During the frenzy of Fashion Month, each city’s personality gets a (brief) chance to shine. New York may have had some of the most far-flung show destinations (Alexander Wang at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, anyone?) and outlandish parties (Pharrell at the Museum of Natural History), but it is London that usually brings the glitz of fashion rightfully back to the designers.
Beloved English labels like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen may not show locally (we’ll see their offerings soon in Paris), but their wit and creativity has inspired countless others in Londontown. Think print maniac Peter Pilotto and sportswear pro J.W. Anderson.
In the spirit of LFW, we’ve rounded up some of the best British ready-to-wear available in Manhattan’s finest department stores and boutiques. Whether you’re lucky enough to be taking in the shows in London, or simply sipping tea in NYC and browsing the collections online, we suggest adding one of these pieces to your wardrobe for a hearty dose of English charm.
It is little wonder why Stella McCartney is a perennial favorite of fashionistas on either side of the pond. Her designs consistently fuse chic cuts with unique detailing, such as the wildflower jacquard motif atop a blush-hued structural dress. $1,460. 112 Greene Street (Prince/Spring Streets); 212-255-1556; stellamccartney.com
Talk about cross-cultural. Erdem Moralioglu (the design guru behind his eponymous label) was born in Canada and to an English mother and Turkish father. Now he calls London home, and has become a whiz at crafting lush prints on well-tailored ready-to-wear. His Flare Hem dress is made of tech jersey and features a cap sleeve along with contrast piping. $1,280. 660 Madison Avenue (61st/62nd Streets); 212-826-8900; barneys.com
A sweater is no longer simply just a sweater, at least on J.W. Anderson’s riff on the seemingly straightforward crewneck. An asymmetrical open sleeve and clever split side seam make this top a definite keeper. $450. 611 Fifth Avenue (49th/50th Streets); 212-940-2818; saksfifthavenue.com
Since graduating from renowned art school Central Saint Martins, Christopher Kane has become a wunderkind of sorts on the design scene. His signature body-con aesthetic is realized here on his Grid Face dress. The daring print is inspired by 3-D images. $580. 35 Howard Street (Broadway/Crosby Street); 212-219-2688; openingceremony.us
There is little room for argument that an Alexander McQueen frock is as much a piece of art as it is a wearable concoction. The brand’s Patchwork Floral mini dress is ingeniously executed in a cotton-silk blend that perfectly holds its dramatic, figure-flattering shape. $2,955. 747 Madison Avenue (64th/65th Streets); 212-229-1546; alexandermcqueen.com
AllSaints has been successfully skirting the line between edgy and utterly covetable since its inception nearly two decades ago. We love how a comfy, sleeveless dress becomes beyond hip with a screen-printed X-ray floral design in luxurious silk crepe de chine. $268. 512 Broadway (Spring/Broome Streets); 646-862-1832; us.allsaints.com
Burberry may have been founded in 1856, but it is still on the forefront of London fashion, thanks to the longtime creative leadership of Christopher Bailey. Here, a trim three-quarter length silk coat is made tastefully whimsical with the addition of hand-stitched gemstone detailing. $4,795. 9 East 57th Street (Madison/Fifth Avenues); 212-407-7100; us.burberry.com
High street label Topshop still remains a sartorial favorite of Brit It-girls. This silk wrap dress with its arty jungle pattern would be perfect for a fashion show after party at London’s exclusive Annabel’s nightclub. $260. 478 Broadway (Spring/Broome Streets); 21-966-9555; us.topshop.com
Peter Pilotto has become a fixture of London Fashion Week, known for his combination of ethereal prints and sculptural silhouettes. This fantastic double-layer knit dress has a flattering A-line skirt and lovely fluted hem. $1,665. 754 Fifth Avenue (57th/58th Streets); 212-753-7300; bergdorfgoodman.com
Fashioned from breezy crepe de chine silk, Mulberry’s Bee Dress is reminiscent of fifties flair with decidedly modern details. We love how the fiery red shade makes the pastel pink and blue hues delightfully pop. $1,255. 605 Madison Avenue (57/58 Streets); 212-453-4722; mulberry.com