We’ve asked Olga Millar -one of our previous monthly winners – to search out some of the latest, cutest, quirkiest and best buys out there! Here are some of Anglo-maniac Olga’s “Best of British” lovely fashion finds…
“London is the capital of Great Britain” was the first phrase we learned at our school English lessons in Moscow along with “My name is …” So I guess my affair with all things British started right there discovering the traditions , culture and places of interest of one of the most influential countries in the world. The country that gave us the Queen, The Beatles, punk rock, trench coats with check lining, Spice Girls with Vicky Beckham , red buses, black cabs and a vast variety of geniuses in literature, art and fashion. I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a few of the things that are Iconic both for Britain, that whole world of fashion loves and still wears.
I’ll start with my favourite, Doc (Dr) Martens! (BTW did you know that these originated in Germany?) These are making a come-back, not that they ever left the fashion scene, really. I’m sure all of you owned a pair at some stage in your life. I did back in the 90s when they were very hard to find in my hometown in Moscow. I remember going to an English summer school in Bournemouth and as part of the course we were given the chance to go to go to London for sightseeing. Of course I went to London, but instead of sightseeing I went to Covent Garden hunting for the “doctors”. Dr Martens are listed as part of the “50 shoes that changed the world” by the Design Museum. The latest limited edition ones can be found on Asos and on the official Dr. Martens website and are far from what I used to wear back in the days. Now, more than ever, they are a work of art!
Next on the list is “Tartan”. It’s been in and out of fashion ever since I can remember. It’s one of those things that you must have in your wardrobe just because. It can be any piece of clothing and/or accessory, not necessary a kilt or school girl look skirt. Tartan sunglasses are a great alternative to clothing and these are by the craziest British grandma (I hope she will not get offended) the great Vivienne Westwood!
Another version of tartan that is trendy and cost for winter is the scarf by Uniqlo.
And my pick that I would wear with the above mentioned Dr. Martens would be the le Kilt dress available from Asos.com, maybe together with the sunglasses and the scarf :). Why not? Make it a super clash!
Did you know that the British flag is not just displayed on the Olympic team uniforms? The Union Jack became part of the fashion world back in the days of punk rock and stayed. Back to the monochrome look with a twist addiction of mine, here is the alternative view on the Union Jack. These super skinny Religion Jeans are listed in the men’s section on Asos, but I am sure because of their fit they are just fine for the ladies as well .
And they are a perfect match with the Eleven Paris t-shirt with the face of one of the biggest names in the modeling world who was born in Britain – the one and only Kate Moss (apologies to Twiggy, Naomi and Cara)! -Available from Shopbop.
But wait, there is more! Here is another piece of London feel clothing in nearly monochrome. This skirt from Chicwish would look great with the Kate t-shirt , leather biker jacket, the Louboutin Pigalle shoes and of course red lips!
Now back to the cute and quirky things that are British related but do not necessarily come from the island. We all know about the traditional 5 o’clock cuppa tea and a biscuit! Well, I love this tradition and my tea and it looks like I am not the only one. Check out these cuties from the latest Kate spade collection depicting the true tradition of tea consumption. (Available at Kate Spade shops throughout the country.)
As I am known for my love of dogs, here is the ultimate dog lovers ring of the funniest, the snortiest and the cutest – the English bulldog, of course. An Italian company dog fever specializes in custom made jewelry of, that’s right, DOGS! You can customize your items too, which is fantastic.
Continuing the Italian connection theme, Great Britain gave the world and Italy the endless love of Romeo and Juliette and now the Italians can give it back to the world and the U.K. in the form of custom-made clutches in the shape of your favourite love story novel. Bags by M are all handmade in Italy and can be fully customized to your liking… (without the price tag of Olympia Le-Tan). Not a fan of love stories? Well you can always have the Alice in wonderland (written by a Brit).
Lastly, to sight seeing!
If you haven’t been to London, and are not planning a trip in the near future, not a problem. One of the most famous galleries of the city, the Tate gallery has an online shop from which you can get great souvenirs delivered to your door. And I’m not talking about souvenirs such as Big Ben key rings or Buckingham Palace Guard mugs. I’m talking about true objects of art and fabulous collectibles. A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on Damien Hirst’s iconic skull coffee cups and the scarf designed in collaboration with the house of Alexander McQueen. This year you can score silk square scarves created exclusively for the Tate by renowned artist and Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry.
Not only is London the capital of Great Britain, but it’s also the capital of the fashion, music and art world. Long live the queen , well she is 90 now … I might just go and have my cuppa now and read some Sherlock Holmes stories under my tartan cashmere blankie with my British bulldog look alike staffy, now! (He is definitely just as round and snorts just as much).
Cheerio and best of British to you!
– Olga Millar