Whether you are spending a day in Chelsea, Shoreditch, Soho, Clapham or Peckham we are all guilty of dressing for the postcode rather than what is our individual style and choice. It was only when recently I was with a friend of mine in East London who was wearing this super cool yet cutesy baseball cap with two pom-poms stuck on the top like minnie mouse ears. Yes it sounds horrendous! But it actually was pretty sweet and looked fucking great on her. Fast forward a 25 minute Uber taxi journey across to south-west London's Clapham and off came the cap and bomber jacket and on went a staple overcoat and in her words "The cap was too cool for Clapham". Yes you are probably right. But it made me think, why change, why let postcodes dictate our fashion choices, isn't fashion about personal preference, being different and your own creativity? So when we let our perceived impressions of certain areas influence what we wear more so than what we feel comfortable in, it's no longer fashion it's just getting dressed.
When I think of what people wear in certain parts of London, I would stereotype as below:
Chelsea: Designer clothing, miu miu handbags, straight clean lines and pampered pooches.
Shoreditch: Tees, trainers, beards, oversized and anything brought from a vintage shop.
Soho: Totally casual unless you are going to one of the hidden swanky clubs, then the smartest of the smart.
Clapham: Chinos, shirts, blazers and shoes. Gym clothing even if you are not going to the gym.
Now these stereotypes are such for a reason, probably because there is some sort of truth in it. However in all areas of London, you'll get those people who want to be different, who will push the boundaries or will just be true to who they are and embrace it. Then there are those of us who follow everyone else's lead...for me, it's not about right or wrong, it's just an interesting subject (says me!).
So in the above shoot, I thought I would find the whitest, most beautiful street in the poshest part of London and shoot what I would usually wear on a casual Sunday heading off to the pub for a roast dinner, pint and an early night. For me there is something awesome about contrasts, like tattooed, bearded, dreadlocked tough guys in suits...it works right, even though it probably shouldn't.
SHOP THE LOOK
Further to that, in the work scene, more and more businesses are adopting casual dress codes 'Wear whatever you like, the more wacky and creative the better'. However even that becomes the norm....say hello to 'Formal Fridays'! Hipsters of London are now adopting this new trend and dressing up rather than down for Fridays...I just cant keep up!!
So in the above shoot, I've found the most grimy graffiti cladded street in Shoreditch and dressed up for Formal Fridays. Fuck postcodes, do what you want!
SHOP THE LOOK
Photography by Sophie Milner