13 Times the Ladies of London Rocked Trends That Started in the UK
The women of Ladies of London are fashion icons. Here's a look at the most traditionally English looks these Brits and American expats have rocked this season, as well as how these trends originated.
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The Trench Coat
The trench coat was designed by Thomas Burberry in 1901 for British and French soldiers in the First World War as an alternative to their heavy wool raincoats. None other than British officers of the 1st class were permitted to wear them.
These coats remained in the fashion sphere because they were associated with dignified ranking ... and because of all the rain in Britain.
Burberry is an iconic British luxury brand founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry. Although its trademark is the distinctive beige, red and black tartan pattern, Burberry is also responsible for the trench coat.
Juliet says, "You need a great trench! I love my Burberry one and I wear it anytime there’s a threatening cloud in the sky."
Alexander McQueen wasn't just a designer, he was — and is still — his own brand. Countless designers cite his work as their inspiration, and there is a uniquely defined character in his clothing.
Annabelle wore this McQueen gown to the 2013 annual Serpentine Gallery summer party in London.
Although this style of millinery dates back to the days of Queen Marie Antoinette, fascinators became popular again thanks to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Nowadays celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian rock them.
Juliet threw a hat party for the ladies to try on different fascinators in preparation for the Sandown Horse Races, an event where fascinators are actually part of the dress code.
Jimmy Choo Shoes
Caprice loves her sky-high Jimmy Choo's. This shoe brand has become world reknowned and the brand was actually a favourite of Princess Diana.
These cobbled masterpieces have trotted their way into mainstream North American fashion thanks to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker's character as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City.
In one iconic scene during the series, Carrie loses a shoe running to catch the Staten Island Ferry and says "I lost my Choo!"
Jimmy Choo shoes are even mentioned in a Kanye West song ...
Tartan patterns originated in the British Isles as a symbol of clan distinction. Because of this, plaid was often associated with British aristocracy and military. During the Victorian era it became a staple among the upper classes.
As a reactionary measure, tartan made a comeback during the late 1970's during the reign of punk music. The tartan was worn to redefine it as an expression of discontent against modern society. In this way tartan is both a symbol of aristocracy and anti-establishment!
The Flat Cap
The flat cap, known also as a newsboy cap or a golf cap in North America, can be traced back to 14th century England. Although this sporty hat is usually associated with the working class, boys of all status wore this cap, and eventually women wore them as well.
Annabelle wore one when the ladies went skeet shooting in Mapperton.
Crowns and Tiaras
The crown traditionally represents royal authority and honour, usually only bestowed upon those who belong to the monarchy — such as Julie Montagu, Viscountess (Lady) of Hinchingbrooke.
Today, only the British and Tongan monarchy continue this tradition.
Although the crown remains a symbol of rule, such as the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen at prom, this trend has made its way into mainstream fashion. Headbands with adornments and those hippie-chic flower wreaths are derivatives of the royal crown.
The Union Jack is the United Kingdom's national flag. It is an amalgamation of the red cross of St. George (England), the red saltire of St. Patrick (Ireland) and the white saltire of St. Andew (Scotland).
The pattern became popular in fashion during the British Invasion movement in the '60s and again during the punk rock movement in the '70s, where the flag was often ripped and safety-pinned to clothing as a symbol of anarchy.
Black Mourning Clothing
Mourning etiquette, which includes wearing black for a span of time that depends on one's relationship with the deceased, was made customary by Queen Victoria.
While everyone else wore red, white and blue to Juliet and Marissa's 4th of July party, Annabelle wore black. She explains, "I've dressed in all black because, for the British it's like we're in mourning, because it's our second Civil War."