Henry Conway on the Return of the Sloane
The Resident columnist Henry Conway dusts off his old ‘Queen Sloane’ epithet to celebrate the Sloane revival. But what does the modern Sloane Ranger wear to lord it up down the King’s Road? Read and learn…
Instagram is today’s window to the zeitgeist. Hopefully your feed is full of hilarious pictures with quips and witticisms to brighten your day, rather than Facetuned body bunnies that make you feel like Jabba the Hutt.
Recently I have been getting replies to my posts with the hashtag of my old epithet ‘Queen Sloane’. The tabloid press graced me with said nickname back when Kate was still a Middleton, trotting out of my nights at Mahiki, and one I didn’t particularly shy away from.
Having spent my formative years rolling up and down the King’s Road in hand-me-down Gucci loafers and popped-collared double-cuff shirts, with just a hint of nail varnish to give it some alternative glitz, it was a crown that seemed happy to fit.
That was the Sloane look then, but has it moved on? Stomping down the KR the other day, the Peter York classifications that held Lady Diana Spencer as the ultimate Sloane Ranger have seemingly been inhaled by fashion at large.
Sloane Rangerdom had its years in the wilderness – the grunge of the nineties and the turbo-glam of the noughties didn’t fit well with the Hoorays. We find ourselves now at a time when London fashion culture ricochets between Californian monochrome street style and semi-toff.
We find ourselves at a time when London fashion culture ricochets between Californian monochrome street style and semi-toff
It can be seen in what the populous drinks – either dyed-in-the-wool Brit (London gin or craft beer) or super Euro (Aperol and Negronis). You can’t move for pocket squares on even the most Essex of lads, or muted suede ballet pumps for the Margate girls – what used to be the preserve of Nice Caroline is now mainstream.
So what should you be aiming for if you want to retain your SW credentials, but set you apart from the Oxford Street wannabies? The devil, as always, is in the detail.
Princess of Wales pie crust collars, so beautifully championed for revival by Alexa Chung, obvs comes from Gucci, penny loafers can only be GH Bass (the original Kennedy favourite), and your suede boots should be Fairfax and Favour.
Men can Euro it up with pocket squares from Thomas Pink and go wild with any form of disruptive sock pattern from the Swedish-born Happy Socks. A jazzy ankle, I find, will take you far in life.
As the weather sets in, cover up in Holland and Cooper tweed or a three-quarter-length coat from Oliver Brown on Lower Sloane Street (note an actual Sloane address).
A jazzy ankle, I find, will take you far in life
Entertaining? Swerve lesser Made-in-Chelsea haunts and take it back to the original – why not try seducing a date under the heaters on the terrace at the Bluebird, or go for some true old-school glam, complete with live band, at Quaglino’s (sadly now minus the stealable ashtrays that featured in any Chelsea flat worth its salt).
Many of you will be shocked that Sloane behaviour ever went away. Those staples of well-made clothes, jewellery from your grandparents, and getting jollied up on gallons of decent Burgundy are simply everyday life.
Everyone is really a bit Sloane when it comes to it though – a brightly coloured trouser will always raise a smile, a solid expensive handbag stolen from an aunt will garner insta-worship, and a Lock & Co fedora will always save a bad hair day.
Go on, indulge that inner Sloane. It is the slightly battered, trusted old friend that will never let you down.
Follow @henryconway on Instagram