Cool Britannia

The Union Jack has been on the fashion scene since the 1960’s when The Who’s Pete Townsend wore a Union Jack jacket on stage.  In the 1970’s Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren designed the Anarchy in the UK T-shirts and in 1990’s it was worn again as a jacket designed by Alexander McQueen for David Bowie and as a corset dress by Geri Halliwell as Ginger Spice.


 Illustration by Lauren Bishop.

I am not British and you might well ask why I prefer another country’s flag to adorn my fashion?  Well the Union Jack does make up part of my country’s national flag so I don’t see any problem.  Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s all about fashion, n’est pas?

Alexander McQueen shirt.

Last year I fell in love with an editorial of Kate Moss in British Vogue that was shot by Mario Testino.  It featured clothing that was made from the Union Jack mixed with couture items.  Kate was of course at her delectable best.

Leather and horsehair had by Soren Bach worn with Union Jack cap. Dior Haute Couture embroidered tulle and lace dress.

Hand-embroidered Elie Saab couture gown worn with vintage Russell Sage Union Jack jacket.

It was these custom made pants by Katie Eary (worn with a Gaultier beaded top) that I really fell for.
I covet them!

Are we seeing an icon in the making?  How will other flags rate if other countries start to use their flag in fashion.

Alexander McQueen appears to be the British Fashion industry’s biggest advocate of the Union Jack trend.

Even the first lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is not immune to the appeal of Britannia cool.

In the past year I have seen a trend for more and more use of the Union Jack within fashion and not just in clothing.

After designing a punk T-shirt with Malcolm Mclaren in the 1970’s, Vivienne Westwood has used the Union Jack in her design for The Rug Company

It is making appearances in interior decoration too, from cushions to curtains (as seen in Vanity Fair).

James Merrill chaise.

This chaise has certainly been given up dash of flash with the use of the Union Jack.  However there is a point in which I do believe that designers have gone a little over the top.


Oh dear, how long do you think it would it be before you grew tired of this in your kitchen?

Even cars are being swathed in the most fashionable of flags.

Chanel, the first and last word in fashion created a limited edition quilted Union Jack handbag.  I’m not sure how successful it has been.  You either love it or loath it I guess.

Gucci has done the same, but to me it looks more like a cheap knock-off than a high-end handbag.

I am starting to think that when it comes to this trend that less is definitely more because the more I see of this trend, the more I think it needs to be kept to a minimum.  Do not go crazy and start attaching the Union Jack to everything in your wardrobe, or your home for that matter.  It is not the sort of trend that will take to being overdone if you ask me.

Fashion is fickle, oui?
Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
I still think Kate looks hot in the Katie Eary Union Jack pants though.

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3 thoughts on “Cool Britannia

  1. Pingback: Union Jack non-stop | wondercoses

  2. I am doing a new coffee line with the band Sweet, I was going to create a photo if a woman with a British flag or some sort of jacket, anyway after seeing some of your photos, I would like to use one, get a hold of me in regards to (c) or some kind of deal.
    Glenn Coggeshell

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