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Classic UK fashion in Olympic year

01-05-2012 10:37 BJT

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Summer 2012 will see the eyes of the world on the UK, as the Olympics come to London town. The country's famous haute couture designers will of course be looking to capitalize on the sporting and cultural action. Let's take a look now at the success story that is British Fashion.

Haute couture. It's a phrase that conjures up images of catwalk queens draped in size zero designs.

But modern fashion had to begin somewhere and according to many fashion historians, it began here, in London's Saville Row.

Saville Row was originally constructed in the 18 hundreds. Young and fashion conscious military officers would come here to find the best gold tassels and ribbons for their uniforms.

The street slowly grew into a center of high fashion, and London's upper classes, and even royalty, began their obsession with style and dress that continues today.

In the 18 hundreds, a man's clothes were thought to reflect his position in society and his lifestyle.

Tony Glenville, creative director of London College of Fashion, said, "Hunting in one kind of outfit, shooting in another kind of outfit, fishing in another kind of outfit, going to the city in another kind of outfit. The number of lives they had fitted into a day, or a month, or a year, meant that they had this extraordinary wardrobe."

Hilary Alexander has been a leading British fashion journalist for decades.

She says recent street style was born in the 1960s, from a boredom with post-war clothes rationing and a desire for something new.

And for her, one art school student stood out.

Hilary Alexander, fashion correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, said, "I think it was all really down to Mary Quant. She was an art student, she didn't want to dress the way her mother did, which, you know, up until then really had been the way things were."

Quant with her sharp, Vidal Sassoon haircut, became iconic of sixties flair, and synonymous with changing social values.

The 1960s pop music explosion polarized fashion and society, dividing the generations.

Designers looked to the young for inspiration, finding their creative outlet with the pop stars of the day.

Tony Glenville said, "Big stores would do an English promotion and they'd say 'Saks does London' month and they would have London designers and London clothes and they'd take over Twiggy to model, or they'd take over whoever and they'd play Brit music and think they were it."

The strong bond between British fashion and British music continues today.

Victoria Beckham is more than happy to leave behind her Spice Girl days behind her, with her British Fashion Council award for the "Designer Brand" of 2010.

And Stella McCartney, daughter of former Beatle Paul, is still the top choice for celebrities wanting to make a splash on the red carpet.



Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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