I have been so inspired to write more and more about fashion lately, what with the Fashion Weeks’ showcasing of excellent British talent, that I find myself thinking about it often. As a writer, I have to constantly come up with fresh ideas to pitch to the editors and I have to say that a lot of them stem from fashion – or at least the world around the fashion industry. Over the last couple of years, I have learned that fashion is not just a question of aesthetic tastes, commercialism and indulging our over-fed consumer society. Fashion can be the means to achieving so much more. From the thought-provoking ideals behind Dame Vivienne Westwood’s collections, to organisations such as amfAR providing a platform to do some good to the lives of others, it is clear that fashion is more than just a ‘statement look’ for many who champion it. And as we are seeing, the streets have come to couture.
It may seem unusual to mention the astonishing phenomenon that is street style. It is no longer enough to view what the experts project; now it is, arguably, just as intriguing and indeed entertaining to see what “the people” are wearing. The platform that makes this possible is London Fashion Week. Sure, the adoration of street chic began, almost randomly, in the 1970s and yet, without Fashion Week, how long would it have taken for this form of freedom of expression to be applauded on an international scale?
Street style has also helped shape Europe’s perception of the Brits as a stylish bunch. The New Yorkers have that laid back essence: the kind that seamlessly combines “preppy” with effortless. The Milanese have the greatly admired Italian tailoring and the Parisians are known for their unceasingly cool, elegant ensembles. What the Londoners bring to the table is quintessential British quirk, with a panache and individuality that cannot be faked. What is most exciting about London Fashion Week, however, is each season’s onslaught of young British talent. This talent is nurtured; from the university stage (Central Saint Martins, for example, are the only university that are invited to produce a show during this season’s event), to those meticulously placed first steps as fledging designers – see the BFC/VOGUE Design Fashion Fund. Through education, business innovation and investment, the talents that show (and continue to show) at London Fashion Week do so with the support of an industry that actively seeks to promote and maintain them.
I could go on about this for hours and, actually, I do sometimes with my colleagues and friends. I am super keen on the development of men’s fashion within the industry, for example, as I find that it is something new and exciting in my eyes. It wasn’t that long ago that it was considered ‘odd’ for the average man to choose to dress well, to take care of his appearance, without being dubbed in certain patronising terms. By contrast nowadays, if someone was to see a gentleman carrying a ‘Man Bag,’ for example, he would likely go unnoticed by that individual- unless he was particularly well dressed, of course. The ways in which men choose to represent themselves – essentially, their characters – aesthetically is of huge interest to me. From a globe-trotting Divo to a casually-clad academic type, it’s great to see the arrival (or revival) of the discerning gentleman.
And so, bring on London Collections: Men. You can be sure to find the updates here on View Avenue during the process of this world-reknowned event. In the meantime, please take a look at the images that were shot by Pedro Antunes outside of the Cavendish London hotel on a crisp evening in Mayfair. This is part of the Cover-Up series we shot together, featuring another vintage piece that I got goodness-knows-where, but that I still wear with pride – moth-eaten patch and all.
Until next time. Bisou x