Greetings from London – a city of inspiration, excitement, and the capitol of creativity in terms of fashion! Anyone who has met me knows that I, whole-heartedly, love London and everything about it. Often, friends ask me why London instead of New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago? No, it is not that I dislike the United States or would ever be unhappy remaining working and living within them. I think back to my days of college hunting and finding my perfect fit. I knew where I was meant to be at that time because I got that comfortable feeling I was home. For me, London offers me the same feeling of belonging, not to mention an endless array of world culture, museums, exhibits, innovative architecture, and influential street fashion!
Each time I return “home” I try and explore and see new exhibits and areas I haven’t been to before. This trip, I crossed Tower Bridge, took a left, and headed to the Design Museum where they were featuring the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year Awards exhibit which they refer to as, “the Oscars of the design world.” This exhibit showcased innovative and ahead-of-its-time designs from around the globe from architecture and fashion to transport, technology, furniture, and more! It was here, standing in front of the first 3D printed haute couture shoes in the world, referred to as the, “Melonia Shoe,” designed by fashion Swedish designer, Naim Josefi, and industrial designer, Souzan Youssouf, that my appreciation for those creative minds in this world is refreshed and revived. I think many of us go to an art gallery, look at a painting, and think, “I could do that…what’s so special about those spatters of paint on the canvas and why do they refer to the guy who did it as an artist.” Be not mistaken, these creators take on an entirely different perspective of the world at times and convey their thoughts, feelings, and emotions into their pieces of work. Fashion designers look into such things as ancient history, the shapes of buildings, and colors in the sky, and then create masterpieces from what they take away from it.
After being inspired at the museum, I caught the tube to my other favorite location for inspiration – the streets in Westminster, Notting Hill, Chelsea, and my personal favorite, Oxford Street. Street fashion in London blows my mind. 98% of the time I am in awe over the genius and enlivening looks Londoners can throw together and pull off. Just about every person walking high street, passing favorite stores such as Top Shop, Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo, look like they could have just stepped off the runway. London is the one place where you can combine a leopard print jumpsuit, striped cardigan, paisley scarf, and a pair of Keds without raising any eyebrows (except to the occasional American tourist who finds what that person is wearing as hideous while they merely sport the ever fashionable sneakers, logo t-shirt, and sports cap). What is currently walking the streets of London everywhere are brogues! Made popular on the runway during fashion week was Prada’s thick soled version. This generally low heeled shoe which originated in Scotland and Ireland, then made only of un-tanned leather, now is available in canvas, leather, cotton, and lace, not to mention as many colors as one can dream about! I now, am a proud owner of a pair. Along with brogues are short shorts! Anywhere you turn, you will be sure to spot a young girl in the shortest shorts imaginable. Forget daisy dukes because next to these, daisy dukes could be the next capri! Luckily, these are typically worn with opaque tights, eliminating (usually) the “cheeky” show of the rear! Last but not least I can’t seem to escape prints and patterns! Spat all over garments are polka dots, tie dye, floral infusions, tribal pattern, and nautical stripes. This seems to be the season of no rules! Mix, match, and wear with attitude. Just don’t forget the John Lennon sunglasses, and fringed leather vest.
Maybe it is because I consider myself to be a risk taker in life, but I find London fashion, shown through exhibits in museums and worn by the thousands on Oxford Street daily to be exciting and remind me of what fashion is really about! It’s about having fun, inspiring yourself & others by letting your clothing do the talking, and most importantly feeling happy and like you, when you step into your favorite floral shorts, throw on your Native American poncho, and slip your toes into those ruffled ankle socks and strappy sandals! After a short stop in Zurich, I will see you back in the states!