London is admired all over the world for its trend-setting fashion. Along with Paris, Milan and New York, London holds the prestigious honour of hosting Fashion Weeks twice a year, where designers from both home and abroad can showcase their latest collections. Traditionally, London fashion involved a polished look with matching hats, shoes and handbags being an essential part of the style - and not forgetting perfectly coiffed hair and immaculate make up to match. However, these days, fashionistas from the equally stylish cities of New York and Paris admire Londoners for their cool, street-savvy look, and fashion lovers in the capital feel free to embrace their individuality. In London, the only fashion rule is that there are no rules, and this is what makes London fashion so fresh and exciting.
London is a city that immerses itself in the fabulous, creative and eclectic world of fashion.
London Fashion Week
Every February and September London comes to life with the sights and sounds of London Fashion Week. While it’s true that tickets to the exclusive couture shows are for top magazine editors and A-list celebrities only, there are lots of ways to enjoy Fashion Week without being part of the in-crowd. Some of the city’s coolest bars create fashion-themed cocktails, shops hold special events, and if you happen to be passing one of the many venues across the city, you’re likely to see the traffic-stopping outfits of Fashion Week guests in all their glory – maybe you’ll even spot a celebrity or two! And because when it comes to Fashion Week London is a world leader, the recently-started London Fashion Weekend event offers a great chance for everyone to shop and listen to talks from fashion’s finest.
World Class Shopping
Even if it’s just for a spot of window-shopping, New Bond Street is well worth a visit for couture favourites like Chanel, Valentino and Gucci, not to mention the jewellery treasure troves of Tiffany and De Beers. Oxford Street is another must-visit destination for its enormous Top Shop and upscale department stores, Selfridges. Harrods and Harvey Nichols are the main draws of Knightsbridge. High Street Kensington and the King’s Road are great places to shop too. If it’s raining, you can opt for the enormous Westfield under-cover shopping meccas found in Hammersmith and Stratford. And for something a bit different, Portobello Market is a great place to soak up the lively atmosphere as you track down that one-off vintage find.
London by Design
London fashion takes its lead from the fantastic designers who call the city home. At the most sophisticated end of the spectrum you’ll find the understated glamour of Stella McCartney and the modern bohemia of Alice Temperley, who both have stores in the capital. Alexander McQueen may no longer be with us, but the brand is still a global phenomenon thanks to the current creative director Sarah Burton. Paul Smith and Burberry are still the go-to London labels for both ladies and gentlemen who appreciate classic British style with a modern twist. Mulberry remains number one for the most coveted handbags around. For cool street style, Henry Holland, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders are the hottest names on every fashionista’s lips.
Art Meets Fashion
Many exhibitions in the capital are dedicated to the life-affirming art of fashion. The Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington is a world-leader when it comes to celebrating fashion as an art form. Recent exhibitions here have included Vogue 100: A Century of Style, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, and The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014. Even if there’s not a fashion-related exhibition on during your visit to London, the permanent Fashion Collection here incorporates 500 years of costume and is the largest in the world. On the other side of town, the bright orange Fashion and Textile Museum on cool Bermondsey Street is a great place to explore London’s fashion heritage and see exhibitions dedicated to designers like Missoni.