As fashion week sets in New York, it is just rising in London. The designers, the models and the stars will all shine again on the runways, but that is where the similarities end. Rachel Wang is spending her semester in London through the Gallatin School of Individualized Study Program in Global Fashion. Wang gave us some insight into the differences between the fashion weeks in each city.
WSN: What school are you in, what is your major and what year are you?
RW: I’m a junior in Gallatin and concentrating in medieval art history, specifically in gothic architectures and the image of the macabre. That and fashion design.
WSN: Describe the program you are a part of in London.
RW: I am in the Gallatin Fashion Program, where I am taking Fashion Industry, Fashion History and Fashion Body. It’s a well-rounded program to explore fashion as an interdisciplinary discipline. I am also taking Seeing London’s Architecture, where I will be sketching London’s architectures throughout class.
WSN: What is your ultimate goal for a career?
RW: My dream job would to be my own boss. Ultimately, I want to become a creative designer of a brand. I would be fine with it being either my own brand or another label. Either way, I want to have creative freedom.
WSN: How does the street style of London differ from that of New York?
RW: Londoners seems to care more about tailoring — jackets, vests, etc. — along with well-crafted garments. I rarely see anyone with prints, and the colors tend to be more neutral. Especially since it’s autumn, people are wearing more tans. The most drastic difference would be men’s street style. Where in America, a tee and jeans are the common look, London men tend to wear slightly more formal clothes, with trousers or khakis and sometimes a jacket. Wearing a casual suit roaming about seems to be the norm.
WSN: Which do you like better? Why?
RW: It’s hard to say because in New York, every neighborhood has its own street style. Downtown is an all black street look, uptown is all labels-chic. In London, the styles vary sometimes, but generally are about the same. I like both, to be honest.
WSN: Do people in London regard London Fashion Week similarly to how New Yorkers, or people everywhere for that matter, regard NYFW?
RW: I think it depends. Of the four fashion capitals, New York is probably the most commercial, while London’s charm is the designer’s individuality. It really depends on what you like and look for during the week, I suppose.
Just about 3500 miles separate these two fashion capitals, so it is no surprise that they contrast in style and culture. New York has its multitude of neighborhoods while London has its rich history. New Yorkers wear black and Londoners wear tan. It is these differences that make the fashion industry truly a global community.
Note: Edited for clarity and syntax.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 17 print edition. Email Gabriella Bower at [email protected]