How to Rule at London Fashion Week, à la Billy Porter, Helen Mirren, Naomi Campbell, and More
London Fashion Week is in full swing, and so are some enviable celebrity outfits. Here are the ten commandments of fashion week dressing, courtesy of Billy Porter and friends.
Celebrities are currently peacocking all over London for the city’s annual Fashion Week, led by Billy Porter. You may not be able to commit to his marathon 14 outfit changes in three days, but you can cop some style tips from the singer and his fellow over-dressers. Below are the ten commandments of pretending you, too, are front row at fashion week—and looking as good as Porter and Co. (Mostly Porter—there is never enough Billy Porter.)
Look Like You’re From The Future, but Also 1974
The only way Porter’s chunky heels and bellbottoms could get any more plucked-from-the-’70s is if the actor accessorized both looks with a newspaper clipping about the Patricia Hearst kidnapping. But before we mount a revival of Company using these outfits, let’s also appreciate the futuristic elements. There’s a nod to moonstone in his jewelry, and his bedazzled choker sublimely reeks of space age kitsch.
Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera turned herself into Cruella de Vil turned Tesla Roadster investor, because the 101 Dalmatians character would totally be into that sort of thing were she real.
Don’t Even Bother If You’re Not Going to Wear a Hat
Respectfully, if you’re not going to put a hat on your non-famous head, please do not speak to me. That’s the mood of the (very famous) Porter and Rita Ora, who both displayed the actual opposite of restraint when it came to headwear. Ora chose a very British pork pie tweed number that would be a little too “listen-to-my-jazz-band-on-Spotify-we-make-84-cents-a-stream” were it not on the head of a very famous supermodel.
Like many Americans before him, Billy opted for an out-of-this-world fascinator during his London vacation. Unlike some attempts (cough Meghan Markle cough), this one worked brilliantly.
Black Is Not Boring As Long as Its Shape Makes You Look Like You Have Extra Vestiges
Black gets a “safe” reputation, so much so that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour reportedly hates when staffers wear the color. But in a week full of protests, celebrities are bravely pushing back against that assumption, wearing all-black but keeping things interesting in bulbous shapes that can probably hide so many snacks.
Aguilera went full parachute dominatrix, with BDSM-inspired gloves and a cape that could probably defy gravity. FKA Twigs rolled into Burberry’s show with oversized sleeves, also known as the peak of luxury since the feature gets in the way of doing anything even remotely laborious. And Daniel Lismore, a London-based artist I very much want to go shopping with, donned a gloriously tiered black blouse.
If You’re Rich, Wear Red
Some of the week’s most choicest VIPs brought out a very regal crimson hue when it came time for their closeup. In a crown/cape/jumpsuit concoction she should just wear every day of the week, Naomi Campbell looked so much like a queen she may be the biggest threat to the monarchy since Napoleon. Aguilera continued her reign as Keeper of the Trench Coats in a Gaga-esque shiny vinyl number. And yes, again, Porter looked very casually fabulous—what else is new? The tulle leggings almost look like what he’d wear lounging at home, instead of your plebeian sweatpants.
Friends Are Accessories
Sure, It bags are cool and all, but letting the world know that you’re liked and loved is next level. Porter did so very sweetly, pairing his fishnets and “Fuck You, Pay Me” handbag with his husband Adam Smith. Carla Bruni and Isabelle Huppert made a very French splash (splashé?) in matching black suits. At Erdem, Miss Fame and Aquaria served sweeping, feathery frocks.
Show the World That You Read!
Bella Hadid, an avid book person, wore a corset shirt blazed with the words, “Nature makes the whole world kin/Now I will believe that there are unicorns.” The words were designed by Burberry, but taken from both Troilus and Cressida and The Tempest. Also at Burberry were Joan Smalls and Rosalia, who both wore a lot of words on their sleeves, and chests, and basically entire top halves.
Tie Your Sweater Around Your Waist with Abandon
This style was once reserved for tourist mommies who got too hot while walking around the city, but it has been appropriated by some famous young men. Anwar Hadid casually tied his Burberry plaid sweater around his chest as if it were armor, and K-pop singer Lucas Wong snapped jubilantly as he arrived at the show with a Fair Isle jumper slung from his hips. Rayer Van Ristell, a British blogger and model, fully lived up to his John Hughes, country club-attending rich kid villain name by gently toting a Valentino sweater over his shoulders.
Embrace Your Inner Animal (or At Least Your Favorite Aunt)
The animal print craze shows no sign of stopping, but now famous fans of the trend are fully embracing its kitschy connotations. Helen Mirren went full snakeskin at Victoria Beckham’s show, Anna Wintour channeled a cheetah, and Eve pulled a cow print.
Become the Statue of Liberty
Last week, one Fenty fan tweeted a photo of Rihanna in a mint green dress, very appropriately captioning the look, “Statue of Liberty your times up.” Now, a deluge of Lady Liberty-esque looks have hit London fashion week, perhaps best displayed by Leomie Anderson getting her angles in a one shouldered chartreuse dress. The Spanish model Nieves Alvarez also had a very admirable attempt, and of course Porter did the most in a floral overcoat.
Hot Girl Summer Is Over. Long Live Traffic Court Fall.
Celebrity court style is damn fun to follow, but with Felicity Huffman behind bars now, who will we have to represent? Luckily, the likes of Naomi Campbell, Lily Aldridge, and Lily James bravely suited up in varying shades of tan, also for the Burberry showing, to show us how to dress when one is summoned to traffic court. I do not object!