If your daughter is a self-proclaimed fashionista then London is the place for her. Fashion is often linked with history and there are few cities with a more interesting history than London. Looking at how people have dressed throughout history is also a learning opportunity because what people wore signified their social standing, could indicate their political affiliation, religious beliefs and at times what you wore could even get you imprisoned! Here are five places to enjoy and learn about British fashion in London, England.
Start Your Style-Conscious Day with Fashion Rules Exhibit at Kensington Palace
Royal women have always been in the public eye, whether lauded or criticized for what they wore. In this fun exhibit you can imagine what it would be like to have your pick of designers and to well, dress like a princess. It features the best of the dresses and evening gowns from the collections of Her Majesty, the Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales from the 1950s until the 1980s.
Surprisingly, the most beautiful designs were worn by a young Queen Elizabeth even though it was Princess Diana who historically got the most press. This exhibit also confirms that the 70s were not a regal time in fashion. This show runs until January 2016.
The Palace itself has had some pretty fashionable residents in the past and currently houses the current Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate. It has several other interesting exhibits including Queen Victoria Revealed, which is about the era and the queen it was named after.
If you loved what these royals wore you must also check out what rested on their heads in the Crown Jewels exhibit at the Tower of London.
Albert & Victoria Museum Fashion Collections
The V&A’s fashion collection is a great follow up to the Fashion Rules exhibit because it features clothing from all walks of life, not just the regal kind. It boasts one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress and costumes in the world. You’ll see clothing that has survived hundreds of years including rare 17th-century gowns, 18th-century ‘mantua’ dresses, 1930s evening wear, 1960s daywear and theatrical costume plus pieces from 21st-century designers.
Right now you can also see the Shoes- Pain and Pleasure exhibition, which runs until January 2016, that looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most bizarre designs by famous contemporary designers.
Tea at The Ritz
After all that walking, afternoon tea is the perfect antidote for tired feet. Tea in The Palm Court of the historic Ritz Hotel has been a tradition with high society for over a century. Its most famous visitors have been King Edward VII, Winston Churchill, the Duchess of Devonshire and writer Evelyn Waugh to only name a few. You will definitely feel fashionable as classics are played on the piano in the decadently furnished gilded Louis XVI-style room located just off of the lobby. With tea you get sandwiches, cakes, and scones with clotted cream that is to-die-for. They don’t give doggy bags so come with a big appetite or some extra napkins to take home the leftover tasty treats. At $50BP per adult and $40 for children, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Tip: too much clotted cream can give you a tummy ache.
Harrods Department Store
A fashionable day would not be complete without a stop at one of the most famous department stores in the world. For the smallest fashionistas, the Mini-Harrods Club has events and creative activities for kids like designer face painting, customizing a stylish Petit Bateau T-shirt to take home and mini-manicures with non-toxic water-based polishes. Check the website for upcoming events and details.
The store also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a Disney-themed restaurant and store.
Vintage Shops in London, England
Being fashionable doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. London, England has many vintage clothing boutiques to peruse period as well as more modern clothing and accessories. At these shops kids can see how fashion always looks to the past to create the looks of the future. You can also find some of the funniest fashion faux pas in these shops.