I.D Street Style

Story telling through style is something we creatives do on a daily basis. Ever since I was a junior designer at Topshop, I’ve used my personal style as a way of articulating a colour, print or garment trend at work. Walking through the buying office – in front of a (usually male) director who’s idea of fashion went no further than what his wife was buying in the Tunbridge Wells M&S – wearing cycle shorts and an oversized blazer (it was the 80’s, but obviously nothing has changed), helped drip feed the concept of ‘sports meets workwear’ in an authentic way. Consequently, when presenting the trend in a sign-off, it wasn’t too much of a shock for said director, in fact, some may even have thought it was their own idea – but that’s another story.

Street style used to be a great way to observe real-life style. Back in the day when magazines like I.D shot – actual real people, wearing actual real clothes – there was an authenticity to the blurry pictures shot in dark clubs when the only time you thought about how you looked was the beginning of the night when you were getting ready and possibly the end – or maybe not, as it wasn’t pretty. These days for me, inspiring street style is more about observing the unique style of the women buying their ox tongue at Ridley Road market, groups of girls on a night out in Shoreditch and the DIY gender fluid kids in Dalston.

I also love to observe how costume designers use clothing to either subtly communicate the details of a characters personality and make them believable, or to elevate fantasy figures to enhance a narrative.

Dot Cotton Style Icon

Dot Cotton was one of my all time favourite TV characters (RIP June Brown) and remains without doubt, Eastenders most stylish women. Her retro print and pussy bow blouses, trench coats, neat cardigans and fitted pencil skirts wouldn’t have looked out of place on Prada and Gucci catwalks. The Eastenders costume team must have had such fun planning her outfits, with her retro hair and make-up perfectly complimenting her looks.

More recently, I’ve talked about how Succession generated the era of Quiet Luxury, and fantasy reached another level with And Just Like That, as costume departments are not only responsible for creating characters, they also starting trends and elevating brands.

Here are a few of our current favourites…


Carmy‘s iconic white T-shirt

If you haven’t watched The Bear, why not? Drop everything and binge watch it right now as it’s the best TV drama in a long time. I had to turn off the Christmas episode in S2 to calm down, it was so intense. No spoilers, as the clothes are so significant. But safe to say costume designer Courtney Wheeler is the genius behind the white tee and vintage jeans look loved by Carmy, that Thom Browne moment, and Ritchie’s transformation when he starts wearing a suit.

Thom Browne in The Bear


Seth Rogan plays himself

No genius storylines and award winning performances here, just lots of fun and great observations of aging hipster culture in LA. Will (Seth Rogan) is a forty-something brewmaster and recent divorcee, with a disposable income and a desire to stay youthful. Vintage varsity jackets, bucket hats, brightly-colored socks, printed and embroidered shirts from labels such as Bode, Story MFG and Needles, Will’s looks are an extension of Rogan’s own style, and he apparently negotiated being able to keep all of the character’s wardrobe after the show wrapped.

“The style was based loosely on the guys we always see around town that wait for the latest drop at their favourite store on Fairfax, in Silverlake or at various boutiques in Downtown LA”

Kameron Lennox, Emmy-nominated costume designer


Top Boy Hackney Street Style

We are obsessed with Top Boy in the USP studio, mostly because it’s all set around Hackney where we are based. If you ever come and visit, we can promise you egg and chips in the Number One cafe (or “caff”), where some of the most important scenes are set. Over the last twelve years the series has documented the capital’s street life and the characters true to life stories.

Natalie Humphries, costume designer for the final season, credits the actors and writers for grounding the show in realism. But Humphries blending of cult streetwear labels such as Trapstar and Fully Paid, with high-street brands Uniqlo and Arket, and upscale casualwear names Kith and John Elliott, as well as Nike, Stone Island, Adidas and C.P. Company are key to making the characters authentic.

 “You have to be so on the pulse of what’s happening in that moment; know exactly what’s happening on street corners and what the road style has evolved to become. The social realism of the scripts demands clothes that are true to the culture and the lived experience of those communities.”

Natalie Humphries

My favourite Top Boy character – Jaq


Barbie in the real world

We all loved the Barbie movie for its perfect blend of kitsch fun and meaningful messages. Most of the outfits paid direct homage to past Barbie looks, but the film’s final scenes had deeper contemporary significance, as the yellow dress was chosen by costume designer Jacqueline Durran to signify change.

“The Barbie’s have gone through all of that stuff and they’re now the most fulfilled versions of themselves. We wanted a soft yellow and wanted it to have less pop. So, we printed that yellow onto white silk, and because of the cut, it clings to the body. That’s not really a Barbie characteristic — the Barbie characteristic is to be cut straight and to create a shape that falls away from the body.”

Jacqueline Durran

My favourite scene is when weird Barbie (always the best Barbie) asks Barbie to make the choice between going back to her old life (high heels) or learn the truth about the universe (Birkenstocks).

The Birkenstocks make a return in the very last scene when in the real world, the now-human Barbie visits the gynecologist. Posing the question, are they a symbol that she will need comfort to get through the trials of being a real woman, and does the fact that they are pink signify that she can be both feminine and comfortable, therefore having the best of both worlds?


In other news, things we are loving this month include…

Jenna Lyons in RHONY and literally everything else she does. She has been a style icon forever and we can’t get enough of her. Buy Hayu just to see her explain that Khaki is a colour not a pair of trousers


Curtains on everything, showers, kitchen cupboards, you name it, it’s getting the curtain treatment. Windows are so 2022. Colours of Arley are our current curtain obsession.


Tory Burch is cool again! If Hailey Bieber says so, we’re in.


Damson Mader x Poppy Almond is an influencer collaboration we can get on board with.