London's fashion stores pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II with respectful window displays

Notices of respect, a display of black handbags and a sketch by Karl Lagerfeld sit in shopfronts

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Since Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, the streets of sunny central London have been noticeably quiet, but on Saturday crowds began to reappear, now thronging Green Park, St James Park and around Westminster.

While there may be fewer shoppers than usual, along the famous parade of Regent Street, many stores have changed their window displays to mark the solemnity of the occasion.

At the flagship store of Burberry — the first brand to cancel its appearance at London Fashion Week out of respect — only black handbags sit in the window, with a message on the glass that reads: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty the Queen, we join the Royal Family in mourning her loss.”

A few doors down, the Karl Lagerfeld store has placed a 2012 sketch made by Lagerfeld himself, of the queen, to mark her golden anniversary, with a quote from the then Chanel and Fendi designer: “Once a Queen, always a Queen.”

There is another quote in the window of the Michael Kors store describing Britain's longest-reigning monarch as the “ultimate icon in every way”, while around the corner on Conduit Street, Vivienne Westwood has placed large vases of white lilies in its windows. Even the streetwear brand A Bathing Ape has reworked its logo into a Union Jack.

Along New and Old Bond streets, the centre of luxury shopping in central London, many stores have replaced window displays with all-black products, and those with flag poles are now flying flags at half-mast.

British brand Mulberry blacked out both of its windows on Bond Street, out of respect for the queen. Sarah Maisey / The National

The store for the British brand Stella McCartney seems to have become a makeshift shrine, with flowers left below an image of the monarch as a young woman. Another UK label, Mulberry, blacked out both of its double windows, displaying instead a small portrait of the queen.

It's not only British brands that have felt compelled to pay respects. At the store of the Italian house Fendi, a statement is displayed from its parent company LVMH declaring that “the LVMH Group sends its sincere condolences to the Royal family and people across the United Kingdom”.

At the boutique for French fashion house Dior, its window features four mannequins dressed in black in front of a wall of past queens, and the message “in loving memory of Her Majesty the Queen”.

At fellow French maison Chanel, mannequins are also dressed in sombre black, with a message paying homage to this “time of great sadness and national mourning”.

The Alexander McQueen flagship store on Bond Street, London, flies a Union Jack flag at half-mast. Sarah Maisey / The National

Givenchy, meanwhile, has blacked out one window save for a sign explaining “the house of Givenchy is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II. We send our sincere condolences to the Royal family and all the people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

Elsewhere, the window of jewellery maison Cartier carried a message offering its "heartfelt sympathy to His Majesty the King”.

How designers at London Fashion Week are paying respects to Queen Elizabeth II — in pictures

Updated: September 18, 2022, 6:52 AM
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