It used to be all about Milan, about Paris, about New York, but these days it seems we're all preoccupied with California style. So what is it about LA fashion that has us here in grey ol' Blighty wanting to cast off our cardies and pull on a fringed vest?
You just have to take one quick glance around the online shopping space to realise we're all a little bewitched by LA style.
With the likes of Topshop and Asos promoting capsule collections bursting at the seams with acid wash short shorts, oversized t-shirts and floral headbands it's no wonder our penchant for Cali clothing has crossed over into obsession territory.
California vintage sourcer and reseller Sophie Berman of London Loves LA said, "We all love LA because it's just so different from the UK in both mentality and landscape. The roads are bigger, the sun shines brighter and the lifestyle as a whole is just a lot more laid back."
"When we started up London Loves LA, we wanted to capture all of this in the pieces that we sold." And d'you know what? LLLA has totally nailed the "kind of sun-drenched grunge" California style oozes.
Every floral print dress, handmade friendship bracelet and tartan (or should that be *puts on American accent* plaid?) shirt is comfy, casual and best worn against sun-kissed skin and sea salty hair.
I for one, am totally hooked on the LA vibe and I reckon it's down to the following...
1. The Coachella effect
Yes it may have started way back when in 1999 but it's only in recent years that the Cali-based festival has become a "thing" over here. If I had a few extra dollars I'd have no regrets about sinking the best part of £1k into flying myself over the Atlantic to pardy in the desert wearing my smallest pair of denims, a neon bandeau and aviator shades. Don't pretend you wouldn't.
2. The recession
Before you start hooting and hollering at me for bringing up the "if we don't think about it perhaps it isn't happening" credit crunch, but according to research from Strathclyde University, people turn wistfully to nostalgia in times of recession.
And I don't know about you but there's something beautifully sentimental about California style. It's as if everyone listens to music on their cassette walkmans, has posters of Marky Mark Wahlberg blu-tacked to their bedroom walls and goes to Blockbuster video to rent But how do we dress for the California sun when the weather in Blighty is so darn rubbish? That's where Sophie comes to the rescue. "Cali style is laid back and easy. There are so many vintage stores and flea markets everywhere in LA that it allows for a really eclectic style.
But how do we dress for the California sun when the weather in Blighty is so darn rubbish? That's where Sophie comes to the rescue. "Cali style is laid back and easy. There are so many vintage stores and flea markets everywhere in LA that it allows for a really eclectic style.
"Adapting it to suit the London weather is easy - Letterman jackets are super warm, so we'd pair one with a 90s floral dress (tights if necessary), chunky boots and a beanie. Perfect for gigs, festivals, date nights or whatever."