Exploring Culture Through Fashion and the Story London Tells
A look at fashion in the streets of Zurich, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the exciting fashion of London
Over this Spring Break I had the pleasure of being able to travel with a very close friend of mine. She came to visit me here in Paris for a few days, and together we went to visit one of her oldest childhood friends in Zurich, stayed with her cousin in Glasgow, and spent a few days in London. One of the best things about traveling is being able to experience the culture and the way of life of people in another part of the world. And as a fashion student I am most interested in observing the way the people dress. Is it mainly for functionality or for expression? I am of course more interested in the expression. To get a glimpse of who a human being is on the inside, but seeing how they choose to adorn themselves on the outside.
When I was in Zurich, my experience is that most of the people dress for functionality. One of the strongest values in Switzerland is efficiency. From the exquisiteness of their public transport and their unparalleled relationship to time, there is a lot about the Swiss that I admire and hope to adopt more qualities of into my life. But from walking the street of Zurich, I got the sense that fashion was not one of their core values. Everyone looked very nice and presentable, but no one really dressed to stand out.
GLASGOW and EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
When I think of Scottish fashion, I of course think of Kilts and family tartans. Well I did see some kilts, but they were only on the bagpipe players in the street. Most men wore jeans. I also got the sense that in Scotland they dress for functionality and the weather. It is said that in Scotland you can experience all four seasons in a single day, so they tend to dress in layers to be able to easily adapt to the changing weather. Overall my experience of the weather, as a California girl, was that was quite cold. On our last day in Scotland the sun came out, and people were wearing short sleeves and shorts... I on the other hand was still cold.
While I was definitely in love with the people and the culture of Switzerland and Scotland, I must say I was a little underwhelmed with the fashion. People seemed to wear clothes for the weather and for convenience, and there wasn’t a lot of the personal expression that makes someone standout in crowd... Then we arrived to London. It was a breath of fresh air. London has always been a city about expression and where the individual can push the envelope of conventionality. It was so fun being able to see the pulse of the city through the fashion and expression of these individuals.
Upon my travels I met students, fashion designers, hat designers, and just cool kids proving that London is still one of the liveliest hippest cities in the world. Here is a brief snapshot of the fashion from the streets in this UK city.