Which London Fashion Clan Are You?
The Debrief: Here's a list of all the fashion clans according to your London postcode. Which one are you?
Illustrations by Jacky Sheridan
People say that when you move to London you pick an area and stick to it. Usually dependent on where your school/uni friends have chosen, the initial move will probably be based on where you tend to go out socially, regardless of where you land your first job. This is your personal ‘centre’ of London.
For example, The Kings Road posse, may not be able to afford Chelsea at first and so find a shared house on the outskirts of Putney – biding their time at the Fez club before jumping in a cab to Raffles. The Leeds university raver crowd might choose Mile End because it’s the poor man’s Shoreditch. You get the idea...
Trying to find a sense of community is impossible in a city as vast as London unless you focus on a smaller area. So that’s what you do. You make that area your home: choose a local pub, memorise your transport links, get to know the guy who sells you your fags in the corner shop. Slowly you start to feel like a real Londoner. Or at least, a real north Londoner, or south Londoner etc etc.
Before you know it – and it usually happens in the space of five years – you’re a fully fledged member of that London community (you probably even know the names of the local schools). And when you look in the mirror, you can see obvious changes in your wardrobe reflecting the specific part of London in which you live.
Without realising it, you’ve assumed the London Look. Which is no bad thing when you’re living in one of the most fashionable cities in the western world. So here are the style tribe trendsetters at home in their own pockets of London – you’re sure to recognise them. It might even be................... YOU. Or a glimpse into what you will be. Good luck with that.
1. Parsons Green
Parsons Green is populated almost entirely by people who went to Durham University or similar. They moved straight there upon graduation and have spent every Friday since alternating between the White Horse, Duke on the Green and Aragon House – occasionally a strawbs and champs picnic on the green in-between in the summer months
They’ll probably have their kids somewhere in the Royal Borough too – once they’ve found their match (to be found dressed in colourful chinos and espadrilles). The ‘Sloane’ is a timeless fashion character. Astoundingly, over the most extreme of fashion eras (1960s to 2000), they’ve managed to hang onto the same fashion basics: a Barbour jacket and a set of pearls.
Parsons Green girls wear: Ralph Lauren shirts, gilets, skinny jeans with boots that could be riding boots, Ray Ban wayfarers, hair is bedroom chic and dark roots peeking from platinum blonde hair.
2. Finsbury Park
This is where the graduates flock when they ship into London – not knowing what to do with themselves career-wise but knowing they need to be in London because it’s where everyone goes. Many a degree educated waiter and barman can be found around the Crouch Hill end – try the Old Dairy. If you ask them about Finsbury Park, they’ll say something along the lines of, ‘It’s really not that bad! It’s got culture! It has the Park Theatre! And it’s really quick to get to London Fields and Hackney. And the kebab shop at the station is the BEST kebab shop in London’ – and this is all true.
Most weekends will be spent having uni-like house parties in their house share of 10 people/friends house share of 10 people. And that’s how London in your early 20s should DEFINITELY be spent. Because the stories where you dressed up as a tree at 5am and ran around collecting traffic cones to make an obstacle course in your back garden are the stories to shock the grandkids with.
Finsbury Park girls wear: Exactly what they wore at uni because they won’t be earning enough to afford anything other than rent, fags and booze. The holy trinity.
3. Primrose Hill
This is the home of the English Rock-star chic yummy mummy. AND the set who are about to become them. Too cool to move out of London and luckily with enough funds not to need to. In family-friendly Primrose Hill, they can spend Saturdays wandering up to the Heath with their three dogs and kids ‘Brandon’ and ‘Tyler’ who look like Australian surfer dudes.
On Sunday, they’ll still manage to pull it together after that new band’s house party to get down to Triyoga near Chalk Farm for their Pilates fix. These women will always have good Kegel muscles.
Primrose Hill girls wear: Understated clothes thrown on effortlessly with a hint of rock chick. Black skinny jeans with battered converse that they wore to Glasto – because they still are down with that shit. Long cashmere cardigans, ruffled long hair and some super expensive shades.
Peckham or ‘the new Shoreditch’ is the current hipster epicentre for kidults. And what are the true hipsters wearing these days as they camp out eating chicken at Peckham Springs, come rain or come shine? You guessed it – it’s the 90s throwback (mixed with a grunge festival) that’s all over Peckhaaaaam.
Bearded boys with mega-tats can be found eating pizza and chugging IPA at Bar Story and if you pitch up without some serious angsty eyeliner or some element of Berlin-chic about you’ll get stared down by someone who considers themselves a philosopher. Even though they probably secretly work in finance.
Peckham girls wear: Grungy plaid shirts, cut-off jeans/jeans with open knee holes, scrunchies, crop tops and plenty of eyeliner. This is basically the area of London the fashion conscious uni students all over the country try to emulate. The style is easy to obtain if you head to H&M or Topshop. Oh, and don’t forget flatforms and a foldable bike as an accessory.
The house prices have well and truly shoved the youth out of Shoreditch Proper. Now we’re dealing with wealthy creatives in their 40s. These guys used to be hipsters – until they outgrew it – which I guess makes them even cooler. Are they cooler? What is cool?!
These Londonites will live and die in Hoxton, then leave their entire estate to the small independent art gallery next to their two-bedroom penthouse. They have high-powered, client-facing jobs – in graphic design. They’re bold and adventurous and some of them could step straight into a perspex display box at a MOMA exhibition.
If you live East and don’t own a pair of titanium specs then you don’t deserve your quirkily marketed fair trade coffee.
Hoxton girls wear: Style will be smart sass or androgyny (reflecting their minimalist offices) mixed with vintage materials from the countless retro stores on their doorsteps. Bold colours with statement angular jewellery. Oversized jumpers and dresses in block colour. Practical, trendy and grown-up shoes (like lace-up man shoes). Hair will be cut in trendy hairdressers at least once.
6. Notting Hill
Notting Hill is the home to the super wealthy ‘I’m not trying to hide it’ set. This is where you’ll find the celebs and internationals with expensive tastes and flawless grooming. Gaggles of girls drinking champagne in the sun through Saturday in Vogue-y outfits picked up from boutique stores in London, Paris and New York. After late-night drinks at Electric and an after party at a multistorey townhouse with people they met over Dirty Martinis, they’ll nurse hangovers at Daylesford – eating smoked salmon and Pumpernickel bread, discussing their next trip to the continent for some royal family member’s wedding in a German castle.
Notting Hill girls wear: You can spot their designer handbag and Rolex from a mile away. If you stare at their diamond studd earrings directly, you’ll be blinded. Besides these pepperings of bling, the rest isn’t too in yer face – delicate and elegant Notting Hill girls have well-tailored clothes, wear lots of creams, beiges, wide brimmed hats and fur gilets.
Being a member of a sports team is basically a pre-req for living in leafy Cla’am. Rugby boys, netball girls, jolly-hockey-stick-owners can be found in the aisles of Waitrose post-training, buying courgettes to spiralise into courgetti and discussing how mental Saturday at Infernos was when Jimbo strawpedoed his own piss.
Jimbo went to Loughborough Uni and doesn’t understand his job but does understand the rules of every single commentator sport. FaHshion in ClaHpham echoes the sports-crazed graduate population and it is out in full regalia at two high-times: 1) Weekday twilight on the common 2) Saturday mornings on the common.
Clapham girls wear: Their sports kits. Perhaps the odd bit of sports stash left from uni. Jazzy footwear is a must. Look out for custom-made Nikes and anything in fluorescent pink or yellow. Ten points for spotting sporty shades attached to slickback ponied hair. Work gear is usually stuffed into a Michael Kors bag somewhere about their person.
8. Hackney Wick
Hackney Wick is where everyone either thinks they are artists or actually are artists – there’s a very fine line between the two. Artists or faux-artists, they possess an unfathomable desire to live in a commune. They probably wished they followed Bhagwan and the Orange People in India but the closest thing they’re gonna get in London, is a warehouse in HW with 12 other people and a ‘room’ separated by an Indian sarong hanging from a wire.
Meeting these kinds of girls WILL make you feel like you kowtow to what society expects and that you need to have a bit more adventure in your life and a carefree spirit. ‘Why can’t I live in a flat with an outhouse?! Why am I so rigid?! Why did I spend £100 quid on a dress? I’m such a capitalist pig!!’ – you’ll say to yourself. Before you pop into Waitrose to get your courgetti.
Hackney Wick girls wear: Completely mismatched second-hand garb that they’ll delight in telling you only cost a pound at a car boot sale. These girls will go out of their way to show that they have NO interest in their apparel whatsoever and pull it off. Bits of string tied into dreds is a popular look, as are oversized jumpers with thick knit and anything you imagine a painter to wear: overalls, nose piercings, friendship bracelets, silver rings, paintbrushes in hair. Brown is a popular choice of colour. Any shade.
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Illustrations by Jacky Sheridan
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