Along with Big Ben and red double-decker buses, the Beefeaters at the Tower are an iconic symbol of London.
The Yeoman Warders, to give them their official title, have been guarding the Tower of London since 1485 and their uniforms have remained pretty much traditional and unchanged.
Recently, however, some new design ideas were unveiled to suggest how the Beefeaters might move into the 21st century. One featured a helmet shaped like a lion’s head with a winged tunic, another was a rather fetching red and gold outfit for a female Yeoman Warder (Moira Cameron became the first in 2007).
There are no plans for the Beefeaters to wear the new costumes – they’re going on show at London’s Design Museum until October 4th.
Also at the exhibition will be new bus shelters, as well as fashion designer Paul Smith’s fun idea to cut down on litter – rubbish bins in the shape of giant rabbits with flashing ears.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique can secure you the best deals at a range of luxury and boutique hotels in London.
The beret was once the headgear of choice for any self-respecting Frenchman. It became almost a cartoon cliché.
Now, after years in decline, the beret is making a comeback, with manufacturers reporting a doubling in sales. One, Blancq-Olibet, based in south-west France, faced closure less than a decade ago, but is now making 300,000 berets a year.
And it’s the young who seem to be embracing them as a ‘new’ fashion trend. Bernard Fargues, the chairman of another company, Béatex, said the buyers were mostly those dubbed bobos or the bourgeois-bohème (yuppies). “They’re buying berets as a sign of authenticity and a link to rural France, where their grandparents probably lived and worked,” he said.
French style commentator Patricia Jourdain thought that as well as French pride, it might also be a backlash against an increasingly Americanised world: “The beret is as far removed as the baseball cap and other manifestations of US culture as you can get,” she said.
Ms Jourdain said that rather than being worn solely by country people or intellectuals as in the past, the beret was now an extremely chic fashion item. Many models had worn them at Paris Fashion Week.
by Andy Moreton
Check out Luxique’s selection of luxury hotels in Paris and throughout France. C’est magnifique!