Fittingly pursuant to my British lessons in mashing print, it would appear that it remained my modus operandi until I left for Milan (after which the eyeliner came out to play). That, and a penchant for navy outerwear – screw your shades of grey. While I explored that foolproof London layering formula in my previous stomp home from shows along Town Hall Hotel’s charming facade, here I’m more about the shape and print risks that stylists are willing to take in editorial, but consumers, particularly those in educational or working environments, won’t readily explore. And rightly so – print-on-print-on-print is probably not the most practical for most workplaces. I would, to some degree, challenge that by way of jigsaw-ing separates, though, because once you eliminate the styling restrictions of a onesie, the world is basically your oyster, and you’re guaranteed to pass this class.
Whether or not we can call this a distinctly London calling, in a styling sense, we can at least appreciate its influences on any silhouette and print inhibitions I may have held in the past – because it’s true. London does make everyone a little loopier.
In the best possible way.
It’s not too surprising, then (consequent to the styling freedom, not the loopiness – though arguably one and the same), that London has a much stronger multi-brand boutique culture than Sydney does (Melbourne is much better at that, as much as I hate to say it). Indeed, the general public is constantly raving about London’s high street, but large crowds of people absolutely terrify me, so I wind up spending the majority of my dedicated monthly shopping time behind a screen, and if I have the luxury of time, I prefer the narrower edits and visual merchandising of concept stores.
Though, being Generation Y, hybrid of the two is the ideal situation – the degree of #FOMO is just too high when on foot in physical stores, and the dollar bills are not yet so free-flowing that we can #YOLO our way through every quirky boutique in London. I would say that the past decade has seen the hurtling successes of e-tailers, and the plummeting confusions of physical stores in much of the world, though the past two years of digital strategists and their advertising agencies of choice have done much to kick their clients back into the game. In the same way that tensions remain between online and traditional print, there is no right answer except not to continue with the status quo – clearly, that’s not working out for you. Bridging the gap, and drawing the best-selling attributes from both worlds, is the first step to getting over your eternal Wednesday of progress – without responding to your evolving consumer landscape (let’s be honest – Australians aren’t shy when it comes to trying on in stores, then buying online without taxes), you’re never going to make it to Rebecca Black.
Hell, Rebecca Black won’t even want to shop with you.
So, with that in mind, anyone who has their head around Farfetch has the right idea – for the longest time, I’ve been pitching and debating on the benefits of a symbiosis between bricks-and-mortar and digital shopping, so I’m pretty glad this switched-on destination is now on our shores (for those of you overseas, you’ve had them shipping to you forever, so if you’re not across it, I don’t know what you’re doing).
Now excuse me while I #YOLO my way through every quirky boutique in London.
For this printed and oddly proportioned personal taste that I developed over my recent week in London, my favourites boutiques are:
Feathers (42 Hans Crescent, London) is famous for its high calibre of buyers (Manolo Blahnick used to work here are a buyer – I rest my case), and has a great philosophy for wearing and buying what you love, not what you need. From each of their brands, you’ll find the pieces that you didn’t even know went to production from the runway.
Diverse: (Radnor House 1272 London Rd, London and 294, Islington Upper St, London) has the best edit of designer separates I’ve seen in a long time, which basically amounts to church bells for me (y’all know I’m not a dresses person).