London: fabulous fashion


Stella McCartney, Cara Delevigne, Somerset House, Mary Katrantzou, Kate Moss, Burberry Prorsum and Vivienne Westwood. What do all these revered fashion stalwarts have in common? The answer, of course, is London.

A city stocked high with accessible fashion from Bond Street to Brick Lane, rails upon rails of sartorial creativity by fashion houses, designers and art school students, and four figure column inches churned out daily by fashion publications.

In fact, London’s fashion journalists have good reason scribble. They are talking about the £21 billion British fashion industry, one of the country’s most economically important, and which places the capital as a key player in the international style stakes.

In the heart of this exciting fashion bazaar we find King’s College London. The university’s Strand campus can count the bi-annual London Fashion Week at Somerset House as its neighbour, while on Guys campus it’s a stilettos throw to fashion bibles, Marie Claire, InStyle and Look at IPC Media. This may arguably make it the most stylish university in the United Kingdom – now if only there was a league table for that!

KCL’s geographical position as the most central London university makes it the ideal stronghold from which to shop. Armed with a bulging new academic year student loan it is within effortless reach of general shopping precincts Oxford Street and Covent Garden, the upmarket designers on Bond Street and Knightsbridge and the trendy hubs of Spitalfield Market and Brick Lane. In London, a place where you can get away with wearing whatever you like, every taste is catered for. The more responsible thing to also add about the capital’s thousands of shops is the wealth of student-friendly sales assistant jobs that naturally follow.

Careers. Yes that dark spectre you believe is so far away in the future as you anticipate which university will come with the cheapest dietvodkalemonade. London may struggle to provide a night out for less than Loughborough but it has some of the best job and internship opportunities in the country, with KCL having one of the top ten graduate employment rates for 2013. This applies no less to fashion careers. The city is a European leader in terms of flagship stores from global brands, HQ to British brands, PR and modeling agencies, and numerous other fashion-focused businesses that make the industry tick – naturally they all need people. Additionally, London houses numerous fashion magazines, websites and more freelance fashion journalists and self-styled bloggers than Naomi Campbell could throw a phone at.

KCL therefore has a material advantage if you have a professional, or only a vague interest in fashion. The vibrancy of London stems from the fabulous “street style” of its inhabitants, its independent boutiques and budding designers. However, what nudges it up a gear is the big brand investment from the likes of Philip Green, the international renown of British fashion types including Christopher Bailey and Phoebe Philo, and the opportunity to bump into Hilary Alexander, Poppy Delevigne and Alexa Chung mere metres from your history lecture.

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