Sunday, 25 September 2011


A good friend of mine suggested I talk about the difference between New York and London fashion for this blog and I have to say I loved the idea. Her inspiration came from a recent quote by Emma Watson where she said she felt that New York fashion was edgier than the classic style of London. Hence her 'classic' look at the London premiere of Harry Potter and her 'edgier' look at the New York premiere. You can't deny her London look was much more classic but does that rule apply across the board?

I have yet to visit New York so I think the best way of judging this is on the style stars of New York and London, past and present, real and fictional.

When I think of New York and fashion there are two women I think of: Carrie Bradshaw and Audrey Hepburn.

Carrie Bradshaw is what a lot of women think of as a typical New Yorker, a very kooky sense of style and fiercly independent streak meanind she answers to no-one. This is definitely edgy, her looks are now pretty standard but when she was first stomping down the street in them they were completely unique.

Audrey Hepburn on the other hand although not a New Yorker set the tone for New York fashion in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, standing outside the famous store in the, now infamous, black cocktail dress is the epitome of class and elegance, no edginess needed just straight up classic style. These two women are worlds apart yet I think they tell you what New York is: diverse. 

When I think of London and fashion I immediately think of punk. The Sex Pistols and The Clash with safety pins, tartan, leather and ripped denim. I think if there was a defining moment in London fashion, punk was it. This brings me onto Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, if these two women aren't edgy then I don't know what it is.

However, you cannot neglect the Royal family and their influence on fashion. You just have to look at our modern day princess Catherine Middleton and the coverage over her classic style. Catherine is never seen with a hair out of place or a less than perfect smile and 20 years ago she would have been the Queen of the twin set I'm sure, quintessentially British by anyone's standards I'm sure.

Then we move onto to Topshop, a high street brand which manages to do what most others fail at - create a sense of brand loyalty equal to a designer. Women queue for hours for their special collections, they save up for the must have pieces and they buy anything that Topshop says is in fashion. I think the typical Topshop girl is very modern British: layering, pastels, matching while maintaining a slight edge through accessories; ankle socks and sandals, oversized hairbands, sky high heels, very short shorts. 

I think London fashion is summed up in the mix, classic but with an edge. Boundary pushing but conforming enough to be relatable. 


No comments: