Four runway-ready cocktails inspired by fashion icons

If you love the idea of a dress code pegged to happy hour, you can now match your favourite designer to a tipple tailored to their style.

“Much like the outfits we choose to wear, the cocktails we choose to drink can say a lot about who we are and what we’re trying to communicate to the world,” Jennifer Croll writes in her new book, Dressed To Swill: Runway-Ready Cocktails Inspired By Fashion Icons.

“Whether clinking glasses to celebrate the launch of a new collection or quaffing a tipple at a party while sporting a vintage find, we often celebrate with stylish drinks when we’re dressed to impress.”

The book promises 60 tribute cocktails dedicated to fashion icons, including Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and David Bowie. Here are four favourites to get the fashionable party started.

1. The Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood cocktail
(Daiana Ruiz/PA)

“Fashion’s punk godmother Dame Vivienne Westwood knows how to raise hell. The ground-breaking designer helped create a subculture with her provocative clothing, and today uses her runway shows as a stage for activism.

“After punk’s moment waned she moved into high fashion, designing successful, influential collections inspired by pirates and English period clothing. Notably, she made fashion political by campaigning for civil liberties, human rights, and environmental causes.

“Despite her anti-authoritarian tendencies, she’s been embraced as a British cultural icon, and was made a Dame in 2006. Westwood’s cocktail is green, much like her politics…”


  • 2 shots Hendrick’s Gin
  • 1 shot matcha syrup
  • 1 shot fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • lemon twist to garnish

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish.

Read: Vivienne Westwood at 80: Her most mind-blowing fashion moments

2. The Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen cocktail
(Daiana Ruiz/PA)

“The controversial creative impulses of Alexander McQueen made an indelible mark on fashion during his too-short reign as the industry’s most beloved provocateur.

“After starting his own fashion house in 1992, McQueen took on positions with both Givenchy and Gucci. However, his main creative outlet remained his own label, where he became known for skull-printed scarves (an oft-copied motif), and extreme designs such as armadillo shoes, famously worn by Lady Gaga in the music video for Bad Romance.

“McQueen’s death at age 40 rocked the world. His memorial was attended by 2500 people, including fashion royalty such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Daphne Guinness, and Anna Wintour. The cocktail he inspired contains Scotch and a healthy dose of nonconformity.”


  • one-and-a-half shots single malt Scotch
  • half shot crème de cassis
  • half shot fresh lemon juice
  • 3 shots ginger beer
  • lemon wedge to garnish

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except ginger beer and shake. Strain into a large rocks glass filled with ice, top with ginger beer, and garnish.

Read: Five ways to make non-alcoholic drinks more interesting

3. The Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel cocktail
(Daiana Ruiz/PA)

“You can divide fashion into two eras: before Chanel, and after. The founder of the house of Chanel created a streamlined ideal of chic that has lasted to this day. Inspired by the tailored, practical look of men’s country fashion, Chanel created sporty jersey pieces that allowed the wearer to move freely because (unusually, for the time) she designed her garments without a corset. Her boyish aesthetic became known as the ‘garçonne look’, and exemplified rebellious, flapper-era style.

“Chanel’s other innovations captured a similar spirit of democratic, inclusive fashion: the ‘little black dress’, a sleek evening dress meant to be worn by women of all classes; her iconic tweed suit, which was rigorously designed to be comfortable; and Chanel No 5, a scent that combined the aromas worn by both courtesans and ‘respectable’ women.

“Chanel once said, ‘I only drink champagne on two occasions: when I am in love and when I am not’. Her cocktail includes ample champagne, alongside the French fortified wine Lillet and the French liqueur crème de violette, which brings a light purple hue.”


  • half shot crème de violette
  • half shot chilled Lillet Blanc
  • 4 shots chilled champagne
  • French lavender sprig to garnish

Pour crème de violette and Lillet Blanc into a coupe glass, top with champagne, and garnish.

4. The Christian Dior

Christian Dior cocktail
(Daiana Ruiz/PA)

“Long hemlines, full skirts, and hourglass figures: these were Christian Dior’s signatures. The legendary French designer, who once declared that ‘luxury must be defended’, was famous for restoring ultra-feminine curves to fashion.

“Dior’s very first collection in 1947 completely changed the aesthetics of the time. In a reaction against the rationing and practicality of the war years, the collection used crisp tailoring, corsetry, and voluminous quantities of fabric to create full skirts and an accentuated hip and bust…

“Dior’s cocktail channels the elegance — and decadence — of the post-war era.”

Read: Erdem’s biggest fashion moments


  • 1 shot brandy
  • 1 shot Amaretto
  • 1 shot single cream
  • cherry blossom to garnish

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients, shake vigorously, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.

Dressed to Swill: Runway-Ready Cocktails inspired by Fashion Icons, by Jennifer Croll, illustrations by Daiana Ruiz

Dressed To Swill: Runway-Ready Cocktails Inspired By Fashion Icons by Jennifer Croll, illustrated by Daiana Ruiz, is published by Prestel, available now.

– With PA

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Written by Sam Wylie-Harris