Classic London Style Through the Years

From mod teenyboppers in go-go boots to Burberry trench coats and Alexa Chung, we take a look through Britain's fab fashion heritage.

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09/27/1967. Two young women, Jane ARDEN and Christine WELLS, wearing wool clothes made by MICHELS fabric modeled after trendy designs.rLe 27 septembre 1967, � Londres, deux jeunes femmes, Jane ARDEN et Christine WELLS, portent des v�tement en laine, produits par les Tissus MICHELS, selon des mod�les de couturiers en vogue.
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With Kate Middleton stepping out in super-prim ensembles at several Olympic events this week, it's easy to forget that London was the original breeding ground for mod (and slightly scandalous) fashion statements. White patent go-go boots were de rigeur in those days (though something tells us the duchess would never go for the look).
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Born out of the mod movement, Twiggy was nothing like the traditional busty blonde models of the early '50s, with her slim boyish figure and big doe eyes.
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British photographer David Bailey captured some of the most stylish ladies of the '60s and '70s including model Penelope Tree, here shown in a wrap blanket coat and statement-making geometric necklace.
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Brit fashion went mainstream with the arrival of the Beatles, whose signature shaggy bowl cuts and crisp black suits practically became required dressing for rock 'n' roll wannabees the world over.
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Likewise, George Harrison's 21-year-old bride, Patti Boyd, was simultaneously an object of vicious envy as well as a style icon in her own right, best known for her dainty ribbon headbands and fluffy fur coats.
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Similarly, singer Marianne Faithfull—who, for a time, was attached to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones—popularized a more earthy, boho look in the U.K., favoring silky scarves, cozy knits and long maxi dresses.
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If one thing is certain, however, it's that the Brits love their trench coats. Here, two models pose on a London street lamp in checkered mod varieties.
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And speaking of trench coats, no brand does the look quite as well as U.K. label Burberry, whose signature styles were featured in this 1970 fashion shoot.
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Today, Britain has embraced a new generation of young designers like Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou. But tradition—especially that of bespoke suitmaking on Savile Row—lives on. Here, bespoke head cutter Peter O'Neill marks out a new suit on Savile Row.
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London has also espoused a new generation of style icons, including the late Amy Winehouse, whose funky lounge-singer-goes-granny brand of chic inspired Jean Paul Gaultier's spring 2012 couture collection.
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Rain and sports gear in general have always been crucial for surviving the English damp and drizzle, but nobody made wellies look so good as Kate Moss, who famously sported a pair of navy Hunter boots to the Glastonbury Festival in 2008.
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Today, nobody seems to capture the spirit of quirky U.K. fashion quite like Alexa Chung, whose signature mix of vintage and high fashion continues to inspire both on the red carpet and city sidewalks.
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