Next Stop On Our “Holiday Shopping All Over The World” Gift Guide: London!
For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’re on a globe-trotting expedition, finding inspiration in different cities around the world. We kicked off our worldwide shopping trek with an Athens-themed installment and, now, we’ve landed in London. Below, then, you’ll find a number of gift ideas ranging from clothing, footwear, and handbags to tea pots, place mats, jewelry, DVD sets, makeup kits, and art prints — all inspired by a different facet of life in London, be it the British monarchy, the iconography we’ve come to recognize as symbolic of the UK, or the city’s role as the birthplace of the Pop Art movement, the Mod style revolution, and the Punk era. Check them out — you’ll be chuffed to bits!
Reiss Leo Fit and Flare Coat, $555. Available at Reiss.com
Channel the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, in a classic coat with a form-fitting bodice and a flared, pleated skirt that accentuates the feminine form. This dark green, single-breasted tweed coat from UK-based fashion brand Reiss features a notch lapel collar, two zipped pockets along either side of the torso, a row of concealed buttons along the center, slim sleeves with two-button cuffs, and geometric tonal stitching leading to the pleated skirt.
Burberry The Orchard Tote in Suede Stripes, $1795. Available at US.Burberry.com
Though its shape resembles that of a bowling bag, this aubergine and navy Burberry tote makes the silhouette feel ultra sophisticated thanks to the equestrian inspiration of the individually placed and stitched stripes, as well as the hand-finished rolled handles.
Butter LONDON 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Come To Bed Red , $14, and Butter LONDON Lippy Gloss in Come To Bed Red, $17. Available at ButterLondon.com
Since being launched by British entrepreneur Sasha Muir in 2005, Butter LONDON has evolved into a beauty industry darling and a Fashion Week mainstay, often collaborating with “it” brands like Vena Cava, for whom the brand has created custom nail lacquers. Specializing in nail lacquers free of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP, Butter LONDON has turned heads due to its quirkily named, incredibly imaginative colors — among them Trustafarian, Marrow, Gobsmacked, Dosh, and Fairy Lights. And now, it has expanded its reach to include a series of Lippy glosses, richly pigmented lip glosses with a vinyl-like finish. For the festive holiday season, embrace a classic, creamy red shade — Come To Bed Red — for both your lips and your tips.
Dr. Martens x Liberty of London Boots, $130 each. available at DMusastore.com
Dr. Martens are synonymous with punk music’s trail blazers — just try to imagine The Clash storming the stage without their beloved combat boots! But, over the years, Dr. Martens has reinvented its classic combat boots through a variety of prints and materials that speak to urban women who like to saunter down the line between hard and soft. The boots pictured here not only accomplish this feat, but they represent an alliance between two companies with deep British roots: Dr. Martens, of course, and Liberty of London. Each of these limited-edition 1460 8-eye boots features a classic Liberty of London floral print so dainty that it seems to rival the naturally rebellious edge of the boot on which it appears, creating a push-and-pull that’s as irresistible as any multi-faceted urban gal.
Vivienne Westwood Money Print Wizard Frill shirt, $1040. Available at VivienneWestwood.co.uk
Since the Olympic Games were hosted in London this year, British designer Vivienne Westwood — who is credited as one of the pioneers of punk fashion — designed an entire Gold Label “London” collection that drew upon the country’s rich history but focused most intently on King Charles II’s reign, particularly his focus on rebuilding the city of London after the Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666. This high-neck silk blouse, then, celebrates a period of both cultural and economic rebirth through the usage of an original print depicting both past and present sterling pound banknotes, some bearing the visages of Queen Elizabeth II and others showing the sides with faces of prominent Brits like architect Christopher Wren, poet William Shakespeare, and economist Adam Smith. Billowing sleeves and frilled pieces of fabric along the neck complete the theatrical, Old World effect.
Red Eye by Marc Quinn Print, $680. Available at ExhibitionA.com
At first glace, this original print from British artist Marc Quinn resembles a paper lantern with a lava-like pattern. In reality, however, the digital “Red Eye” print, measuring 10″ x 10″ and printed on archival Somerset satin paper, offers a psychedelic interpretation of the human eye with a beam of light surging out of the normally blackened pupil and the iris area here depicted as black with the complex network of blood vessels therein creating an almost otherworldly effect. Only 100 prints were produced, so this is a truly great gift for art connoisseurs and collectors alike.
Raoul Panelled Eclectic Dress, $480. Available at Raoul.com
The Mod movement originated in post-World War II London, with designer Mary Quant playing an instrumental role in its aesthetic and supermodel Twiggy quickly emerging as the poster child for said era. This Raoul dress dabbles in Mod motifs, with a shift-like silhouette and a funky color-blocked motif. But rather than rely on psychedelic colors, this number applies the geometric color scheme to muted shades of peach, black, and concrete gray, while also integrating a black leather panel to create a textural juxtaposition against the predominantly silk-based body of the dress. The result is a contemporary take on the classic 1960s Mod style that’s steeped in history but feels relevant and of-the-moment.
Alexander McQueen Studded T-Strap Pump, $1798. Available at NeimanMarcus.com
Inspired by the two-toned spectator shoe of yore, this elegant T-strap pump straddles the line between feminine and masculine with its buckled accents, the lace-like overlay along the almond-shaped toe, the teardrop-shaped cut-outs along either side of the center strap, and the sky-high heel and front platform. All-over, disc-shaped, silver-toned studs cover the entire surface area of the pump for that trademark McQueen edge.
Ruffian Coronation Necklace, $150. Available at Ruffian.com
This gold-plated, red resin and pavé diamante necklace was seen in Ruffian’s Fall/Winter 2012 runway show, which featured designs inspired by the Henry Moore brass sculptures seen along the English countryside. The trapezoid-shaped red resin pieces mimic the form of each of the sides of the crosses seen on both St. Edward’s Crown and the Imperial State Crown but, of course, their poppy red color and the pavé-set crystals encrusted into golden bars along their upper and lower edges add a slightly irreverent (and of-so-fun) Art Deco vibe to the piece.
Charlotte Olympia Priscilla Glitter Platform Pump, $633. Available at NeimanMarcus.com
Half-Brazilian, half-British footwear designer Charlotte Olympia has won over legions of fans — among them Kate Moss, Daphne Guinness, and Beyoncé — with her ultra glamorous designs, which hearken back to the golden age of Hollywood glamour without feeling overly serious, incorporating a sense of whimsy and exuberance that appeals to the little girl lurking inside all of us. The Priscilla Glitter Pump embodies these traits with its classic shape — from the low-dipped vamp to the almond-shaped toe and covered heel — but it adds a wink-wink attitude thanks to the addition of Olympia’s trademark beveled island platform, which measures 1 1/3″ in height, bringing the shoe’s overall height to 5 3/4″, its glitter-covered uppers, and its turquoise grosgrain ribbon trim. Forget being the queen of the desert — this Priscilla is the queen of the world!
Misfits Season One DVD Set, $19.99. Available at Amazon.com
The premise of this British dramedy might seem reminiscent of Heroes — i.e. a group of kids develop super powers — but Misfits relies on relatable if sincerely flawed characters (all juvenile offenders forced to complete community service together), snappy dialogue, irreverent jokes, and typical anti-social teen behavior rather than on expensive special effects, cliché character archetypes, and nauseatingly corny writing. For one, the casting is spot-on, so that the main characters look and act like typical teenagers — no picture-perfect teenagers; handsome, clean-cut politicians; slim and athletic blond stunners with kick-ass powers and a bevy of tight-fitting leather pants and jackets; and so forth. In fact, they’re not even on some idealistic mission to save the world with their newfound powers. All they want is to wrap up their community service and figure out how to live in a normal life with their newfound abilities. And the insults, jabs, and utter ridiculousness uttered by Nathan alone will keep you in stitches through every hour-long episode.
Topshop Aggravated Studded Hi Tops, $120. Available at US.Topshop.com
Punk meets glam rock with these Topshop hi-top sneakers, featuring black leather uppers covered with silver-toned spikes, pyramid-shaped studs, and faceted round crystals.
AllSaints Opium Leggings, $95 . Available at US.AllSaints.com
These slim-fitting leggings feature a digitally applied print consisting of oversize poppy flowers and scattered petals distorted to create a kaleidoscopic effect. The contrast of cobalt blue, black, ash gray, and shadowy white adds a sense of mystery to the artsy print.
Anya Hindmarch Caspar Shopper Key rings, each. Available at AnyaHindmarch.com
Most reusable totes can be rolled, wrapped, and tucked into unattractive pouches that conserve space in your handbag but still look positively hideous. But the ultra-clever Anya Hindmarch has conceived of a way to change this truism. Made of shimmering crinkled leather, these new ornament-inspired key rings feature a gold-toned zipper along the center of their orb shapes that reveals a lightweight shopping tote in which you can carry groceries, books, drugstore purchases, and more. Once finished with your reusable tote, you can tuck it back inside its “ornament.” Best of all, since these will be attached to your keys, there’s no chance of you forgetting that reusable shopper at home.
Reiss Deanna Checked Jacquard Jumper, $230. Available at Reiss.com
The black-and-white colorway of this crew-neck sweater (or jumper, to use the British term) nods to Mod fashions, while the checkerboard effect speaks to the popular board game of English draughts. Made of a wool-blend, it will keep ladies cozy through the nippy winter season.
Knomo Melissia Cross-Body Bag in Teaberry, $150. Available at KnomoBags.com
With its perky raspberry lemonade shade, the Knomo Melissia cross-body bag adds a ray of sunshine to any ensemble, but it also serves many a functional purpose. As a testament to Knomo’s understanding of the necessities of a plugged-in generation, this handy bag accommodates more than a lipstick and credit card, offering enough room for your touch-screen phone, iPod, makeup bag, wallet, and any other essentials. An external zippered pocket allows you to keep the basics within reach — whether it’s your phone or your lip balm — while internal pouches and zipped pockets help you remain better organized. And, of course, the top zipper closure means all of your goodies will remain safe from spillage and from pickpockets.
Via Spiga Hazelle Pumps, $198. Available at Nordstrom.com
Though Twiggy normally wore flat mary-jane sandals or loafers at the height of her modeling career, she would’ve probably made an exception had she seen the Via Spiga Hazelle pumps, which boast a Mod attitude thanks to the color-blocked, black-and-white design. Featuring a 3″ heel and pointed toe, these leather pumps are simply timeless.
Ted Baker London Miamee Printed Tunic, $255. Available at TedBaker-London.com
This Ted Baker tunic features a majestic print seemingly adapted from a photograph, with a stylish, fedora-wearing female lounging on an upholstered sofa with a vintage-looking metal frame, a green paneled wall behind her creating a tartan print-like effect. Capped sleeves and a high, rounded neckline keep the silhouette simple so that the emphasis is placed on the print, which draws us into an imaginary realm/
Mawi Pyramid and Gemstone Ring, $440. Available at LuisaViaRoma.com
Known for its futuristic, eye-catching, architecturally inspired, sculptural pieces, British-based jewelry brand Mawi draws inspiration from London’s youth culture, from the city’s diverse music and fashion scenes, from the juxtaposition of palace buildings and gothic churches against graffiti-covered brick walls and metal gates. This rode gold-plated brass striking captures the brand’s forward-thinking aesthetic with its prong-set, rectangular, cerulean blue Swarovski crystal center stone, and the two rows of pink and red faceted Swarovski crystals along its perimeter, not to mention the three pyramid-shaped prongs along either side, each boasting a ball-shaped tip.
Ted Bakert London Nelli Spot Jacquard Dress, $275. Available at TedBaker-London.com
Forget X marking the spot — it’s all about the Os (or, rather, the dots) this season. Play with the polka dot trend in this adorable frock from Ted Baker, featuring a flared skirt, rounded neckline and to-the-elbow sleeves.
Nonoo Marissa Chain Fringe Jacket, $695. Available at NonooNY.com
If only the jackets worn by the Beatles on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Club Band album cover would’ve looked this sharp! Designed by Misha Nonoo, who moved from Bahrain to her mom’s native London at the age of 10, this cropped black number features an asymmetrical front flap accentuated by a diagonal row of silver-toned, domed round studs and chain fringe for a marching-band-goes-punk effect.
Illamasqua Neutral Palette, $45. Available at Sephora.com
Illamasqua Creative Director Alex Box approaches makeup in a way that’s positively thrilling, encouraging customers to express themselves and unleash their alter egos through the usage of makeup, allowing their creativity to flow untethered. Even this eye shadow quad, which seems relatively tame for the often flamboyant brand, contains some unexpected surprises so that three matte shades — Obsidian, an unapologetically abysmal carbon black; Stealth, a surprisingly full coverage buttermilk hue; and Wolf, a matte cocoa brown — are paired with Vintage, an antiqued , slightly blackened gold with a shimmery finish. It’s the perfect foundation for any look involving a high-voltage lip or well-defined liner.
For swatches of the shades in the platte, click here.
Indira Albert British Phone Booth Print, $20. Available at Etsy.com
It may be next to impossible to find a pay phone in New York City but, in London, red K2 telephone boxes are practically as emblematic of the city as Big Ben. Based on an illustration created from an original photograph, this 10″ x 8″ print by Indira Albert pays homage to London’s picturesque telephone kiosks. Each poster is printed onto heavyweight matte art paper using archival pigments.
Topshop Multi-Tiered Fur Coat, $190. Available at US.Topshop.com
Tap into your inner Kate Moss with this funky faux fur coat (it’s made of 63% modacrylic and 37& polyester), which falls right at the thigh and features a gradient color pattern that moves from a blackened indigo hue to a spotty white, culminating in a rich chocolate brown at the hemline.
BUILT NY Two Bottle Wine Tote, $17.99. Available at BuiltNY.com
One of the most prominent prints during the Mod movement was the above-pictured polka dot motif so, while Built NY is clearly a US-based company, this pattern definitely nods to our neighbors across the pond. Made from neoprene, this lightweight tote features soft but sturdy top handles for a comfortable grip and it’s designed so as to snugly accommodate two 750ml wine bottles, keeping them cool for up to four hours. It’s the perfect way to present a gift to a friend or colleague — after all, they can pop open the bottles of wine upon delivery and still have an adorable, reusable tote they can employ during future outings.
Qi Cashmere Cambridge Hats, $88 each. Available at QiNewYork.com
You’ll feel like an Oxford student in one of these 100% cashmere hats, which feature slight ribbing along the edges and a slim strap with a button closure for a bit of preppy flare. Choose from a basic Charcoal shade, a rich Garnet hue, or a fun-loving Deep Sky Blue.
Lulu Guinness Union Jack Snakeskin Lip Clutch, $750 . Available at LuluGuinness.com
Handbag designer Lulu Guinness has an entire range of lip-shaped clutch bags that are considered hot ticket items by fashionistas around the globe. Measuring 9.44″ in width, 5.51″ in height, and 1.57″ in depth, the Union Jack Snakeskin Lips Clutch, features the same smoochable design print in the famous pattern adorning Guinness’ flag.
Crabtree & Evelyn Lovely Hands Set, $30. Available at Crabtree-Evelyn.com
At the heart of the Crabtree & Evelyn philosophy is the collective understanding of 17th century life in the English countryside, when fruits, flowers, and herbs were grown in one’s gardens and later collected both to make culinary confections and to distill them to yield soothing, aromatic waters that could be used to cleanse and soothe the skin. This lovely hand cream trio feels like a nod to this bygone era. Packaged inside a festive red box with golden snowflakes, holly bunches, ornaments, and floral motifs, the Lovely Hands Set includes three of the brand’s most beloved hand moisturizers: Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy, which smells like a sweet cup of piping lemon tea; Gardeners Hand Therapy, which boasts an herbal scent thanks to the sage, rosemary, and thyme notes; and Rosewater Hand Therapy, which features a soft rose aroma peppered with green notes that lend it an earthy, rustic quality. All three 1.8 oz. creams are formulated with fatty acid-rich shea butter and macadamia nut oil, along with conditioning myrrh extract, and the moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid.
Doctor Who Tardis Tea Pot, $34.99. Available at ThinkGeek.com
Sure, most members of the British police force probably no longer rely on the blue telephone kiosks erected in the 1920s, but they fortunately remain as picturesque vestiges of eras past in many areas of London. And, of course, fans of BBC’s Doctor Who series will remember that the TARDIS time machine was disguised as a blue police phone box, making it an indelible pop culture reference. Made of glazed ceramic, and measuring 7″ by 7″, this tea spot pays homage to the TARDIS device and the kiosks that inspired its look, plus it holds more than 25 ounces of tea.
Beautiful Bottoms Sapphire Drop Back Playsuit, £82. Available at BeautifulBottoms.co.uk
Bring sexy back to the boudoir with this 100% silk romper from British lingerie and loungewear brand Beautiful Bottoms. In addition to a midnight blue floral print against a dusky black backdrop, the coquettish playsuit features adjustable silk straps, an open front with two strings that can be tied together into a dainty ribbon, an elasticized waistline, and a seductive, low drop back.
Jenny Packham Nude Embellished Shoulder Lace Dress, $2394. Available at Stylebop.com
Perfect for weddings, cocktail parties, auction benefits, and a bevy of formal affairs, this long-sleeved cocktail dress features a blush nude shell with an ultra feminine lace overlay and plum-colored jeweled embellishments along the shoulders to add strength and a bit of rock-n-roll attitude to the otherwise prim and demure frock.
Lisa Perry Word Placemats, $30 each. Available at LisaPerryStyle.com
Though based in New York, designer Lisa Perry constantly draws inspiration from Pop Art, a movement that emerged in Britain in the mid-1950s. Among her latest psychedelic, groovy offerings are these double-sided vinyl placemats, each measuring 14″ in diameter, which bear words like “Eat,” “Enjoy,” “Happy,” “Fun,” and “Love.”
Harrods Classic Afternoon Teapot, £39.95. Available at Harrods.com
What would a London-inspired gift guide be without some tea time-inspired treats? We’re loving this see-through glass teapot from Harrods, which features a convenient built-in strainer and removable lid.
Jenny Packham Clementine Red Sequin Gown, $3249. Available at Stylebop.com
British fashion designer Jenny Packham’s confections marry theatricality and elegance — just look at this exquisite, floor-length gown, made of 100% silk and featuring a high square neck, high-low hemline, and all-over sequin embellishments.
Kate Moss: The Making of An Icon, $15.35. Available at Amazon.com
More than a simple biography or a splashy coffee table book, Christian Salmon’s Kate Moss: The Making of An Icon explores the British supermodel’s rise to fame in the early ’90s through a sociological lens, questioning the cultural phenomena that made her particular look and attitude so desirable and how she has managed to remain relevant, reinventing herself as aesthetic notions have shifted, as the digital age overshadowed the print era, and as branding became essential to long-term financial viability. Meant for the analytical reader, Salmon’s book references French philosopher Michel Foucault, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Whitechapel Gallery director Iwona Blazwick, and Gus Van Sant’s The Last Days — among many other political figures, philosophers, authors, photographers, artists, professors, politicians, designers, models, films, myths, novels, and essays — in his effort to examine Moss’s evolution from grunge princess to heroin chic poster child to shining example of the high fashion “cool Britannia” aesthetic.
AllSaints Plaid Monument Coat, $495. Available at US.AllSaints.com
The plaid print feels classically British, but this Italian wool blend melton coat features an asymmetrical cut — accomplished by draping cloth on the stand — and dramatic funnel neck for a look that’s edgy, modern, and streetwise. Raw finishings add a deconstructed vibe that makes the coat feel that much cooler.
Liz Earle Botanical Body Treats Set, $31. Available at US.LizEarle.com
Since 1995, UK-based natural skincare brand Liz Earle has been enlightening women about the many beauty benefits of simple botanical ingredients, not to mention the advantages of leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle. If you know anyone who hasn’t yet experienced any Liz Earle products, expose them to the brand’s wonders with this delightful bath and body set, which contains: the Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash, which combines the invigorating scent of sweet orange oil with the slightly more bitter orange water aroma and the sweet and milky scent of tonka beans, and which gently cleanses and hydrates the skin with soothing oat extract, toning rosewater, moisture-balancing geranium oil, and antioxidant-rich vitamin E and rosemary oil; the Nourishing Botanical Body Cream, which features moisturizing and softening shea butter, avocado oil, lavender oil, and vitamin E; and Sheer Gold Shimmer, a special treat that you can use to highlight your decolletage, collarbones, or cheekbones.
Julep Peaceful Trio, $26. Available at Julep.com
These three nail lacquers come in matte metallic shades that feel slightly gritty but luxurious — like the London cityscape. The three quick-drying lacquers in this set are: Hailee, a mossy sage green collar with silvery shimmer that boasts a fully matte finish; Minka, a coppery, terracotta red suede-like collar with a matte metallic finish; and Brit, a near-gunmetal, silver-toned metallic hue with a matte finish.