We’re all a bit complacent when it comes to fashion trends in the UK – A high speed high street that turns trends around from catwalk to one-click shopping by the time fashion week closes. How spoilt we are!
But when UK people are tired of copying the catwalk and want to get a more unique look and find new trends, they tend to focus at specific styles that other people have done in the past or at trends from across the world…
Let’s cover the 5 continents to find the top trends that have influenced the British taste and style.
To start our trip, let’s go to the country of Kangaroos and amazing beaches: Australia and its famous UGG boots. They are the perfect example of the influence that has the world on the British fashion field. First created in Australia, these unisex sheepskin boots were supposed to be exclusively for surfers who wanted to keep their feet warm after exiting from the surf.
Contrary to any expectation, surf helped popularising the boots outside Australia and New Zealand. And in the late 1980s and early 1990s UGG-branded ugg boots emerged as a fashion trend in the United Kingdom and the US through celebrities’ promotions such as Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Pamela Anderson.
Now, in black, beige, brown or grey, from knisbridge to Camden going through covent garden and Portobello, everyone is wearing these comfortable boots either for shopping, coffee, uni or even for an after party when you feet suffered the whole night.
A selection of UGG Boots
Kate Moss in Short Classic Grey UGG Boots
Our second item comes directly from the country that is now competing with the Holywood film industry and that is known for its tasty cuisine. A country where women are known for their beauty, grace and conservatism: I am of course talking about India and its so famous harem pant.
Harem pants, which originally from India, are like a cross between a skirt and a pair of skinny jeans. They hit the catwalks for a massive come back last year and spread in no time all around the country. Comfy and colorful, these pants are far from being just a simple vintage look from a not too distant period in fashion. The current British trend known as harem pants can be traced back nearly 2.000 years to the traditional garments known as salvars in South and Western Asia.
In 1909, harem pants were brought back into the fashion industry by French designer Paul Poiret, with the pants being worn below a tunic draped over the upper body. Unfortunately this trend failed, and harem pants were again relegated to being worn for women’s sports.
Today, harem pants are becoming more and more popular thanks to designers such as Galliano, Jacobs and Valentino that fulfilled in making it sleek, sophisticated and chic outfit that is appreciated by all and worn all over the UK.
John Galliano’s collection for Christian Dior during Paris Fashion Week 2009 featuring swooshing harem pants.
From movies to food and going through TV shows, the US’s influence is everywhere and concerns all the fields. And fashion is of course not spared!
The perfecto is without a doubt the most outspoken example of the American marks in the UK fashion world.This leather motorcycle jacket was first introduced in 1928 and had been produced for more than 50 years.
The iconic black leather jacket, famously worn by Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie The Wild One, was born in the USA.
4: The Middle East:
After exploring America, Australia and Asia, let’s focus on the Oriental side of the world, which despite its delays in many areas has without a doubt played a role in shaping the British style.
The Kufiyah that was typically worn by Arab men and that was first created to protect people from direct sun exposure in arid regions is one of these oriental item that over time spread in the westernized countries before becoming a must have for every fashonista and an “incontournable” for all the celebs.
The Kufiyah became an international fashion trend in the late 1980’s at the start of the first intifada when bohemian girls wore them as scarves.
The trend recurred in the mid-2000s in Europe when the kufiyah became popular as a fashion accessory -usually worn as a scarf around the neck- and stocked in high street stores such as Urban Outfitters and TopShop.
El Horreya Ladies wearing the traditional Kufiyah
And finally, last but not least, the French influence on the UK fashion world.
The city of love and fashion has definitely left its marks in the British style just like it did in all the other countries. The power of the French style is undeniable. A simple look at the British streets says it all.
The well-known “mariniere” style was at first the French navy sailor costume before becoming in the early 20th century the common people wear and finally the symbol of the French culture and the eternal France. The “mariniere” can be found in all the British high street stores like French Connection, New Look and River Island as one of their best seller.
And of course, the famous “French” beret. First worn by fishermen in the Basques It was used by men and women in the 1920s as sportswear and later as a fashion statement. The beret is now a commercial product in the UK sold in a wide array of colors in many high street stores and even online boutiques such as asos.
The famous French beret
French women wearing a blue and white stripped top illustrating perfectly the “mariniere” style
After exploring the world and its most influencial trends on the UK fashion world, we of course, noticed some great styles out there to pull from, but there have also been some very strange, awkward, and down right bad style choices that have been made as well.
So now… make your choice and choose which part of the world you want to explore!