In lurve with London all over again

London: hey! It's swinging! It's groovy! Not since Sixties chicksfrolicked down Carnaby Street has the capital been so cool - or so say the American fashion glossies.

September is the biggest month for magazine fashion publishing. And if you think your British issues of Marie Claire and Elle are heavy, try weight-lifting the American issues of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Lifting one on each arm is free (as long as you put them back on the shelves afterwards) and cheaper than having to pay for a work-out in the gym.

Inside, both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar (the world's two glossy bibles) have decided to shoot the best of the new season in London. Here is Arthur Elgort for US Vogue photographing Scottish lass Kirsty Hume: perched next to the Houses of Parliament, talking on the telephone (in one of the now- rare red boxes), snogging on a Camden canal boat and, our favourite (right), standing in a park with "the Queen" and her corgis.

The stylist, American Vogue's fashion director diva, Grace Coddington, was a model back at the time when London last swung, "so scouting for places with her was like taking a tour of her old neighbourhood", says Elgort.

Over at Vogue's competitor, Harper's Bazaar has Tulsa-born model Amber Valletta done up as Julie Christie in Darling. Here is a London park bench (as also seen in US Vogue). Here a cobbled street (ditto). Here the Thames (ditto).

Even British Vogue has eschewed the usual far-flung location for the thrills of shooting on its own doorstep. Photographer Nick Knight has this month's hot model, Jody Kidd, a Brit, leaping off a London bus (one of the few you can still jump off while it is in motion) plus authentic London pigeons.

So Londoners, this is your moment. Bask in the renewed hipness of your city. Those living further afield might like to know that the Independent's "big September fashion pictures" (which will appear in the Independent Saturday Magazine) were not shot in London (where we shoot pretty much all of the rest of the year's pictures) but on the west coast of Scotland. Yes, it rained but it was gorgeous.

MH

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