There is something so magical about the world about London Chic, a new brand waiting tantalizingly in the wings, begging for its chance in the spotlight. To the naked eye, it might seem like any ‘other boutique brand’, hungry for its chance to be noticed, prowling around the web snatching customers at whim. But that is where you are wrong, yes there is hunger but the hunger is more passionate than rooted in desperation and each item is lovingly curated in an imprint of what ‘customers really want’. New styles are added each week but unlike many major retailers who ‘up their prices’ with each new ‘collection drop’, no item in London Chic’s collection goes over £40. As someone who is self-employed and pays sky high prices for rent in London, finding a retailer who understands the need for ‘high quality’ yet affordable products can be a joyless task, yet London Chic fits the bill perfectly. Even jackets and outerwear such as bomber jackets and waterfall coats are all reasonably priced, with the most expensive item being £34.
Despite being new, London Chic’s collection has seemed to have mastered all the latest clothing trends; from sequin bomber jackets to embroidered playsuits, they have encapsulated each major S/S 17 trend with their own personal twist. Take the Nicole Jacket , a blush slinky maxi duster jacket, with ‘vintage pink undertones’. When -as Marie Claire put it- the ‘Parisian Triptyc’ of Celine, Givenchy and Chanel’ decreed ‘pink as the colour of the summer’ retailers quickly took notes to create their own perfect pink collection. While the Parisians indulged in their escapist ‘Barbie Girl’ fantasy, with tones of flamingo pink and fuschia, London Chic’s pink is more sophisticated, elegant and decidely grown up. Barbie pink might be popular with the Parisians but here in the UK it is evident that blush, nudes and soft pastel pinks rule the roost. You only have to look at the Topshop Unique who paired tailored pastel pink blouses with 60’s mini’s and black workwear slacks, merging the boundaries between ‘smart’ VS casual wear. Over at London Chic, the message or rather adoption of ‘pink’ is a little more simplistic, giving you the ‘wearer’/ ‘buyer’ unlimited styling possibilities. For me the 50’s prom dress ‘vibe’ was something which influenced many of my previous looks and would pair beautifully with the slinky nude coat.
While the 50’s are usually associated with floral tea dresses, the bodice & tulle skirt ‘dress’ were paramount elements of many 50s’s dresses, often styled in two different colours to create a ‘colour-blocked look’. For many young women, wearing these dresses would be the symbol of ‘liberation’ as cleavage would be shown, yet despite the 50’s dress’s ‘baring of skin’, many women would still ‘cover up with a shawl’ to create an illusion of modesty, as it was the ‘proper thing to do’. Thankfully in 2017, we are little open minded and see nothing wrong with a flash of cleavage or leg, thus the duster jacket which can be worn belted, open or somewhere in between was the perfect outerwear option because it allowed me to show off the sensual ‘bustier element’ of the 50’s prom dress. Maxi length duster jackets might not be the obvious choice when searching for outerwear to compliment a formal outfit but its slinky satin-like material and longer length turns the duster-jacket from a ‘pumpkin into a coach’ (and yes that was a Cinderella reference).
Speaking of slinky, London Chic seem to have curated a lust-worthy collection collection full of ‘ruched cami wrap dresses’ that wouldn’t be out of place at a 90’s red carpet event. The 90’s were famed for its overalls, bell bottoms and bombers but ‘formal wear’ was often modelled on the ‘underwear as outerwear trend’, which had a resurgence in popularity during S/S 16 catwalk season. The popularity of a cami or ‘slip dress’ was inspired by ‘contemporary lingerie shows’ such as VPL and saw many 90’s icons like Lil’ Kim and Christina Alguleira adopt paramount features like ‘camis’ cami dresses and corsets over outerwear, which many critics decreed was to depict themselves as ‘sex symbols’ in order to sell their music. Of course in my opinion the underwear as outerwear trend has nothing to do with marketing and is largely a sartorial celebration of the female body. After centuries of being told to ‘cover up’ women were able to draw inspiration from the sixties ‘free-spirited aestheticism’ and wear clothing which not only showed ‘skin’ but also empowered women to embrace their bodies. As someone who has chronicled her struggles with body dysmorphia, after being bullied for having small boobs and being slim, London Chic’s ruched slinky cami wrap dress allowed me to accentuate my small chest and show that its okay to wear any trend regardless of what shape or size you are because fashion is and will always be universal.
The problem is with many modern fashion concepts is that styles are limited to shape and size i.e. you can’t wear a particular dress because your ‘too curvy’ or your chest is too small to wear a ‘cleavage hugging dress’, but here at London Chic we are taught to love and appreciate the bodies we are given. Which is why I love bloggers like Tanya (Secret Plus Size Goddess) and Laura (What Laura Loves) , who embrace their beautiful figures as a big f**k you to an industry who attempts to put a label on trends and limits who can and can’t wear them. If you want to wear a mini skirt but are worried about what people think then who cares, your body, your choice. I grew up trying to hide the body I had been given because I was conscious of my petite frame but now it is a completely different story. I don’t mind having small boobs, am appreciating my figure and above all am becoming braver in my outfit choices, which I feel is a lesson well learnt. You don’t have to ‘show skin’ to feel empowered as we all make liberated clothing choices in different ways but for me the ‘underwear as outerwear trend’ is not something I would have been brave enough to wear three years ago as I was self-conscious in my skin but now I couldn’t care less what people think.
Does Fashion Make You Feel Liberated?
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