December 8, 2015
Trend report: Cool Britannia
Cool Britannia is a cultural phenomenon that originated in London during the swinging 60s, went global in 1997 thanks to Geri Halliwell and THAT dress, and is once again basking in popularity since the Olympic Games in 2012. ‘Made in Britain’ insignia on clothing has become an indicator of both style and quality. In this post, we’ll chart the trend’s most famous moments and reveal how you can update your collection to feature bespoke labels that add a ‘beautifully British’ touch to your look.
In 1965, Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue magazine, said: “London is the most swinging city in the world”. With Mary Quant, Twiggy, The Beatles, the list of British style influencers is endless.
In the 1970s, the Cool Britannia trend was commandeered by the punks and later, the dowager of fashion: Ms Vivienne Westwood. Think Doc Martens, stonewashed denim and completely crazy hair.
Post 1980s, the boom of British-made art, fashion and music led to the 1990s being nicknamed the era of Cool Britannia. Casual, minimalist styles were influenced by the resurgence of distinctive British rock music from bands such as Oasis and Blur.
In March 1997, Vanity Fair published a special edition on Cool Britannia with Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit on the cover with the iconic title: ‘London Swings Again!’, while Kate Moss redefined beauty on every other magazine cover. Looking to the catwalks, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano’s flair for the dramatic dominated the headlines, continuing to inspire many designers today.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Geri Halliwell’s take on patriotism came top in an online poll to find the 10 most iconic dresses of the last 50 years. Geri’s Union Jack dress was given a high fashion make over by Robert Cavalli in 2007 and enjoyed another outing at the Olympics ceremony in 2012. Many British sport stars got in on the act, matching their patriotic nail art to their Stella McCartney-designed sportswear.
Since the buzz of the Olympic Games, high street retailers Topshop and M&S have created ‘best of British’ capsule collections, the success of which has led to a revival of the UK textiles industry. ‘Made in Britain’ labelling has now become synonymous with sustainability, luxury and quality. Viva la Cool Britannia!
Through our ‘Beautifully British’ range you can join the movement with a hand-woven label featuring the iconic Made in Britain logo. Designs can be produced in a range of colour-ways to suit your collection.