clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Polish Is Back: Three Kate Middleton Approved British Designers, and Where to Find them Stateside

Two prim looks by Katherine Hooker as modeled by KMids, via Getty
Two prim looks by Katherine Hooker as modeled by KMids, via Getty

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

With the black-ripped-grunge-metal aesthetic of the late aughts hightailing it out in favor of ladylike polish, new designers have are filling the conservative void. And since Kate Middleton accelerated rocker chic's exit from gradual to warp speed, it seems only natural that many of the designers vying for the spotlight are Brits who have benefited from her patronage. According to the Telegraph, these designers were dismissed just a few years ago for repping too "posh" an aesthetic, but are now are getting plenty of notice—and customers. After the jump find three British designers who are on the up and up, thanks to their upper crustiness.


Millie Dress, £230.00 and Long Ella Dress Flower Printed Cotton, £225

Sophie Cranston of Libélula: Cranston won Designer of the Year Award at Graduate Fashion Week in 1999 and has worked under Alexander McQueen and Alice Temperley, but none of that matters. What matters is that the DoC is totally into her collections.

The Telegraph calls the label's aesthetic "Home Counties," which means they stick to flower-printed dresses with V-neck cut and A-line flair. You can order your dress directly from the Libélula site.


Buxton Jacket, £410.00 and Tallulah Jacket, £410.00

Katherine Hooker: Hooker has nailed the tailored tweed coat and jacket, which she developed based on the cut of a Hasidic Jewish boy's coat she found in an Israeli junk shop years ago. Pre-DoC magic, they sold mainly in the countryside of Gloucestershire and to her friends and family. Now she does trunk shows all over the world. To purchase, find one of these trunk shows (it helps if you live in NYC) or order here


Ringlet Dress, £456 and Painted Ladies, £578.00

Lady Natasha "Nats" Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan of Beulah: The line, which employs women rescued from sex trafficking in India to make some of their garments, trades in arm coverage and Duchess-length hems. Brennan explained that they're not "consciously trying to be conservative," but since they design for special occasions with special dress requirements—skirts at Ascot have to be knee length; for weddings people like to cover their shoulders—"it just turned out that way."

The line is headed to the US next year, and is stocked at British boutiques like Harvey Nichols. Also order online here.
· The Return of Posh Fashion [Telegraph]
· The 20 Best-Dressed Famous People in the World, According to Vanity Fair's 2012 Best Dressed List [Racked]