Global City Style Scouting
Where in the world should a fashion lover visit to soak up the very best cities with serious style? International fashion forecaster and RESCU expert Tony Banister gives us the heads up on his favourite cities with wow factor.
I’ve travelled the globe for over 20 years in search of the latest looks, designers, brands, places and cities to check out. I’ve scouted the catwalks of the BIG FOUR fashion capitals for what will eventuate as the next big trends, so Paris, Milan, NY and London are the obvious cities to visit in terms of sheer volume, choice and diversity when it comes to fashion.
Each has its unique style and point of view so the looks in the stores as well as on the streets are what keep me excited and stimulated each season.
My personal favourites are Milan and London because I love both the high end product and design, plus the way locals put their looks together. Of course these two cities couldn’t be more different.
Milan – chic, expensive, glamorous – is relatively easy to get around on foot. The Italian’s do smart casualwear the best plus there’s the Gen Y obsession with denim and trainers which in Italy is always dressed up to the max. Each season a new accessory, a new way to wear a scarf or a hot new colour which the Italians like to parade on mass will emerge, particularly on a Saturday whilst eating a gelato…
London’s eclectic and unique sense of style and diversity has the best of everything from around the world. From big department stores – Selfridges being one of the best, to funky and alternative neighbourhoods like Shoreditch in the East End, where one-off stores with cool interiors, bars and renovated old pubs all attract a younger, hip local crowd.
There is so much to see and be inspired by it can be mind boggling just keeping up. I can see someone walking in the street; how they put something totally original together that can plant the seed for a whole new trend or concept that we can develop into something tangible and commercial at Scout my boutique fashion-forecasting agency.
I saw a gorgeous South Asian girl the other day wearing a black leather biker jacket, black cut off leggings with a primrose yellow floaty chiffon skirt & a big white gardenia which shone bright against her jet black hair.
She looked incredible and on a wet grey London day, her practical use of head to toe black with a splash of hot colour was so right and new, I berated myself for not have my cameras on me. But it’s in my head and may be recalled at some point. That’s what I love most about my job, you never know what you are going to see or expect when you’re out scouting and travelling.
But like any place you regularly go back to, you can become a little jaded by visiting the same haunts so I like to travel to cities which are either off the fashion radar or places that I feel might have some relevance to what I’m feeling and seeing.
One such city is Stockholm. I prefer the summer months when the days are extremely long and the weather not so brutal. It’s still fun to go in the winter months when the place is covered with snow and ice and you crave yummy Scandinavian food, bunkered down in many of the incredibly cool restaurants and bars.
Stockholm is really easy to get around, everyone speaks English, the locals are incredibly friendly and oh so stylish in a simple, smart, often preppy way. I just visited Copenhagen and it has a very similar vibe.
So my advice to readers about to head off on an overseas trip, particularly with a shopping hit-list, go to one of the top four fashion capitals but visit a place which appeals to your sense of style, budget and intrigue.
Shopping should be fun, exciting and when mixed with visits to galleries, a cool hotel and a hit list of restaurant and bars will all combine to make the trip of a lifetime. Well planned but an element of unexpected, just remember to take you camera with you everyday!
Tony Bannister, from London town