BRITISH CLOTHING DESIGNERS
Photo by iqons / Wikimedia Commons
BRITISH FASHION: HISTORICALLY
Maybe London, historically, until the 1960s, was the fashion underdog to Paris, but Savile Row always kept London on the fashion map. Savile Row, the London street housing the nation's most impeccable and expensive tailors, has been--and continues to be--a destination for clothing of distinction.
BRITISH FASHION: 1960s
London finally stepped into the limelight in the 60s. "Swinging London," became the epicenter of modern culture. Boutiques on Carnaby Street and King's Road in Chelsea dished up hip, counterculture styles--and British models Twiggy ("The Queen of Mod") and Jean Shrimpton ("The Face of the 60s") wore the clothing.
Of particular note, British designer Mary Quant helped introduce the mini skirt, and British designer Tommy Nutter (of conservative Savile Row, no less!) introduced bell-bottom pants. When Nutter began serving the likes of Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, and Elton John, the rest of Seville Row took notice. Many followed suit and updated their offerings, often times fusing modern with traditional, but always retaining the highest quality.
BRITISH FASHION: 1970s
In the 70s, two British Designers became household names: Vivienne Westwood, and her polar opposite, Laura Ashley.
Vivienne Westwood began her career by catering to the Punk subculture. She designed "alternative" clothing, incorporating safety pins, razor blades, chains, spiked dog collars, and other such paraphernalia, and sold it at her boutique, SEX, on King's Road. She soon became a Punk icon--on both sides of the pond. (Yet more cultural cachet: Sid Vicious once worked at her shop.) As Vivienne's styles evolved, she also became a darling of the runway crowd. Now this highly creative British designer, of working class origins, has a retrospective of her work in the Albert and Victoria Museum.
Meanwhile, as Vivienne sold spikes and chains, Laura Ashley, a Welch designer, produced lovely fabrics, replete with floral graphics, and oftentimes, ruffles. Her clothing and household fabrics (from wallpaper to blouses, and most things between!) are reminiscent of Victorian times, English gardens, and good manners. Designs that suggest all things genteel and traditional.
BRITISH FASHION: TODAY
Today, many clothing designers hail from Britain, with Stella McCartney (Sir Paul's daughter) being a particular darling of the fashion world. Listed below are some of the major British fashion designers with links to their sites, where you can see current designs.
Check out Stella McCartney's Ready-to-Wear,
Spring/Summer 2015 collection!
BRITISH CLOTHING COMPANIES & RETAILERS
OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS:
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge: Photo Gallery
This photo gallery contains 76 of Kate's most dazzling looks--from jeans to formals. Breathtaking! To view photos, click HERE
HRH Queen Elizabeth = style icon? Really?
Well, yes--it's true! The queen has had a memorable wardrobe over the years. Check out the slide show at this link to see for yourself. I had forgotten just how lovely the youthful queen was. To view slide-show, click HERE
VIDEO: Gareth Pugh, British fashion & costume designer
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