Fashion: Rachel Peru
- Credit: Mark Peru
The red, white and blue wardrobe
I can still remember celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 as a six-year-old; the embarrassment of having to wear a handknitted red, white and blue bonnet made by my Aunty Nellie for the street parade (which, I might add, we won first prize for) followed by having to dress up as a pageboy for a party in the evening!
Fast forward to this summer's Jubilee celebrations and thankfully I can now choose my own wardrobe and there are lots of options to go for.
Up until the 1960’s any clothing adorned with the Union Flag was seen as offensive, it was deemed a lack of respect and stood for post-war patriotism, wearing it would have been unthinkable.
How quickly that all changed when youth cultures of Mod and Punk arrived, using the Union Jack as an anti-establishment symbol. So many iconic images, including The Who draped in the flag on their 'The Kids are Alright' album cover, Twiggy’s shift dress as seen in Vogue and then following generations of Punk and Britpop. How could anyone forget the Sex Pistol’s 'God Save the Queen' imagery, and Ginger Spice’s infamous dress, made from a tea towel – Cool Britannia brought a new look to celebrating the flag.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and London Olympics in 2012 elevated the red, white and blue of the Union Jack flag even more with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Lulu Guinness and Vivienne Westwood embracing all things UK.
Whether you’ll be partying at home, having a street party, or dressing up to the nines at a glamorous event you can bring a bit of the Union Jack into your wardrobe your way.
If you’re heading out for dinner and want to look smart and classy you can’t go wrong with a red dress. I love this red midi dress from Mint Velvet (£119) and it’s something you can easily introduce blue and white accessories to elevate your jubilee look, whilst keeping it stylish. The dress not only looks good but also uses Lenzing Ecovera branded viscose fibres, which are derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp and use more environmentally friendly production processes - so what’s not to love?
I’ve swapped the original tonal belt to one of my own to break the colour up and draw more attention to my waistline.
I’ve paired it with a with one of my favourite vintage 1970’s Church’s blue & white shoes (a great find on Ebay marketplace) and I found this summer handbag at TK Maxx.
The second outfit would be perfect for a street party, relaxed, comfortable and fun.
One of the main criteria when planning an outfit is will it look good with a trainer or flat shoes. I often have to wear heels for my modelling, but you will otherwise find me a comfortable but cool trainer.
This striped flounce midi skirt (£30) and fun t-shirt (£8) are both from George at Asda. They do have a matching blue checked collar shirt if you love wearing co-ordinates. You don’t have to spend a fortune on finding some good staple wardrobe pieces and I have already worn this skirt lots, so don’t dismiss the supermarket fashion labels, as I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The denim jacket is another great vintage Levi find that I have loved for years.
If you want to make a statement with a union flag outfit, then Next has a wearable v -neck midi dress (£40) or if you’re handy with a sewing machine take some inspiration from Geri Halliwell’s dress and knock yourself up your own tea towel dress! If you decide to do the latter, please share as I’d love to see it!
What I’ll be doing this month:
I’ll be in New York for the jubilee celebrations, marking my 50th two years late, so I’ll raise a glass across the water.
Come and say hello on Instagram @rachelperu1
Keep being fabulous
Location: Harrogate Valley Gardens