Best of British: the London brands shopping

20 April 2019 | Posted by Zackary

Even if its celebration has never been as important in France as in the Anglo-Saxon world, I love Halloween. Even as a child, when all my classmates would dress up as cheap extras from a rented B movie, I made it a point of honour to always choose fitting costumes. From the sultan of my 8th birthday, to the Pierrot of my Commedia dell’Arte phase, not to mention the time I insisted on resembling the Phantom of the Opera, I still wonder how my poor mother could have been surprised by my coming-out…

Since then, vodka shots have replaced candy, and the nice old people in the neighbourhood have given way to girlfriends dressed in Catwoman. Although attracting more crooks than at the time, my taste for disguise remains the same. While I usually spend weeks wondering what I’m going to wear, I may have already found my costume six months in advance: this year, October 31 will probably mark the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Giving up my usual glamour, I seriously consider turning into Theresa May — nothing scarier than having to pay more for my clothes.

Before it’s perhaps too late, we therefore let ourselves be tempted by these 10 pieces from British labels…

Born in Poland, Marta Jakubowski evolves in Germany before opening her studio in London. An advocate of minimalist fashion, her pieces are distinguished by their graphic details, such as the sensual cut on the hip of these velvet pants. Also available in black. (113€ in sales)

Created just 10 years ago, Universal Works is a small label whose mission is to revisit the worker’s wardrobe. With some influences from the 70’s, its designer offers a modern style, without denying its heritage. In this vein, we look at the carpenter pants, which can be completed with a simple white t-shirt or contrasted by a more precious top. (£50 on sale)

After his time at the Versace stable, where he is in charge of the Versus line, Christopher Kane established himself as a 2010’s prominent designer thanks to his mastery of prints. On this sweatshirt, we appreciate the tartan yoke, which will introduce a touch of irreverence to a slightly too sober look. (167€)

We have already mentioned Hussein Chalayan for his ability to combine fashion and technology. In a much more sober repertoire, we also like his interpretation of a great classic: the white shirt. Reviewed in a unisex version with volumes that bring power to the silhouette, it is equipped with a button placket enhanced with the designer’s name. The perfect item to succumb to logomania with elegance. (£275)

Known for her role in the punk movement, which she shapes with safety pins and sadomasochistic diversions, Vivienne Westwood’s work is also imbued with Victorian references. For instance, this little black dress with 19th century inspired lines, to wear with sneakers for a modern look. (570€ — “I’m broke” version available here.)

Our crush on this JW Anderson sweater can be summed up in two words: its cut. On an oversized base, the piece is structured by two pleats placed on each side of the collar, while the bust and sleeves are tightened at the bottom. The designer signs a piece with perfectly calibrated proportions, far from the monotony of traditional striped jumpers. (420€)

At the same label, we switch to outerwear with this lightweight coat. Its hybrid design, combining several colours and different materials, makes it a bold piece sufficient to add character to a look. With its 90s streetwear flair, it will easily find its place in most of your casual outfits, enriched with its urban DNA. (790€ — “I’m broke” version available here.)

In the 60’s, Oliver Goldsmith reinvents eyewear with new materials and bold shapes, helping to make the sunglasses a fashionable piece in their own right. Seducing the icons of the Hollywood golden age, he protects Audrey Hepburn’s eyes with this white pair, which is not unlike Kurt Cobain’s. If you are a Polnareff fan, it also works (£305 — “I’m broke” version available here.)

Earlier this week, I told you about my beloved Alexander McQueen pouch. When I saw this one, I thought maybe the time for the update has come. The disadvantage? It costs 1.775€ more than the one I already have. On the other hand, if someone tries to steal it, a punch should be enough to defend myself. 

We play it vintage with a bucket hat from Burberry, the most iconic of British houses. Some prints will never go out of style, especially those that evoke money… (230€ — “I’m broke” version available at your closest flea market.)

In any case, all we have left to do now is pray that prices do not skyrocket in the post-Brexit wave. Otherwise, find me in six months, dressed in a poorly cut skirt-suit and a grey wig… •

Hugh Hefner's and Donatella Versace's love child, I am the visible half of the duo behind ZACKARIUM. Addicted to fashion and to Lucky Strike, my mission is to guide you smoothly through the jungle of brands and catwalks.

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