With London Fashion Week swiftly approaching — it runs from Feb. 15 through 19 — the British capital will soon be swarming with fashionistas. To help you discover what makes London such a vibrant style capital, here’s our suggested one-day tour of the city’s hottest hot spots.
Start your day on the east side of Oxford Street — the busiest shopping boulevard in Europe — and discover the flagship stores of big-name brands like Debenhams, Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. Swing a right before you get to Oxford Circus and you will find yourself on the designer shopping mecca of Bond Street. A famous fashion road since the 1700s, it is home to a bevy of big British designer brands including Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo, as well as international clothing lines such as Calvin Klein, Prada and Miu Miu. Just off Bond Street you’ll also find the British headquarters of the fashion magazine Vogue.
At the end of Bond, take a left to visit the famous Savile Row. Considered the “Golden mile of tailoring,” this historic street is home to some of the finest tailors in the world, who have fitted clients from Horatio Nelson to Daniel Craig for more than two centuries.
After lunch, take a short trip northwest to Notting Hill. The streets here are home to several interesting vintage fashion shops, such as Retro Woman, but the biggest attraction of all is the Portobello Road Market. There are all kinds of clothes here, from alternative threads to secondhand styles, but the main draws are the young, up-and-coming designers. Some very big names started here, so there’s a chance you could pick up a piece from the next Vivienne Westwood.
Once you’ve finished exploring Notting Hill, descend into the Underground and head south to London Bridge — just a short walk from the Fashion and Textile Museum. Founded by the designer Zandra Rhodes, this brightly colored converted warehouse is home to temporary exhibitions on all aspects of British and international fashion and design. Right now, there’s an exhibition entitled “Couture by Royal Appointment,” focusing on the Queen’s designers.
Finish your fashion tour in a chic London nightspot. While there are many contenders for the most stylish bar in London — the list includes Zenna in Soho and The Fumoir at Claridge’s in Mayfair — you can’t beat Beaufort Bar at The Savoy. Combining a stunning Art Deco interior with some of the finest champagne cocktails on earth, it’s simply the most fashionable way to finish your day in the city.
Photo Courtesy of iStock-Sung Kuk Kim