WHILE reading The Sartorialist this summer, I started to understand the difference between New York and London fashion. In New York it seems to be all about super luxury and in London, fashion is more about creative self-expression. (I had a broken knee, which forced me to stay in the house giving me lots of free time to philosophize).
Perhaps because most US clothing is industrialised, made in China so inexpensively and sold very cheaply. One of the ways to distinguish and differentiate oneself in New York is by wearing the most luxurious-Italian-handmade-by-artisans clothes imaginable. “How do the Italians turn butter into tweed jackets?” asked one of my clients in New York, many years ago. “It’s soooo soft” he whispered.
Across the pond in London, individuality seems to be a big part of British culture. I have heard it stated as a sociology theory here, that "the trauma of war and the need for rationing forced the population into extreme thriftiness, and those wishing for style had to be creative ”.
Walking the streets –or hobbling on crutches--it become clear that this attitude remains imbedded in the culture still. In London there is an abundance of vintage clothes sold in street markets and stores and this constant supply allows for a personalized look at a very low cost, and many wardrobe changes. The one-of-a-kind style is extremely appealing, almost irresistible to the Brits and anyone here can make a statement on their lifestyle by the way they choose to dress. They can differentiate themselves by the use of unusual proportions or unexpected colour combinations...
It would be great to read other ideas about this comparison if anyone would care to share in the comments.
My wife was happily surprised when I agreed, without too much resistance, to go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon. Of course I would like to see the new Sofia Coppola movie, especially since she has such a good aesthetic, begun her career in fashion (the brand she started, Milk Fed, is still big in Japan) and was one of Marc Jacob’s muse.
She has a great eye and because she has grown up immersed in the film industry, she can attract good talent for her movies. She was able to create a wonderful and sumptuously rich experience that I got to live for lovely two hours at the Brixton Ritzy Cinema last week...
I loved the ambient atmosphere of the movie and it felt as if I were sitting at the edge of the French court trying to eavesdrop on the conversations at the dining table. Sofia was able to convey the awkward anxiety of not being able to quite hear what your dining companions are saying. I loved the art direction, the colours, the blues contrasting with the paleness of Kirsten Dunst’s skin. She was cast perfectly as the good-hearted young Antoinette, who struggled to fit in but was never really accepted by the snobbish Bourbons.
Coppola said in an interview that she wanted to tell the story portraying the characters from their point of view, as if they were in a bubble, and in my opinion she succeeded.
The soundtrack worked for me, I couldn’t help but dance a little in my seat remembering the good times of the New Romantics. The movie was timely in that it mixed the astrosphere of so many eras so seamlessly: the late 1700s the 1980s when the UK was in social turmoil - the Thatcher Years- and now the “Bush Years”.
Four stars for stylishness, my highest rating, so thank you Sofia for a nice movie, and a nice afternoon at the French Court.
It might beIs that her on the left of the picture? Or is it a PR stunt? Yes. The evil genius at Dorothy Perkins had a pair of Celebrity Look-alikes surrounded by a swam of Paparazzi on London’s busiest shopping street lead teenagers (and us) into their store for a sale. The place was mobbed and many stayed on to shop and enjoy other events organised to keep us there until closing time. Honestly, it was great fun.