The Olympics may be over, but left in their wake is a lingering case of Anglomania – especially when it comes to fashion. From mini-skirts, punk, Beatle boots and fascinators, to the innovative designs of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, when it comes to groundbreaking fashion, the Brits reign supreme. In honour of our ongoing love affair with all things English, we’ve put together a list of some of the most stylish British women:
1. Kate Moss: Known for her waifish looks, party-girl lifestyle and popularization of the “heroin chic” look in the early ’90s – Kate has become British fashion icon. Poster girl of the “boho-chic” look, Kate has made popular fashion staples like denim cut-offs, Ugg boots, skinny jeans, over-the-knee pirate boots, and the iconic Alexander McQueen skull scarf. All we can say is this girl makes a pair of wellies covered in mud look good.
2. Kate Middleton: Since her induction into the Royal Family, preppy “it girl” Kate Middleton has made a splash with her modern and chic interpretation of classic British style. Want to look stylish but still very much appropriate at your next high-pressure family gathering? Ask yourself: what would Kate wear? After all, Kate is the reigning expert.
3. Agyness Deyn: Born Laura Hollins, this former chip shop worker has made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her chameleon-like looks, and often short, platinum blond ‘do. A little bit punk and always fashion-forward, Deyn made headlines (and inspired hipsters everywhere) when she showed up at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival with a shaved head.
4. Sienna Miller: Along with Kate Moss, Miller has become synonymous with the boho-chic look. Once known as the gorgeous floppy hat wearing girlfriend of Jude Law, Sienna Miller has come into her own, launching Twenty8Twelve with her sister Savannah in 2006 — a line that has become a fixture at London Fashion Week.
5. Victoria Beckham: When this former Spice Girl launched her first fashion collection in 2008 many people figured it would just be another flash in the pan celebrity designed line. However, since her debut at New York Fashion Week, Beckham has become a fashion force to be reckoned with. Showing no sign of slowing down, in 2011 she was nominated for Best Designer Brand at the British Fashion Awards.
6. Charlotte Dellal: Shoe designer and sister of model Alice Dellal, Charlotte Dellal launched her shoe line Charlotte Olympia in 2007. Her colourful and whimsical designs have garnered her celebrity fans such as Blake Lively, Keira Knightley and Sarah Jessica Parker.
7. Stella McCartney: Daughter of former Beatles member, Paul McCartney — Stella holds a place amongst British fashion royalty. Known for her sleek, wearable designs, McCartney has become one of Britain’s hottest fashion exports. Worn worldwide by celebrities and trendsetters alike, the designer recently collaborated with Adidas on the official Team GB kit for the 2012 Olympics.
8. Alexa Chung: Described by Anna Wintour as a phenomenon (you can’t get a better endorsement than that!), television host, model and contributing editor at British Vogue, Alexa Chung has become famous for her unique personal style. Chung frequently appears on best-dressed lists and is often spotted in the front row at fashion shows.
9. Vivienne Westwood: The Queen of punk chic, this British designer is responsible for bringing punk and new-wave looks into the mainstream. Westwood is best known for her designs that mix elements of punk styling (bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, chains, spiked jewelry and outrageous makeup and hair) and traditional Scottish design such as tartan fabric in a high-fashion setting.
10. Naomi Campbell: Diva. Demanding. Phone-Thrower not to be messed with. Check. Check. Check. Outlandish antics aside, where would British fashion be without supermodel Naomi Campbell? Always glamorous and dressed to the nines, Campbell is one of the most successful models of all time and has consistently lobbied for racial equality in the fashion industry. Just don’t make her mad.
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.
Images: Agyness Deyn by Ed Kavishe, Sienna Miller by Caroline Bonard Ucci, Kate Middleton by Nick Warner.