London Fashion

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Marni storefront, London

First of all, thank you all so much for your well wishes when I was so ill in Berlin. I was literally crying alone in my horrible little hostel room with a fever and the chills and then I heard the ping of messages received and so many of you reassured me that my issues weren’t silly. Thank you. It felt good that I wasn’t alone even though I felt so geographically isolated.

I felt horrible during the entirety of my stay in Berlin. I felt terrible during my flight to London. But something about the familiarity of London provided a feeling of peace and energy and creativity. It always has. It’s the place that feels more like home than even where I live and was born.

I love wandering the streets of Chelsea and Battersea and Knightsbridge and imagining my favorite authors and characters within the confines of such. Around the corner was where Sherlock Holmes chased some nefarious villan, or where Mr. Darcy hunted down Wickham and made him marry Lydia. Or passing Charing Cross Road, I get a chill of excitement that Harry followed Hagrid and entered the magical world of wizards and witches nearby. Supposedly.

What I wore walking around:

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Black peacoat: Gap, super old. Scarf: street vendor, Paris. Striped shirt: Old Navy. Mint cords: Old Navy. Bag: Prada.

But I also like to observe the real and present among the same streets. Usually, I like to observe what people are wearing. I remember in 2003 I noticed that many people were wearing ballet flats and skinny jeans. Two years later, those both became ubiquitous in the U.S. This time I noticed that the fashions were remarkably similar to what’s going on here: chambray shirts, stripes, top knots, red lipstick, oxfords, brogues. I was pretty disappointed.

The upside of this was the clothes I brought were actually somewhat on trend, which was a relief because I actually got to attend some glamorous affairs. My favorite thing, ever. It was overly exciting for me 🙂

Right now there is an exhibit in London at the V&A that all of my friends recommended I see: “David Bowie is” which lived up to the hype. First of all, I wasn’t a huge fan of his, and was surprised how many great songs he has. (I didn’t know “Heroes” or “Under Pressure” was his work.) He is a huge influence on Radiohead (my favorite band ever), Lady Gaga, Tilda Swinton (SWINTON!) and Muse. The neatest part of the exhibit was demonstrations of how he engages in the creative process. For example, he employed a guy in Silicon Valley to create a program which amalgamates news headlines into phrases he can then use as prompts to write songs. Cool stuff. He also has wide-ranging intellectual influences like Brecht, the Weimar Republic, the dawning of the space age and NASA.

The exhibit made a big deal about this performance of David Bowie in 1972, for “Starman”: it supposedly blew people’s minds with its weird costumes, personas and androgynous style. Honestly, it seems pretty tame to me, but, whatever.

Anyway, I recommend checking it out for those nearby or visiting. Here’s what I wore:

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Dress: Old Navy. Cropped jean jacket: Target. Necklace: Banana Republic. Flats: Old Navy. Purse: Prada.

Later that night I went to two (TWO!) gallery openings. I was extremely nervous because I was going to be around my friend’s very glamorous crowd. I decided to take a risk and wear my jumpsuit. Jumpsuits have a bad reputation, but I felt pretty good in it. Sort of 70s, sort of Bowie.

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Stars and moons jumpsuit: Anthropologie. Necklace: Banana Republic.

The super glamorous crowd (in there, somewhere is Graham Norton):

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I also broke down and bought the twins some Burberry at Harrods. I know, such a cliche. My daughter was horrified at the colors: “Mommy, brown? REALLY?! Coco would NEVER.”

Well, I always knew she was a fashionista…

Are there any cities or places that make you feel more at home than even where you live?

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13 Comments

Filed under personal style

13 responses to “London Fashion

  1. I am so happy you feel better and got to enjoy London!! It’s past my bedtime, so I’ll have to check out your links tomorrow when my eyes aren’t crossed from exhaustion, but to answer, New Orleans!

  2. Love love love the jumpsuit! Maybe blogging is the reason trends are coming out earlier? My mum is English and when I was 6m old we went back and she came home with a permed Afro which was the thang in the UK – tiny Australia in the late 70s, not so much!! I heart graham norton – I’ve seen his show live many moons ago!! Looking good j 🙂

  3. Good to hear you’re feeling bette. Too bad you had such a miserable time in Berlin, which is actually a pretty neat place. Or so I thought during my visits there. As for the home away from home: for me, that’s New York City. Unfortunarely it’s been 11 years since my last visit there.

  4. Glad you are feeling better!

    Love the mint cords and the jumpsuit, which looks super cute on you! (I always want to be able to wear jumpsuits, but I’m very pear-shaped and they usually don’t want to fit my hips if they fit my waist and vice-versa.)

    Enjoying reading about your London leg of the trip, and seeing your outfits. I’m always curious what other people are wearing…

    As far as home cities that aren’t technically home…mine are Prague and Mexico City. I spent six months living in Mexico City as a teenager, and the smells, the climate, the place just feels like home to me. I love the rain in the afternoons during the rainy season that turns to brilliant sun within a couple of hours, I love the bright flowers that are everywhere, I love the climate that is neither too cold nor too hot. I love the mountains there, the architecture. I love the Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo and muralists such as Diego Rivera – seeing some of Rivera’s murals in real life is one of my favorite memories. And Prague is just an amazing, magical city that if I thought I had a prayer of learning to speak fluent Czech at age 30 and convincing my husband, I’d move there in a heartbeat.

    Hope you have a wonderful rest of your trip and stay on the mend health-wise!

  5. Love this! Glad you are feeling better and so fun to hear about your trip! The David Bowie exhibit sounds interesting and I enjoyed seeing what you wore around London! I want to go back there so badly! It is definitely one of my homes away from home, having lived and studied there the spring semester of my junior year of college in 1996. Just thinking about the months I spent there exploring and learning makes me nostalgic. The only other places I feel that way about are Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where my maternal grandparents retired to and lived between 1970 and 1998. We visited every summer and sometimes in the spring too. It is still one of my favorite places on Earth, even though my grandparents have been gone for 15 and 13 years. We try to get there at least every 3 – 5 years now and I day dream of it often in between. The other places that feel like home for me are Champaign, IL where I went to college and grad school, as well as Fremont, MI where I went to residential summer camp as a kid and teenager and Algonquin, IL where I worked at a residential summer camp.

    Thanks for sharing! Clearly this post struck a chord with me! 🙂

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed London 🙂 And thanks for writing about the Bowie exhibit, might go and check it out if I get the time.

  7. I think the Internet,blogging and social media have dramatically narrowed the time it takes for trends to spread. I am so glad you are feeling better, and I admit that I am dying of curiosity about what took you to Berlin 🙂 Nosy, nosy me!

    I loved your outfits! Chic and elegant as usual. Your comment about Bowie being so out there in the 70s reminds me of how I felt when I saw The Exorcist for the first time. I was like, “what’s the big deal?”

    Hmm…cities that feel like home. Paris felt like home, and I think London probably would to if I had been there more than once. I felt very much at home in Edinburgh. Maybe it helps that I look the part 😉

  8. Glad you are feeling better, finally! It’s fun to read your posts, and I like seeing your outfits!

  9. Well, I’m glad London was better than Berlin! As for Bowie — as someone who has firsthand memories of him and his Ziggy Stardust phase (cough cough), I can tell you my friends & I thought he was pretty freaky (and not in a positive way). I did/do like some of his mid-80s stuff, though, & these days, he seems pretty normal. 😉 I like all your outfits, but the jumpsuit was an excellent choice — very 70s, & you look great in it! I had a couple myself. Are they coming back??

  10. So much to love in this post. Bowie, Swinton, your daughter invoking Coco, and all your AMAZING outfits.

    I should hire you to broaden my yoga pants look into something cute and kicky. Or even sophisticated. Like you.

  11. I love how you have all these cute outfits, and they’re all Old Navy and Gap and all that. That’s inspiring. 🙂

    When I was in Peace Corps in Togo, that felt more like home than my real home. Particularly the city that K is from. I have’nt been back in 10 years, and I miss it all the time.

  12. Kathy

    I feel most at home in the city I was born in Toronto, Canada although I haven’t lived there for many years. I travelled to London a couple of years ago. My grandmother was born there. I felt a connection to England and I would love to go back there for a longer visit. I like your outfits especially the jump suit.

  13. Mel

    Fun time in London. I am a huge Bowie fan so I would love that. Starman is one of my favourite songs, though my ringtone for my best friend is Queen Bitch.

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