The concept ‘Britmania’ was born in the sixties with the Mary Quant’s miniskirt and The Beatles music. Today it continues shining by the English capacity to flee from the impositions and to be irreverent.
It is not possible to understand the importance of the so-called ‘Britmania’ outside of Great Britain without understanding what drives this ‘brit’ culture, this ability of the United Kingdom to define a collective identity, a ‘made in UK’ that stems from tradition and that it is based on the educational excellence of spaces such as Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Arts to generate a microclimate of collaboration between different social institutions, business segments and the market itself.
There’s no doubt. London has replaced Paris, Milan or New York as the epicenter of fashion for its ability to be irreverent, to mix styles, to combine tradition and modernity. The British adore their customs and traits, as it’s been long demonstrated by their absolute reverence for the monarchy, but without submitting to them. They can combine them with any genre, as Freddie Mercury did, putting on the ermine cape and crown at the end of many The Queen’s gigs, without generating any debate.
London fashion mixes iconic elements such as Oxford shoes or the world’s best-cut men’s suits made in Savile Row, with new personalized items à la française from Chanel and Miu Miu that it-girls combine with garments found in the Pimlico, Brick Lane and Dalston amazing vintage stores.
The British design style is not predefined, it is always searching for the limit, the renewal, the constant flow of creativity, relying many times on music to find inspiration.
Nationalism is undoubtedly an essential element of British culture. Respect for the traditions and emblematic brands of their country. But without immobility. Iconic British brands have managed to renew themselves without losing any of the heritage that characterizes them. Burberry, until recently an emblem of the most conventional classicism, has managed to launch new lines to adapt to the demands of today’s clients. Also, Mulberry has gone from being a brand in free fall to leading fashion in the accessories segment with pieces such as its Alexa bag, created especially for Alexa Chung and that has become an international best seller.
But at the same time, London, a multicultural city, attracts many new talents from all over the world. They know that no other city values authenticity and initiative as much.
‘Britmania’, after a few years of decline, has returned strongly thanks to innovation, synergy between companies and creatives and support for personality within the corporate culture.
Created in the early 19th century by the shoemaker Hobb’s for the Duke of Wellington, they are back in fashion after being used by celebrities such as Kate Moss or Billie Eilish.
Its polo shirts, in various colours and with maximum attention to detail and quality, broke the mould in the sixties. Today they are again a coveted piece for those who like design and functionality.
The Barbour jacket
Born in 1906, the brand remains at the peak of success. In 1974 itreceived the first royal distinction from the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by those of the Queen of England and the Prince of Wales. And with them, those of the public that continues to wear them for their elegance, quality and distinction. Last year they even launched a collaboration with Alexa Chung that revisited jackets worn in the past by Princess Diana, among other socialites.
Text by Anna Tomàs