The countdown is on peeps. I’m eagerly anticipating the BASH 2016 fundraising event for The Snowsuit Fund, held at the Horticulture building in Landsdowne park, on Friday June 10th. This magical bash happening in Ottawa, will be a spot of heaven for any ex-pat homesick British birdie like myself, as this years event theme is titled ‘London Calls’. YESSSSS! Cue a spot of serious outfit planning and the prepping of a few ‘please tell me this dress will bloody fit’ lunchtime salads.
I lived and loved London for 8 years. In my early 20’s I moved from my home town of Cheltenham, to the lights and smoke of glorious London to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. An incredible career experience went hand in hand with some seriously fun adventures soaking up the London life, culture, fashion and social scene. I had a bloody blast!! I first lived in the Princess Royal Nurses accommodation in Russel Square, the perfect swaggering distance to the shopping Mecca of Oxford Street and staggering distance from the many brilliant bars and pubs. Happy Days!! Then followed some sweet time residing mainly North and East London in; South Woodford, Victoria Park in Hackney, Crouch End and Highgate. My London years are so precious to me. I treasure my friendships, my experiences and of course meeting my husband. Never thought I’d fall for a Canadian bloke in a pub, not alone marry him and emigrate to his home town of Ottawa. I’ve been here 11 years now?! Life is absolutely bloody bonkers when you think about it!
The Iconic Fashion London Landmarks
So this fabulous BASH’16 event along with deep thoughts regarding outfit inspiration has led me to think of all the iconic London landmarks that we relate to in regards of fashion; styles, influences and eras. Here are my top picks of the London landmarks that have left a style imprint in my heart.
The Chelsea Florals
Home of the infamous annual RHS Chelsea flower show. Every May for 5 days, people from the UK and around the world, flock to this beautiful show courtesy of the Royal Horticultural society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. Green fingered fans get to admire the horticulture and glorious majestic floral displays. Highlights of the show being the avant-garde show and the artisan and urban garden shows. Lovely Chelsea streets with its beautiful boutiques and cute little houses.
Style ponder: Think florals, British gardens, the English Rose and a spot of afternoon Tea in the garden, actually lets throw in a cheeky glass of Pimms too!!
No one can beat Ted Baker for a pretty floral dress!
Dresses: Ted Baker, Shoes: Ted Baker, Watch: Olivia Burton, Earrings: River Island Vintage style flower studs
The Buckingham Palace Military
I’ve always had a bit of a weakness for military uniforms. There is something about the textures, colours and structure of British Guard uniform. I wrote a post last year Love a little Military Jacket about my style appreciation for a military jacket. I will without doubt, always have one in my wardrobe. As a Child on a day trip to London to ‘visit the Queen’ or as an adult wandering across Green Park, you can’t help admire Buckingham Palace in all its glory. A beautiful building, full of history and home to the British and commonwealth Royal Family. There is something magical about watching the changing of the guard and admiring all the ‘pom’ as you stroll down Pall Mall.
Style Ponder: Think Red, Gold, structured jackets, brass buttons, side stripe trousers and perfect posture!
Burberry jacket, Chloe wool flared pants & Dee Keller gold sandals
Pinky Laing jacket, paper london paris skirt & Tory Burch shoes
Gucci Jacket, Maison Margiela Tuxedo trousers & Jimmy Choo shoes
The Carnaby Street Mods
The lovely Carnaby Street is tucked in behind the mighty Regent Street and brought to fame by the Swinging Sixties. I would often wander down Carnaby street as it’s near my ‘shopping heaven’ spot, the beautiful department store Liberty. It also neighbours one of my favourite London pubs! My best mate and I would have to go their quite frequently as when you’re in London you truly develop quite a thirst for Beer!! When I think of Carnaby Street, I think of the British designer Mary Quant and the swinging sixties delivery of soho Mod fashion.
Style Ponder: Think Twiggy, eyelashes, colour, monochrome, go-go boots, mini skirts and dresses.
A selection of fabulous vintage dresses!
L-R: Pierre Cardin 60’s dress, Roksander Rader mini dress (current), Nina Ricci 60’s dress, Courreges haute couture 60’s dress, M.Dino vintage dress
The Kings Road Punks
The Kings Road not only housed the iconic Biba department store in the 60’s but also became home in the 70’s & 80’s to Punk Fashion. The young, school teacher, girlfriend of Malcom McClaren would make clothes for McClaren’s Punk bands and Boutique in the Kings Road. The shop later was named SEX (now known as The Worlds End) and opened 1974-76, becoming the hub of Punk style. This school teacher then later went on to become one of the greatest the British designers of all time, all hail Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Early Punk fashion adapted the everyday objects for a new aesthetic affect. Ripped clothing, black bin bag dresses, drain pipe jeans, Dr Marten laced boots along with safety pins and razor blades as jewelry.
Style Ponder: Think tartan plaid, skinny trousers, safety pins, laced boots and ripped clothing.
No one nails the punk essence better than Vivienne Westwood!
Westwood corset top, Westwood Anglomania stretch knit midi skirt & Westwood Olly D’orsay shoes
Westwood Cady Jacket, Westwood Tartan tuxedo trousers & Westwood orb heel shoe
Westwood Red label black draped dress and Westwood red mary jane shoes
Westwood silk blouse, Westwood Anglomania pirate pants & Charlotte Olympia Tartan Kitty slippers
The Savile Row Tailoring
The infamous Savile Row is a street in Mayfair. Home to some of the worlds finest tailors, its known for its traditional bespoke tailoring for Men. It has its own unique history as it was once headquarters for the Royal Geographical Society where significant British explorations were planned. It was also here at the Apple Headquarters office of 3 Savile Row, that an impromptu 42 minute set on the roof was played in January 1969 and was to be The Beatles final live performance. British Designer and Couturier, Alexander McQueen, started off his career here, training in Bespoke Tailoring. The story goes that he actually worked on a suit for HRH the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), and cheekily wrote a very, very rude message in the lining of his suit. Naughtiness!!
Style Ponder: Think pinstripe, sharp tailoring, waistcoats, suits, crisp white shirts, Bowler hats
Tom Ford black Tuxedo jacket and trousers, Gianvita Rossi heels
Victoria Beckham pinstripe top and wide leg trousers, Christian Louboutin brogue booties
McQueen Prince of Wales check jacket, Topshop double split maxi skirt and strappy wrap heels
Lulu Guiness envelope clutch bags and Rane wool bowler hat
The Covent Garden Avant-Garde
Originally a fruit and vegetable market in London, Covent Garden is now the home of the Royal Opera House and a beautiful shopping district. This little spot of London is surrounded by the arts with the Theatre Royal and its neighbouring Drury Lane and Shaftesbury Avenue theatres. Street Performers entertain crowds with impromptu performances outside of St Pauls Church. It is also home to London’s Canadian pub, The Maple leaf. On July the 1st, the street is filled to the brim with Canadians celebrating Canada day. Yep, a few fuzzy beer fuelled July evenings were spent there with my husband!
Style Ponder: Think Opera and the arts. Ostentatious silks, fringing, velvets, furs, top hats and canes! Love it!!
A selection of vintage pieces from various decades. The English Eccentricity approach to dressing is to mix everything up and feel fabulous!
My personal Style influences for dressing this event
So this is a really fun one for me. I not only get to go ‘out-out’ (Mum lingo for “I’m on a bloody mission and it may get fuzzy with bubbly bubbles”) but I also get to dress up in true British style. I want to embrace all my my personal British style influences. So what are my style influences?
The May’16 issue of British Vogue echoes some of these style influences perfectly. This issue graced a cover of Kate Moss wearing pieces from Mick Jaggers personal wardrobe of the 60’s and 70’s. The beautiful editorial article is to highlight the current exhibit of the current Rolling stones ‘Exhibitionism’ at the Saatchi Gallery. A must see exhibit for anyone in London. Desperately wish I could get to see this.
Moss is Boss
Kate Moss may be the size of my right leg but I still absolutely adore her style. She is a true fashion icon in her own right. She is the Queen of Vintage, in my book. Just last month she was in Toronto and visited the Toronto Vintage store, Divine Decadence Originals, to stock up on some goodies. She effortlessly yet expertly mixes the Vintage with High Street pieces. She is often spotted on the street wearing Topshop and has collaborated with Topshop on some highly successful sold-out collections in the past. The eBay sellers all probably went on vacation holidays with their proceeds!! Yet, Ms. Moss will also mix these style hero pieces with a touch of modern day designer to her outfits. Always on point and always so style savvy. Queen Moss remains one of my style icons and wardrobe influencers. I love the photo of Kate wearing the 60’s Band jacket that belonged to Mick Jagger in the Vogue article. Absolutely stunning and so stylish.
No party can be without some good old British Rock’n’Roll music influence. So many incredible bands and talent has come from the UK. For me, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are part the foundation weave in the fabric of British Music. They were true influencers of music, style and culture of that era. Who can ever forget that iconic “Sgt. Peppers Lonely hearts club band’ album cover? The Beatles in their Band jackets looked incredible. That style era has gone on to influencing the style of many more bands including Coldplay.
*Image via Pinterest
There is something about the Mod style that I just adore! For me, I have such a weakness for the Mod shoe styles. I love the Chelsea boots and go-go boots of that era. I recently bought some fab gold shoes from Topshop that are a great take on vintage 60’s shoes. They instantly reminded me of a pair my Grandma had in the 60’s/70’s. Its funny the things that you see as a kid and that stay in your heart forever.
*Image via pinterest
So there we go. Bring it on Bash’16, I’m ready for ya! Keep watch for my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook photos from the upcoming event itself and see what I end up wearing!! For Ottawa readers, BASH are 95% sold out of their tickets. If you’re free on June 10th then book your ticket here for a good cause and come and have a drink or two with me.