Before we get into the topic of today’s post, we just want to introduce you to our new weekly Chictopia EIU column. “Chic of the Week” will be highlighting an important or interesting designer, fashion insider, editorial, or style every week; the articles will cover both the histories of these fashion icons as well as their relevance to you, the Chictopian EIU reader! Now, on to the article!
While we aren’t people to hate on history, we think that the American Revolutionists didn’t completely process out what to bring over and leave behind when separating from the British empire. For one, we lost their completely amazingly unique sense of style! Granted our weather ranges from blazing heat to snowy winters, so the eternal Mac coat probably isn’t the best way to go about it but that’s beside the point. English fashion has definitely made for some iconic styles; both varied and classic, they truly do their country proud. EIU brings you the most Chic of the Week, British Style.
On The Cover:
The basic connector of all facets of British fashion, Kate Moss, graces the main image of our first Chic of the Week article with Annabelle Neilson, fellow McQueen muse. Her contributions to British fashion and the industry as a whole, most definitely defines the relaxed-cool edge that the English bring to everything they do. Nothing is taken too seriously and a dose of fun is always added to everything, even the most couture of gowns.
Undoubtedly famous for their avant garde edge, England is home to some of the most stylishly daring people to ever exist in fashion. British style has a penchant for fantastical hats and bold, bright colors; here are some of those super style icons and designers that definitely embrace the adventurous side of the British isles. Photograph of Daphne Guinness by Solve Sundsbo for Harper’s Bazaar May 2011.
→ Alexander McQueen The mixture of romance and macabre was a staple of McQueen style and definitely was evocative of the English sense of pretty versus punk. While Lee’s life is over, the impact and importance of his design house to British fashion will never die.
→ Philip Treacy Hat designer, Philip Treacy, is world renowned for his transformative fantasies for designers such as, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and Valentino.
→ Daphne Guiness Friend and muse of Alexander McQueen, Guinness is an artist and heir who is one of the most famous patrons of fashion. Her Cruella-striped hair, opulent everyday-couture, and heel-less mary janes are covetable and inspirational.
→ Isabella Blow Muse to Philip Treacy, Blow was the pinnacle of British-headwear-love. Her hats were the stuff of legends and her visionary style definitely did not disappoint. While her life ended in tragedy, her legacy lives.
→ Gareth Pugh Prince of the Goths and British fashion whirlwind, Gareth Pugh, mixes darkness, romance, geometry, and English iconography. With a love for theatrical shapes and styles, Pugh’s gothic starting point doesn’t stop at punk but goes all the way to royalty.
Only Anarchists Are Pretty
British punk fashion, most notably headed by Vivenne Westwood, obviously influences many facets of English style and the worldwide fashion industry. The popularity of Dr. Martens, leather, Scottish plaids, and bleached jeans in the Chictopia Style gallery seem to stem from this very look. While the most obvious of punk references come to mind first, the British sense of deconstruction and punk goes deeper. Using political motivations for fashion inspiration, British punk can go rock and roll or rockin’ romantic. Photo of Vivenne Westwood by Tim Walker
→ Vivienne Westwood Fashion political activism at it’s finest, Vivienne Westwood’s manifesto of do-it-yourself, adventurous fashion is inspirational and useful in our everyday lives. Be fearless and be strong in your sense of style.
→ Susanna Lau of StyleBubble Momma of the fashion blogger, Susie Bubble completely encompasses, supports, and loves British Fashion. She takes risks with bold color, creative layering, and quirky accessories.
→ Pelayo Diaz of KateLovesMe.net The bi-lingual blog of fashion design student Pelayo Diaz is one of endless inspiration. His mixture of British punk classics, crisp-clean basics, and androgynous avant garde pieces speak to so much of the “London look.”
→ Skinheads The style of a British Skinhead starts with of course, the close-shaven hairstyle, but it doesn’t stop there. The range from punk and hardcore influences to 60s mod create a unique look that is definitely not weak. Dancing on the fine line between loving and not caring about fashion, the effortless feeling of this look is it’s biggest appeal.
The classicism and tradition of British fashion ranges from the wardrobe staple of khaki trench coat to the prim and proper matching suit. With clean lines and messy styling, the aesthetic of British fashion is a unique one. Not overtly grungy or slick like New York, not glossy and sensual like Milan, and not simplified like Parisian effortlessness or as traditionally couture as French design houses, English style is easygoing, classic, demure, and playful. Photograph of Emma Watson for Burberry
→ Margaret Howell Fashion designer, Margaret Howell, once said that she designs “…clothes that are meant to be worn in the real world, where good design is about living with thoughtful style.” Her classic sensibility reflects in the everyday casual look of British style.
→ Burberry While always reinventing itself for the exuberance and tough attitude of today’s young London, Burberry will always be famous for its trench coat and classic, chic, natural beauty sense of style.
→ Victoria Beckham The former popstar and current major fashion star’s collections evoke the sleekness and modernity of British style.
→ Queen Elizabeth II Okay so this is sort of here for humor, but in all seriousness, who is more fitting to represent the style of England than the Queen of the country? Her bold color choices and love for hats is definitely evocative of her people’s fashion.
The Kids Are Alright
The modern British teen or young adult takes cues from all of these styles and mixes in a dose of messy looseness, showing that even though they look amazing they definitely weren’t trying too hard to get there. It’s natural and in their blood to be that chic! These girls and guys are not afraid to look like a little kid (schoolboys and girls are a definite inspiration!) or look too granny either (the Queen is on this list, you know). Their rockstar hair and charming wit can get them anywhere. Photo of Alexa Chung for Elle
→ Alexa Chung Do we even need to introduce her? Alexa is probably the most important import from across the pond in fashion right now, especially as an inspiration to the younger set of British teen fashion lovers.
→ Peter Jensen This fashion designer’s look is 60s-inspired, preppy (but not pretentious, minimal, colorful, and above all, totally British. Check out his website for more inspiration on how to get this school-kid style.
→ Mulberry For luxurious English fashion, Mulberry is the go to brand. Their chic and proper style evokes both the classicism of British sophistication and youthfulness of little girl inspiration.
→ Topshop Topshop is basically the “Forever21” of the UK. The British mecca of affordable fashion has collaborations with Christopher Kane and Kate Moss under its belt and their eclectic style can be seen on Alexa Chung and basically every other British young adult.
That’s all we have for this week’s “Chic of the Week.” We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to next week’s Designer spotlight.
The monthly schedule for Chic of the Week will be as follows:
Week 1: Designer of the week
Week 2: Fashion Insider of the week
Week 3: Editorial of the week
Week 4: Style of the week
Thanks for reading!
Everybody Is Ugly by Iris & Daniel
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