Following the pre-recession trend of investing in simple, classic pieces, London fashion has gone back to basics. Luckily, the leaders of the utilitarian revolution have set up camp in London, just in time to supply us with some natty autumn knitwear.
British label YMC (You Must Create) opened their new loftspace a few days ago in Soho and French fashion house A.P.C (Atelier de Production et de Création) have made themselves at home close to Dover Street Market in Mayfair’s most minimalist neighbourhood.
YMC has been delivering well-made classics with a twist since 1995, but is having a bit of a ‘moment’ right now, with devotees Alexa Chung, The Horrors and Claudia Schiffer championing the label. Their Spring/Summer 09 collection was awash with twee embroidered knits, sailor girl dresses, patterned playsuits and a multitude of stripes – mixing folk and prairie chic with a good old dose of Northern Soul. The store is now stocking their Autumn/Winter 09/10 collection, but if birdwatching chic isn’t your thing, then it’s still worth a gander round the shop.
YMC’s loftspace is like an old curiosity shop with victoriana artefacts, retro gym equipment and some creepy taxidermy. You’ve got to be impressed by a two-headed crow, but I can imagine A.P.C owner Jean Touitou’s gallic lip curling at the sight of such antiquated articles of yore.
A.P.C’s new London flagship store is a much sleeker affair, and has just been officially launched, despite being already open this summer. The interior is just as unfussy as A.P.C, with smooth wooden shelving and plenty of natural light.
A.P.C are best known for their innovative denim, but their Autumn/Winter 09 collection is all about checks, bright statement colours and marine-inspired tops – so, not that far away from YMC, then.
While a £100 plaid shirt doesn’t feature highly on my new season wish list, it’s good to know that it’s now a lot easier to find a decent winter coat to go with the H&M coral angora mitten I’ve got my eye on!
A.P.C 35a Dover Street, Mayfair, London
11 Poland Street, Soho, London W1