LONDON (Reuters) - The London catwalks may be showcasing designers’ latest trends at Fashion Week but outside the runway venues, an array of eclectic outfits are also grabbing photographers’ attention.
Posing, pouting and describing their looks, the fashion fans proudly display their wardrobe choices for bloggers and photographers snapping pictures of the Londoners’ street style.
From the luxurious to the high street and the vintage to the recycled, the mix of looks is what makes the British city stand apart from fellow fashion capitals Milan, Paris and New York, fashionistas say.
“Here you can basically create your own style and no one will bat an eyelid,” fashion blogger Zokaya Kamara, 35, said.
“No one is critical, people are appreciative of the effort that you make. This is the best place where your individuality can shine and be expressed and embraced ... and give inspiration to fashionistas.”
Each season editors, bloggers and buyers descend on the four fashion capitals for the catwalk shows, but online pictures of outfits on the pavements outside have become as key to style followers as what is seen on the runways.
In London, which does not showcase as many major luxury brands as the other cities but is home to famed fashion schools, residents’ edgy sartorial looks are particularly lauded.
Bloggers, students and fashion fans mill around show venues and pose for pictures like models. On display are torn shirts worn under belted jackets, PVC coats, floral trouser suits, vintage dresses as well as plenty of quirky sunglasses.
“In Paris it is very strict, classical, glamorous ... here in London you have many people throwing colors and prints,” said French fashion student Philippine Ponsar, dressed in a yellow fringed jacket, striped top and dress wrapped around her waist.
“Other fashion capitals have become very international and look the same; in London, you still see the street vibes, the punk and rock,” one Israeli fashionista, who gave her name as Cheri, said.
From colorful 1960s mini-skirts to punk, London has championed ground-breaking styles, and is particularly known for its creative talent. Fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and John Galliano all studied in London.
“London has an amazing sense of ideas and freshness,” British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch said.
“People are prepared to be different but also you look at the streets, you go to parts of London and you see fresh raw ideas, people experiment here and push boundaries.”
Outside one fashion show, student Ella Light, 18, caught bloggers’ attention with her pink anorak, check chef’s trousers and blue circular sunglasses.
“London has quite a rock ‘n’ roll edge to it, like it just doesn’t care,” she said. “And there is something amazing about that.”
Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Pedro Caiado; Additional reporting by Neil Hall; Editing by Alison Williams