Great British designer brands Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Paul Smith have created gorgeous and exotic collections for this summer. Inspired by the bejewelled shades of insects, camouflage fabrics and tribal shapes and patterns, the quintessentially British look is quirky, eclectic and fabulous.
Vivienne Westwood Global Exotic
Dame Vivienne Westwood became globally famous as the fashion queen of punk in her Sex fetish and fashion boutique in King's Road, Chelsea in the mid 1970s. Since then she has expanded her fashion brand across the globe and is renowned for eccentricity and creativity. Her Summer 2013 Gold Label collection is influenced by (as she explains on her online blog) the term Global Exotic
. From the iridescent colours of insects found in 'a little book of beetles', to the pattern on a box of Chinese tea, to her own world famous 'squiggle' design on clompers; the name she gives to her platform shoes. Westwood's trademark look is elegant, timeless and divine (as long as you don't fall off her 9"stack heels as Naomi Campbell famously did a decade ago on the cat walk).
Any privileged belle can go to the ball this summer in a Vivienne Westwood outfit complete with crown (as shown in her catwalk shows). A modern take on fairytale, folk and myth is brought to life with tribal hair styles and exotic face paint that still creates a uniquely British look. It's pricey to go for the three ring circus, but for ?85 you could own a little bit of Westwood magic with this small Greek Eye Holdall
, ethically produced in Kenya from recycled materials.
Drama at Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen CBE was a fashion legend, and like Westwood he always incorporated drama, sensationalism and theatre into his designs. For Summer 2013 McQueen also plays around with an 'insect' motif with this delicate dragonfly dress. | Photo: Alexander McQueen |
Alexander McQueen CBE was a fashion legend, and like Westwood he always incorporated drama, sensationalism and theatre into his designs. For Summer 2013 McQueen also plays around with an 'insect' motif with this delicate 'Dragonfly' dress
available online for ?255 from the McQueen website. For a different take on the insect world, this Butterfly Camouflage Exaggerated dress
subverts the military look with its pretty, unstructured appeal. The Neon Butterfly Camouflage McQ Plaque Clutch teams with the look, or can just be fabulous in its own right, at ?350.
Stella McCartney for Women
The women's ready-to-wear collection for Summer 2013 is sharp, attractive and quirky, yet also very easy to wear. Stella can take you anywhere, from the office to a fresh spring walk, to a smart cocktail party. Less flamboyant than Westwood and McQueen, the McCartney lines pack classic appeal. Like Westwood, McCartney sports short shorts and stack heels this season. She also has a flirty line in all-in-ones like this cute Oxford Chambray Milla all-in-one
in sky blue that is just perfect for the warmer weather, if you have the pins (and the courage) to pull it off.
Oxford Chambray Milla all-in-one in sky blue that is just perfect for the warmer weather. | Photo: Stella McCartney |
If you are a little less flamboyant, this neon Abstract Ridley dress
is striking and elegant in cool silk. The Falabella leopard print fold over tote
at ?660 will give any outfit a bit of flash, though you'll also have to flash the cash.
Paul Smith for Men
Sir Paul Smith has been injecting his signature style of classic men's designer wear into British fashion since the late 1970s. Though he has a range of womens wear, he is mostly known and celebrated for his contribution to men's fashion, and often his clothing will introduce a signature coloured stripe design. To cement his place at the forefront of men's fashion, Smith has collaborated with the sensational David Bowie to produce this T shirt
pictured above to commemorate Bowie's new album, The Next Day
, released in March.
Inspired by citrus fruits and summer berries, Paul Smith's made to wear Summer 2013 suits are sharp, stylish and sexy, like this slimfit pink two button jacket
. If you don't want to spend the better part of ?800 on your man, then Paul Smith does a nifty line in accessories and tops. This slim fit rose print shirt
is still breath taking, yet the price tag of ?199 will set you back a quarter of the price.