I agree with Rivkie that the basis of London style is the freedom to wear whatever the heck you want, with some sense of direction, and to rock it like it's the latest thing Lagerfeld dreamed about. That was one of my favourite things about this city when I moved here from a place where a North Face and Uggs was a "cute look".
But no matter how much I love the fact that I can alternate between dressing like Kate Moss in the Doherty years, a depressed grandma as styled by Lily Allen, and sweet lil' Audrey Hepburn, there's something to be said for a routine. And where would one go to find the ultimate in style routines? That would be Paris, mon frere.
At haute couture week, I was particularly impressed by the Lefranc-Ferrant show. Maybe not as A-list name recognition as Gaultier, but this husband-wife duo has worked with the giants: Chloé (under Karl), Guy Laroche, YSL, Lanvin, Catherine Malandrino and Balenciaga.
Some of the most beautiful pieces on offer were black-patent corsets - fembot, super-sexy and dominatrix, yet clinging onto subtlety just enough to wear on an evening out when you seriously wanted to feel important. That corset would feel as costume-y as some of the pieces any of us wear on the streets every day, but the sense of control symbolised by putting this over a simple evening gown and keeping everything else plain is London Look x 1 kazillion.
Heading to Paris has inspired me to be a little less scatterbrained in the way I dress, so from now on I'll go for chic a bit more. (You KNOW that won't happen on Mondays.) The refined Parisians going to and from the shows - and even the ones floating around the city without the perks of car service and makeup artists - didn't have to be weird or different or over-the-top, but I can guarantee you they looked just as good for what they didn't add to their outfits as what they did.
I wouldn't suggest that London ditch it's quirkiness, or we would never end up with a Christopher Kane or a Louise Goldin or a Gareth Pugh (whom the Parisians would eventually steal, those thieves). But every now and then, it's OK to show some polish.