Be chic and safe while you cycle without a stitch of lycra in sight
Last night Camden Council closed a road in Bloomsbury to celebrate ‘Car Free Day’ in a very fashionable way. The annual day promotes greener forms of transport with cycling tips, route planning, and this year a fashion show for all your cycling-wear needs.
From 4pm Dr Bike was on hand to offer free bike maintenance advice before professional BMX bikers Team Extreme performed extreme high-octane stunts on a half pipe, which had been constructed across the width of the street. Unfortunately the heavens opened at this point and briefly paused festivities but live music soon got the street party started.
New girlband Alfee braved the rain and took to the road to perform for the crowd. Their upbeat mash-up of chart songs lightened the mood and got people dancing in the street as they sang ‘Red Lipstick’, a song by the band. Alfee finished with another song they had written, about body image and the media, for charity ‘Body Gossip’ which the four girls are proud ambassadors for. After warming up the crowds Alfee disappeared and the fashion show began.
The road was turned into a catwalk with a BMX half-pipe at one end and crowds lining the pavement to watch. Outfits had been styled by bloggers Shiny Thoughts, Bangs & a Bun, Fabienne Des Fleurs and A Little Bird Told Me, as well as some of London’s top stylists who were determined to prove you can be chic whilst cycling safely. Models wore pieces from a selection of high-end, high street and vintage stores each with a quirky twist. Accessories came in the form of bike helmets but not as you’d expect. To add to the chic element one model sported a shiny gold helmet whilst another wore one made from recycled plastic. Others modelled pieces with high visibility panels and reflective strips including a pair of men’s trousers with reflective piping down the outer seam. The stylists achieved their aim in proving that you can be fashionable and bike friendly. Until one model appeared down the catwalk with a bike, I’d forgotten this wasn’t your usual fashion show.
A 70s double-decker bus that has been transformed by owner Carter into the Bicycle Library was parked at the top of the street. The bottom level of the bus houses cycling fashion collection TwonFro with a range of T-shirts made from soya or bamboo sporting designs in reflective ink. Helmets, neck purses and other biking bits and bobs are made from old pieces of sail making them durable, waterproof and eco friendly. For cycling enthusiast-fashionistas, a tailor made full body suit may be just the thing, complete with safety conscious reflective piping on the seams. On the top deck, the bus houses an actual mini library and original bus benches have been turned to face each other with skateboards poking out of the walls to form tables. Here, cyclists can grab a coffee and peruse the books – all about cycling of course – or chat with the librarian and get maintenance or apparel advice.
The Bicycle Library acts as a library for bikes in the sense that you can borrow one out for the day. With a selection of different sizes and styles, the team will find the right bike for you and even advise you on good and safe cycling routes around the area. You can find the bus popping up in different festivals and events, but they do have a more permanent residence in east London, E8 3RL. You can find out more about The Bicycle Library here.
For more information about the cycle Camden campaign click here.