London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 recently descended on London and the fashion world has now crossed the channel and is flaunting their desired pieces on the catwalks of Paris (we know, summer has only just ended and the fashionistas are already obsessing over what trends they will be donning next year). London Fashion Week is a huge event every year, attracting the most desired designers from all over the globe. With London being considered one of the fashion capitals of the world we have decided to take a look at some of the top fashion moguls that have originated from Britain. With the UK being majorly responsible for some of the biggest fashion movements in history, such as the Swinging Sixties and Punk, there certainly are some influential British designers.
1. Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood was the pioneer for the Punk movement during the 70’s, making tartan, leather and safety pins the fashion of the time. With a career spanning five whole decades (so far), Dame Vivienne Westwood is a staple of British fashion. Her clothing was initially sold in Malcolm McLaren’s boutique in Kings Road, London and was worn by the likes of punk-rock band The Sex Pistols. Westwood has since become an unstoppable force for fashion, now more famous for creating fabulous dresses worn by the biggest A-list stars.
Trivia – Vivienne’s son, Joe Corre, is the founder of underwear brand, Agent Provocateur.
Burberry is one of Britain’s oldest labels, but most surprisingly it did not start off as the fashion empire it is now. In fact, it was started by a man named Thomas Burberry in 1870, initially creating hard-wearing, waterproof garments. Their trademark trench coat and check pattern is what Burberry became well-known for. However, the check which first made Burberry famous nearly brought the brand’s credibility to its knees when it was adopted by the so-called ‘chav’ generation. Luckily, the brand has now shaken off this image and in 2013 was named the 77th richest brand in the world. Nowadays, under the reign of Englishman Christopher Bailey, Burberry takes a modern twist on traditional British style, making it one of the fashion industries biggest names.
Trivia – Burberry, famed for its check prints, has a range of 7 to choose from, from the classic Haymarket to more modern Exploded check, usually in metallic colours.
3. Alexander McQueen
Known for his slightly ‘out-there’ take on fashion, for example making the builders-bum fashionable with the ‘bumster’ in 1996 and sewing obscenities into the lining of a blazer made for Prince Charles, McQueen certainly earned himself a reputation. McQueen worked for some of the biggest names in fashion, he was chief-designer for Givenchy until he created his own fashion label, simply titled ‘Alexander McQueen’. McQueen was awarded with four British Designer of the Year awards and is popularly known as the owner of the fashion-house who created Kate Middleton’s stunning wedding gown for the Royal Wedding (designed by McQueen’s successor and previous assistant, Sarah Burton). Sadly, and much to the shock of many people, Alexander McQueen took his own life in 2010.
Trivia – McQueen’s official career began when he was 16, but it can be said that it started way before when he just 3 years old when he was caught drawing a dress on the wall of his family home!
4. Mary Quant
Known as the originator of the mini-skirt and a sixties fashion icon, Mary Quant started designing in the early 1950’s. Quant was an instrumental figure who played a massive part in Mod and youth fashion and she encouraged youngsters to dress to please themselves and to have fun with it. She started out by making her own clothes, influenced by items that she remembered from her childhood. She eventually opened her own clothing store in London, where, compared to the haute couture fashion around, Mary Quant’s pieces were more affordable for the average person.
Trivia – Quant’s love and dedication to fashion earned her an OBE in 1966 for her outstanding contribution to fashion.
Established initially as a British Lifestyle brand, creating leather poacher bags and binocular bags, the company has since gone on to create timeless, leather handbags which are on many women’s Christmas, Birthday and Valentine’s list! Founded by Roger Saul in 1971 from a £50 gift from his mother, the multi-million company has just launched a range of handbags designed by British model of the moment Cara Delevingne!
Trivia – Mulberry is now one of the biggest handbag manufacturers in Europe. All products are hand-made in factories in Somerset by local people! How British!
Britain, London in particular, is known and loved for its open and diverse approach to fashion. Britain can thank its talented and often eccentric designers for allowing trends to be established. Can you think of any more fashion designers that have made their mark in fashion? Comment below or tweet us at @Yamgotv ! For more fashion news and to see the runway looks of London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 head over to yamgo.com where you can watch Fashion TV live… for free!