that rules do not apply here that make London fashion and its designers so renowned.