Where: ‘harvey nicks’ in Knightsbridge is where to big up big label items, uncover an up and coming designer start at one of London’s earthy markets
What’s in store: From traditional tailoring and glamorous Ascot Races hats to bad boy flamboyance daring to be different
London is at the forefront of fashion, and it’s not all down to the Mary Quants and Laura Ashleys of this world. The city nurtures young talent at its hallowed fashion schools, including the Royal College of Fashion, the London School of Fashion and St Martin’s College of Art.
British Style gurus
Bad boy of British fashion Alexander McQueen has confounded the public with his flamboyant catwalk creations ever since his graduation show. Though the garments available in the shops are toned down for every day wear, they are still quite extraordinary and every season sees a predilection for a particular fabric or theme.
British high society is also obsessed with dressed hats, and if there’s one milliner who is regarded as a household name its five times ‘British Accessory Designer of the Year’,Philip Treacy. The man held personally responsible for “making hats sexy again” has created crowning glories for top stars and models, including Oprah Winfrey and Mick Jagger. Be they of feather or felt, lace, sequins or silk, Treacy’s hats are remarkable works of art with more than a touch of humour. Nonetheless, they flatter the wearer without exception and you can guarantee that no other Ascot Races goer will have a hat like yours!
Where to bag a bargain
If Phillip Treacy or McQueen are a little out of your price range, you’re almost likely to find some unique designs in London’s markets as you are in Harvey Nichols. London is so bursting with young talent that there are simply not enough jobs for design college leavers. To make ends meet, many spend their weeks making great clothes and their weekends selling them off to streetwise trendies in the markets of Spitalfields, Brick Lane or Camden. Get in there quick before they’re picked up by a major label, why don’t you?
London Fashion Week
Rub shoulders with the glitterti at trendy fashion week, organised by the British Fashion Council to showcase the best of homegrown and international talent.
British Fashion Council
5 Portland Place, London W1B 1PW
Tel: +44 20 7636 7788
Fax: +44 20 7636 7515
By Jess Halliday