Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003

London, Britain: 2003

When is a street not just a street? When its name conjures up an age. The King's Road had it all — Twiggy, Mick Jagger, Terence Stamp and Michael Caine hung out there, and its shops and styles defined what TIME called "Swinging London." The King's Road is still the epicenter of trendiness, and this year's models are wearing '60s styles all over again. In its heyday, the King's Road and its impossibly hip surrounding neighborhood, Chelsea, were populated by the self-exiled trust-fund progeny of Mayfair and Belgravia. It was, TIME said, a place where "models and ad-agency execs can afford quaint private houses with black-painted doors and tidy flower boxes." The arty set established businesses to sell clothes, furniture and food. Today those "quaint" homes sell for over $2 million, boutiques like Top Gear and Countdown have been replaced by the Gap and Next, and restaurants like La Reve and Casserole have been pushed aside by Starbucks and McDonald's. It's easy to bemoan those changes, but they don't make the King's Road any less popular with young people today. The King’s Road is only the King’s Road if it is evolving. Make that, swinging.