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Bold Graphics, a Satchel Bag and a dash of cool Britannia

As my flight landed at 6AM in Heathrow T5, my heart just leaped with joy and sizzled (despite the ungodly hour) at the idea of spending an enriching weekend of theatre , art and basking in the Olympic frenzy that was gripping London and the world. As my other half moaned about the grey sky and the possibility of rain (as one always does in London), I was greeted quite exceptionally with the bluest horizon, a crisp refreshing wind, that didn’t feel nippy at all and a full day ahead of me that was essentially my own date with the city.
Isabel Marant suede sneakers, black and white printed pants, DVF striped top

After a walk around Kensington High Street, I quickly concluded that Britain was not only hosting the world but going through a major patriotic revival of cool Britannia. Every shop carried union jack printed t-shirts, leggings, cushions… you name it, if the feeling of national pride did not wear off on you, your citizenship would have probably been revoked on your way out of the country. The city was buzzing with people, outdoor parks, special activities and pavilions revolving around the Olympics, and Boris Johnson actually slept at night , successfully dodging any predictably imminent scandals with security, traffic jams and the Underground, phew! In fact Boris’ bikes were highly popular as half of the road carriages were off-limits to cars and so aptly labeled Olympic Lanes.
The Britannia-themed window display props of Selfridges

The art exhibition that is still on until October and that you can’t miss, is Damien Hirst’s, his most complete retrospective at the Tate Modern to-date. Walk in between 2 pieces of a cow cut in 2 with all its organs preserved in formaldehyde, stare at an absurd head of a cow that is eaten by flies (this is the idea of live art, ladies and gentlemen), or go into a room full of butterflies who were later caught by Hirst and splashed against canvases to create church-glass-window artworks.
The play to watch for an insight into Etonian boys’ secret societies and a window into their psyche and delusions, is POSH:  the cast is extremely young and talented and the jokes very witty, if you thought that an expression like “I am so Chateaued” (for I am so pissed and falling off my face) didn’t exist , you are in for a treat!

The next day I made my way to Selfridges , the great British store that was having an OTT moment with the Olympics and Team GB. The shoe floor , which will soon be upstaged by a bigger, more extravagant and much publicized opening in Dubai Mall over the coming months (another one for the Guinness Book of world records), carried special Union Jack shoes by Gina , a snap at 800 quid a pair… hmmm…

Union Jack, Swarovski-studded heels by Gina

However the fashion trend that really caught my eye was bold prints and stripes against a clean palette of white and the all-essential cross-body satchel leather bag. The shoe to sport in London’s erratic weather was clearly Isabel Marant’s suede wedge sneakers, which I also saw plenty of in Italy. They are comfortable enough to run around in, and high enough to give your butt and thighs extra-needed lift.

Zip detail satchel bag, Balenciaga Taupe Satchel Bag

Dressing in a big pedestrian city like London is a question of practicality and sensible layering, because you might be running to Hyde Park for a sunbath in your bikini one minute , only to be slapped in the face by the cool crisp English wind at 6PM, making sure you never ever go out with your legs uncovered. These graphic black and white pants are exactly what is needed, especially in  a big frozen mall.

We’ve picked for you the best of the new season’s satchel bags, designer yet affordable in a palette of new berry shades and the all-time classic taupe.

For Wedge sneaker options, click on this link, if you still haven’t bought yours
All photos by Style Under Fire, product images belong to our partners.
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