Again within the late 2000s, the phrases “British vogue” might need conjured up psychological photos of Kate Moss’s iconic Topshop assortment or Lily Allen’s penchant for pairing designer ball robes with Nike trainers. You might need considered it-girls like Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn, or indie lads like Pete Doherty and Kele Okereke. In different phrases: It was sort of cool, in its personal approach.
At the moment, it’s a unique story. Topshop shops have shuttered whereas on-line retailers like Boohoo and Fairly Little Factor reign supreme. British fashion most likely exists on a spectrum someplace between Depop bucket hats and no matter ex-Love Island contestants are flogging on Instagram Reels. Both approach, we arguably peaked a decade or so in the past and it’s been downhill ever since.
However what does everybody else suppose (except for the French, who not suppose we’re cool)? From our incapacity to decorate based on the climate to our poisonous relationship with quick vogue, right here’s what non-Brits needed to say concerning the present state of British vogue.
Elettra, 24, Italy: ‘British fashion is trash’
- 1 Elettra, 24, Italy: ‘British fashion is trash’
- 2 Laura, 23, Spain: ‘Tiny, tiny attire in the course of winter’
- 3 Renny, 24, USA: ‘I am unable to say I’ve seen a vogue sense that’s really British’
- 4 Ade, 24, US/Nigeria: ‘Black British individuals assist drive British vogue and cultural tendencies’
- 5 Pooja, 24, India: ‘No conventional put on’
- 6 Giulia, 26, Italy: ‘There’s a scarcity of dressing appropriately for the climate’
- 7 Andrea, 24, Italy: ‘Uniqueness and eccentricity are celebrated’
There are very cool retailers, like classic retailers and charity retailers, which is one thing we do not have in Italy, and in addition manufacturers that we have been at all times on the lookout for in Italy, like City Outfitters. However I discovered this nice disconnect between the supply of cool retailers and what individuals have been sporting.
If I needed to outline British fashion in a single phrase – and I feel London is much less consultant of this – usually, I’d say the British fashion is trash. Everybody simply sort of appears the identical and there is not likely a whole lot of individuality. I additionally suppose one thing that has not but come to the style fashion right here is simplicity – the extra glitter, the extra pizazz, the extra “on the market” it’s, the trashier it appears.
Laura, 23, Spain: ‘Tiny, tiny attire in the course of winter’
What shocked me essentially the most about UK vogue after I first moved right here is how open it’s. You possibly can put on no matter you need and no person’s going to stare at you.
One other factor that I discovered stunning was going out vogue, as a result of I’ve by no means seen something like that. I’ve by no means seen ladies put a lot effort in and put on such tiny garments. It’s advantageous to put on tiny garments, I’ve nothing in opposition to them, it’s simply that it shocked me at first as a result of I’ve by no means seen something like that earlier than. Simply a lot make-up and a lot effort and tiny, tiny attire in the course of winter after I would have been freezing. I discovered that fairly stunning, to be sincere.
Renny, 24, USA: ‘I am unable to say I’ve seen a vogue sense that’s really British’
For context, I work in vogue PR and earlier than I labored in PR, I labored in retail. One factor that I really feel like I’ve picked up within the time within the vogue area is that lots of people pull their inspiration from different locations. I am unable to say I’ve seen a vogue sense that’s really British. All of the those that I’d take into account fashion-forward aren’t actually British, and if they’re British, they’re pulling inspiration from the 70s, 80s, 90s, vogue lookbooks, individuals within the US, individuals in Milan, Scandi individuals.
Very not often are British individuals like, quote unquote, “really genuine” of their fashion. There is not a real essence of British vogue – you have got the normal Parisian, or the normal “Scandi, however you do not actually have a conventional British vogue sense. In my view, anyway.
Ade, 24, US/Nigeria: ‘Black British individuals assist drive British vogue and cultural tendencies’
So for me, after I take into consideration British vogue, I take into consideration immigrants and I take into consideration simply how a lot Black Brits have contributed to the tradition. For me personally, it’s a supply of inspiration, individuals like [Black British designers] Mowalola, Feben, [fashion stylist] Julia Sarr-Jamois or Edward Enninful.
I feel all these individuals within the vogue business contribute quite a bit to British vogue, however even outdoors of the style business, I do suppose that African immigrants and Black immigrants in your neighbourhoods are fashion inspirations. They assist drive British vogue and cultural tendencies.
Pooja, 24, India: ‘No conventional put on’
India has a whole lot of conventional clothes, however I did not get to see that within the UK. Again dwelling in India we do have conventional put on – for festivals or something of that kind – however they do not have it right here.
One factor that additionally caught my eye was the layers of garments you must put on within the UK due to the climate. In Mumbai, it is normally actually humid, however in Leeds – the place I’m proper now – it will get fairly chilly. For the primary time I had to consider what sort of coat I needed to get and see if my jumper was thick sufficient to guard me from minus two, minus three levels.
Giulia, 26, Italy: ‘There’s a scarcity of dressing appropriately for the climate’
One factor that I discovered very humorous after I used to dwell in Scotland was that the very best temperature there’s most likely like 15 levels, and when it occurs individuals simply go loopy. They exit with their tops off and put on summer season garments even when the temperature does not justify it. So I’d exit when it was sunny, nonetheless sporting denims and a sweater, and then you definitely see all of the Scottish individuals with their flip flops, tank tops, brief skirts, like they’re in Spain. I feel there’s simply this lack of dressing appropriately for the climate, which I discover very curious contemplating how the climate is on this island.
Andrea, 24, Italy: ‘Uniqueness and eccentricity are celebrated’
What I’ve at all times appreciated and admired about British vogue is the unabashed sense of individualism and the way uniqueness and eccentricity are celebrated. That’s truly one thing that my mom remembers actually choosing up on when she first got here to Britain within the 80s if you had all these actions, like punk and the New Romantics. I’d say that custom is one thing that has carried on to at the present time and is an actual robust level of British tradition.
On the unfavourable facet, nevertheless, I’ll say that I really feel that vogue will be fairly strongly coded in British tradition, particularly within the polarised political occasions wherein we dwell. As an example, I am somebody who has at all times been extremely impressed by continental vogue kinds, so I like dressing up and I take note of what I put on. And generally that has been interpreted by individuals as me dressing like a Tory or I’ve even been assumed to be a Tory, when I’m positively left-wing in my politics. I really feel that how I gown isn’t any reflection of my political and social values.