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Diary of a Fashion Insider: A Country in Uniform

" This week / weekend wasn’t really about fashion; it was about customs, uniforms and celebrating our country's traditions.

The week started out with me heading off to a party for Orlebar Brown - an affluent 'luxury resort' menswear brand – who was celebrating it's 5 year anniversary at B&B Italia in Chelsea. For those of you who have visited Chelsea – or indeed ever watched 'Made in Chelsea' you are familiar with the type of shoulders I was rubbing up next to. Traditional Chelsea garb of chinos atop deck shoes - and more polo shirts than you can shake a stick at – were worn by most of the coiffed men who probably drove to the party in their 'city tractors' with a license that no doubt heralds a double-barreled surname. Mingling amongst the sea of toffs were some celebrity supporters including socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, fashion designer Matthew Williamson, singer Pixie Lott and the model that never misses a photo opp - David Gandy. A 'resort' collection is basically summer / beachwear so rather than boringly display these men's shorts on rails, the organisers had laid on an army of gorgeous topless male models serving us all tequila cocktails. The event was posh, seamless and totally stereotypical Chelsea.

Then there were the impressive Queen's Jubilee celebrations. Traditionally British, the rain poured for the Flotilla on Sunday. It didn't seem to dampen the spirits for many but did drown a few street parties around the UK. I had some friends over to watch the proceedings from the shelter of my flat. Whilst my knee-jerk reaction would have been to dissect the clothing choices made by Kate, Camilla and the Queen, I won't. Historical customs command they have to look a certain way and they all did it brilliantly. In fact, they looked lovely, as did the men in their military uniforms. Then there was the concert on Monday night; sometimes the British humor failed and other times the outfits did but overall it was an awesome crowd pleaser and made us all feel proud to be British. Sadly the Jubilee proceedings went ahead without the Queen's husband Prince Philip who was taken ill on Sunday evening. Our hearts went out to the Queen who, true to form, kept calm and carried on. She cut a lonely figure at times but kept smiling and waving at the thousands of people lining our city's streets.

My week / weekend made me think about uniforms. It doesn't have to be an official military costume, it may be a mandatory customary requirement, could be prescribed by our postcode, it may even be worn as a smile to fight the expression that lies just under the surface or maybe you're just Grace Jones wearing outrageous costumes to fight being seen as old. One thing is certain though; our uniforms give us comfort. Brits have a reputation for traditional customs and a stiff upper lip through tough times - our outfits can just provide us with a bit of added sparkle..."

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