British Fashion vs The Rest Of The World

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion Tips & Finds

The following editorial is a guest post by  When you think about fashion in Britain today, what springs to mind? Jeggings and slouchy tops, or Vivienne Westwood? Scuffed Uggs, or Alexander McQueen? Love it or loathe it, London fashion has always been at the cutting edge of the world’s trends, with our British glitterati including such designers as Paul Smith, John Galliano, Christopher Bailey, Stella McCartney and Philip Treacy. Throw in a handful of supermodels including Kate Moss and Lily Cole, and it seems hard to imagine that any other country could follow the exceptional legacy of the British fashion world.

Brocade Wrap Coat

Despite this evidence that Britain is a cutting-edge environment when it comes to setting trends, the poor British still have a dodgy reputation for fashion faux pas and clothing catastrophes. When you compare our status in the style stakes with countries such as France or Italy, we always seem to come across as the poor cousin of chic. Our models are pale, but not as pale as the Eastern European razor-cheeked beauties who are in vogue at the moment. They are elegant and tall, but not in the same way as the fragile, waiflike goddesses hailing from France or Italy.

Lanvin Chain Pearl Droplet Necklace

All in all, Britain suffers from a poor reputation when it comes to leading the way in the fashion world. But, is this reputation deserved? Let’s take a look at how Britain is viewed in the style stakes, when compared with our more elegant and cutting-edge competitors…

A recent survey by a leading site showed that the Brits are regarded as rather a joke when it comes to the way they dress, abroad. More socks and sandals than chic, people in the UK are thought to have the worst fashion sense of any other country apart from America. Not surprisingly, Italians were voted as the top fashionistas in the world. It seems that our exposed beer bellies, skimpy trunks, sunburn and logo-mania have all contributed to an unfair assessment of our overall fashion capabilities.

Silk Inner Knit Pleat Sleeve Dress

It’s true, when many Britons travel abroad they perhaps don’t represent British fashion at its best. However, our reputation should be based on much more than a handful of people who throw a few clothes in a case and arrive at a holiday destination crumpled and uncoordinated. Wouldn’t it be better to judge British fashion through key events such as the The British Fashion Council awards, which showcase a delectable stream of top British designers who are esteemed all over the world? Admittedly, some of these fashion gurus may not be featuring heavily in the average Briton’s holiday wardrobe, but this kind of event offers the very best in global design and influence.

Fashion events like this see designers, models, editors, stylists and industry VIPs lining up to be celebrated, joined by illustrious A-list guests. It’s times like this that British people can give a sigh of relief, knowing that our fashion heritage is safe against rivals across Europe, and we are holding our own in the style stakes. You may have Chanel, but – Ha! We have John Richmond and Julien McDonald!

Throughout history, British fashion has held a tarnished reputation when compared to other countries, particularly in Western Europe. It’s time to stand back and consider the huge legacy which this small island has achieved, and re-think the status of Britain as a leader in global trends, styles and design fabulousness.

Flannels is the UK’s largest independent luxury retail group, specialising in contemporary Mens and Womens* designer clothing.

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