This week we land in London, the city where some of the world’s most influential subcultures and youth movements were born. Here, rebellion was expressed through anti-fashion, which in turn spawned trends and styles that became the foundations of official fashion, right up to Haute Couture.
Let our journey of discovery of streetwear and street style through the streets of downtown and the houses with the characteristic red bricks begin!
That street style also originated in London is well known.
Since the 1960s, in fact, with the spread of Mod and the 1970s with Glam Rock and Punk, London has been a hotbed of subcultures and styles improvised by the new generations, which have set trends and influenced the fashion world, up to and including the Haute Couture fashion houses.
London Streetwear is influenced by subcultures of the past, reworking them into a distinctive and authentic language. It mixes fundamental garments from American Streetwear with recognisable fabrics from UK tailoring, such as the infamous Tartan fabric, also taken up and ‘Destroyed‘ by Punk Culture.
The style here is distinguished by its multi-ethnic and stylistic influences from the many subcultures born here. The style is always bold, eclectic, and eccentric, blending elements from different ethnicities, fashions and cultural influences.
Eccentricity. Clothes and accessories often feature unique details, bright colours, bold prints and unusual combinations. Another key point, Londoners love to experiment and make bold fashion statements through their outfits.
Mix of styles. London street style embraces a wide range of styles from different subcultures and movements, such as punk, urban fashion, hip-hop fashion, skateboarding and vintage fashion. Elements of these styles are often combined to create a unique and personal look.
Layering. The layering of different layers of clothing, is a distinctive feature of London streetwear. Clothes are worn together in creative ways, combining different fabrics, colors and textures to create an interesting visual effect. This practice is particularly popular during the colder months of the year.
Subcultures. As we have already mentioned, a distinctive element of London streetwear comes from certain subcultures that originated here, indeed, such as Rave Culture, which influences streetwear fashion with bold neon colors and 90s-inspired prints. Punk, which fused its style with streetwear, creating a mix of tartan on t-shirts, plaid skirts on cargo trousers and so on.
Compared to the streetwear of other European cities, such as Paris or Milan, London’s is decidedly less sober, though still elegant. The Parisian style is inspired by the sartorial style of Haute Couture; the Milanese style by Italian fashion houses: both are clearly different from the London Streetwear and Street style, which always draws on Do-It-Yourself.
Here’s a list of some British streetwear brands worth knowing, established names that have shaped the city’s street scene and some up-and-coming brands to keep an eye on!
Martine Rose is a London-based brand known for its unique approach to streetwear. Martine Rose’s clothes are characterized by bold, unstructured cuts combined with a stylish sensibility. Designer Martine Rose is renowned for her ability to transform everyday objects into unique and desirable fashion pieces.
Aries is a streetwear brand founded in London by Sofia Prantera and Fergus Purcell. The brand is known for its eclectic and experimental style, which fuses elements of punk, grunge and contemporary art. Aries’ collections often feature bold graphics, artistic prints and vibrant colours, creating a distinctive and disruptive look.
Maharishi is a London-based fashion brand that combines streetwear with a strong environmental and sustainable ethos. Their garments often feature military inspirations, organic and recycled fabrics, and a great attention to detail and quality. Maharishi is known for its ‘pacifist’ fashion philosophy, which is reflected in its designs and choice of materials.
Palace is one of London’s most iconic streetwear brands. Founded in 2009, the brand quickly gained popularity due to its bold designs and distinctive aesthetic. Palace is known for its eye-catching graphics, inspired by skateboarding and youth culture, and collaborations with other fashion brands and famous artists.
Cottweiler is a London-based unisex fashion brand founded by Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty. Their approach to streetwear fashion, indeed, is characterized by clean lines, precise cuts and functional details. Their garments are often inspired by sportswear and use innovative, technical materials to create a contemporary, minimalist look.
RÆBURN is a sustainable brand that combines fashion and design with a strong environmental ethic. Christopher Raeburn, the designer behind the brand, creates clothing using recycled and upcycled materials, such as old military textiles or parachutes. Indeed RÆBURN’s collections are characterised by a functional and urban aesthetic with a strong message of sustainability and environmental responsibility.