I first learnt about the pocket square brand, YHIM, about a year ago when I discovered the brand in the London Fashion Week Men’s accessories showroom while galavanting around town. I have however, known the founder and pocket square designer, Sophia Wu, for quite a few years now.
We first met at one of my first ever seasons of London Collections: Men (now LFWM) when I was approached to do a mini interview about the impact of a pocket square to a suit. We bonded over the interview where sadly, I had forgot to wear a pocket square as I left the house so I proceeded to do my interview with a Costa napkin masquerading as a gentlemen’s top pocket decoration. Never fear, a makeshift pocket square is always near!
Below is a video of my ‘In Conversation’ interview regarding the YHIM brand and what inspires my attire. It was great to be able to sit down with Sophia and talk about our inspirations and ambitions. In the interview, I talk about my fashion icons, why I appreciate eccentric male dressers and my love for YHIM’s pocket squares. Go on, have a gander, and I apologise if none of you can get past my mucky northern accent.
These two images both use the same pocket square. The beauty of the design is that you can get 8 different looks from one single product. This way you have variety without an overflowing accessories drawer.
Not only do you not have to worry about which pocket square to pick (as they’re all-in-one), but you also have a colour palette that transitions from day to night time if you’re wanting a bolder look for dinner plans.
The YHIM pocket squares are unique in design with 4 patterns on each side, and a tasteful colour palette running throughout each piece.
One side uses more muted tones and colours with pops of eccentric and bright colours. The other side is a more flamboyant and bold print to add a fun ‘party’ element to the otherwise sophisticated design.
During the interview, Sophia kindly gifted me with one of her stunning pocket squares. I also had the privilege of being able to choose which coloured design I would like.
I opted for the bold fuchsia pink and golden yellow design with navy blue as the base colour. I chose this design for the bright and vivid colour scheme as I like to make a statement with my suits.
I felt these colours worked for their brightness but also that the more neutral side would work when I wear a jazzier suit.
The website currently features 8 colour schemes. Some brighter than others, and some for a gentleman who just wants to add a minor touch of flair to their attire.
If you want to check out some of the folding techniques, may I suggest you check out this digital copy of the nifty booklet that comes with every pocket square. It’s well worth a look if you’re wanting to experiment with different shapes and styles. Sophia has created this gorgeous little booklet that gives you a multitude of different ways you can shape your pocket squares and a simple step-by-step with visuals to guarantee that you’re going to look as sharp on the pin wherever you may be.
YHIM started as a real passion project for Sophia. When I first met her, she was interviewing men on the subject of pocket squares in order to create a book that praises the dandyism of such a simple menswear accessory. Sophia created a Kickstarter page to raise money to create her book. And as a donation gift to those who pledged a certain amount of money, she designed a pocket square as a thank you. These pocket squares then became popular and she has since taken a little donation gift and turned it into a much-loved menswear accessory brand. And my word am I glad she did!
Also, you may have also recently spotted Sophia take her brand on Dragon’s Den. Though she didn’t end up leaving with an offer, what she did leave with was excellent exposure and a great showcase of her beautiful products.
To celebrate their feature on Dragons’ Den, there is a special offer of 10% off. Visit the website YHIM.CO.UK to enter your email address to claim the coupon code.
For information regarding these amazing pocket squares, I recommend you browse their website: https://yhim.co.uk
And remember, Be Confident, Be Bold, Be Unique, Be YOU!
For those of you who know me, you will have heard me joke at some point that GQ never feature me because my looks are too ‘wacky’ or I don’t fit the ‘gentleman’ demographic. Then, the first season of London Collections: Men where I had cut off my locks, I ended up being featured in GQ… Just the back of me sadly. Well fret not! It would appear that international editions of Gentlemen’s Quarterly have a different aesthetic and this season I was featured numerous times in both GQ Spain and GQ Australia. GQ Spain successfully managed to make me look like a busy member of society (or a cellphone addict depending on your outlook on life) as both feature me in mobile action. Starting with quite a bold orange check suit from Asos on Day 1 to a more stripped back striped double-breast bespoke suit that I got made when I was working in China on Day 3. Both carrying my ol’faithful black leather envelope bag from Reiss. My day 1 tie was a bold renaissance style print tie from Vivienne Westwood and on Day 3 I wore a 70’s tie that was given to me from my late Granddad. I think my looks span from Porn Shop to Wall Street all with a 70’s flavour.
In the photo featured on the GQ Australia‘s Instagram account, you can see that I adapted my attire into more of a ‘Peaky Blinder’ feel by pairing it with a brown worn-leather flat cap from Laird Hatters.
GQ Australia – Photographer: Sarah Jane Barnes
GQ Spain – Photographer: Pablo García
A poor drunken attempt at a fashion hop. Well, someone had to I suppose. Sadly, I look more like a startled Zebra.
Shirt: Pretty Green
Hat: Laird Hatters
Scarf: Thomas Farthing
This was a rather fun post to have found whilst having an online browse for some new clobber. Turns out i’m somewhat of a “Trendy Wendy” this season and I must say I have been quite shocked on the impact this simple little orange checkered suit has had on the fashion press. Maybe it’s the bold colours in a rather depressing January filled with Tube Strikes and the ever-looming threat of Donal Trump… Who knows? Either way, its fun to be on the sunny side of life.
If you want to have a browse of Topman’s suggested trends to shop, have a click on the link here to get some grand ideas for your wardrobe: http://www.topman.com/en/tmuk/category/london-street-style-the-capitals-6-biggest-trends-6243896/home
‘Street style at London Fashion Week Men’s fall 2017’ – WWD
In a rather cold and depressing January (especially with looming threat of Donald Drumpf potentially destroying the world and causing an apocalypse), I felt it was only appropriate to try and brighten spirits and clear the grey skies with a somewhat ‘jazzy’ suit. Though its a relatively simple cut suit, the bold burnt orange check drew me in and then paired with a vintage peaked collar yellow shirt and statement tie I was ready to go. The suit was from Asos and didn’t cost me that much. In fact, it was my first purchase from Asos and I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the quality of fabric and how comfortable it was to wear. I definitely will be making more purchases in the near future. On a side note, a presenter from Pause magazine asked me how I would describe my look and the first thing that came to my head was 70s Porn Shop.
These photos were taken by my good friend Joseph Kent who is an incredible photographer and always captures street style beautifully. I would suggest you have a gander at his website to see what he’s got going on.
You can check his blog here – Unlimited By JK
Tie: Vivienne Westwood
Glasses: Bailey Nelson
Pocket Square: J. Crew
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood
Another menswear season has been completed (though this time it has been rebranded). London Fashion Week Men’s – formerly London Collections: Men as always has delivered a brilliant array of designers and a multitude of styles for the eyes to feast upon. Though before I begin, I think it has to be said that the name change which has aimed to link itself with London Fashion Week has actually managed to make the whole event feel different. We couldn’t quite figure out why as LFWM (formerly LCM) has changed season to season trying to find new hubs and show spaces after the Old Sorting Office was renovated. With LFW also making 180 Strand its new headquarters for fashion week, it seems that the commercialisation has become quite noticeable over the past few seasons and sadly, menswear is starting to feel like regular London Fashion Week and being different and stand-alone was on of the most loved qualities of LCM. Rant over, though the name and vibe is one thing, let me focus upon some of the treats of Autumn Winter 2017.
There were a few shows that tickled my fancy this year for a number of different reasons. I’ll start with Liam Hodges‘ Dystopian Lives collection and his beautiful use of glitch motifs with urban streetwear. Shades of jungle green and neon yellow blitzed down the runway like the symbols in the Matrix loading screen. There was an overwhelming blast of textures and pattern reminiscent of old computer software and VHS quality visuals creating a military camouflage feel. Photo prints featured on the garments were taken by Liam during his recent trip to China. – Side note, he lectured at the same University (DeTao Masters Academy) that I worked at a couple of years ago. This collection tickled all of my glitch-based taste buds and I thoroughly approved!
Oliver Spencer never fails to deliver an excellent collection. There were a lot of pieces this season that I would love to own and normally I find his collections to be a little tame to my tastes but this season I feel as though he had gone in a more playful direction but still maintaining the distinguished Oliver Spencer aesthetic. The ushanka style hats were a must-have accessory for winter. But the piece that stood out to me the most was the olive green velvet bomber jacket and baggy pants to match. I think I may have to start browsing the shops for my sizes now as he may well have found himself a new customer.
One designer this year was celebrating his birthday this season and had a runway show to celebrate. Bobby Abley brought his usual flair of childhood memories to life with sweaters emblazoned with Power Rangers designs, helmets and dinosaurs. We also got a nod to his previous Rio inspired collection with green, yellow and blue shorts and sweaters and of course a his token teddy bear logo made numerous features including a white leather chest harness, because nothing fuses together better than bondage and childhood comforts. The music was blasting out and the colours were a-plenty. It truly felt like we were all part of Bobby’s big birthday bash… The only thing lacking was the candles, cakes and alcohol.
And of course, the menswear collections wouldn’t be what they are without an array of presentations and parties. There were plenty of highlights in this field including Fashion East‘s Art School collection which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The presentation featured a rabble of budding young thespians all in the rehearsal stages and theatre workshops that will be incredibly memorable to all who ever took part in a drama class in high school. There was a charming ‘New Romantic meets Club Kid’ feel to the collection and nostalgia kicked in when performers all started doing a two-step jive to “Give A Little Love” from Bugsy Malone.
Wan Hung delivered all of the Asian aesthetic that I could possibly ask for. Beautifully minimalist and boxy shapes with glorious oriental fabrics and textures. Also, its hard not to enjoy looking at men in 70’s style platform boots. It was a modern take on vintage stylings and with the glorious colours and shapes of the clothing bursting forward, it truly made me want to have this collection sitting in my wardrobe as we speak. Bravo Wan Hung and thank you for the Asian sweets we were given on the way out.
There was one presentation surprisingly had me stunned. Kent & Curwen was the epitome of a showcase. David Beckham’s collaboration with the brand was something I wasn’t expecting but it made for a pleasant treat. This was his second collection with the heritage sporting outfitter (designed by Daniel Kearns). Located at the Oxo Tower Wharf, we scurried into a large warehouse through big (and heavily guarded) barn doors. We then travelled through a maze of derelict rooms, the only lighting was that of a series of projections of videos and clips from the look books. Once we finally located ourselves into the main room, we were greeted by a cocktail bar filled with mulled whiskey and traditional pub snacks like pork scratchings and fried chicken skins. Christ on a bike! The chicken skins were beyond amazing. But i’m not blogging about food today so back to business… Giant glass boxes filled with flowers proved to be a beautiful way to display the garments. Vintage look bombers, shearling jackets, sheepskin coats, rugby sweaters and boating blazers filled the room with a cheeky Peaky Blinders nod in the cap department. “What more could you ask for?” I hear you ask. My inner fan-boy then burst out as we were greeted by David, Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham. Vicky B?! Posh Spice. Without going into too much of a fan-girl mode, it was excellent, the whole presentation was stunning and to be rubbing shoulders with the Beckham’s is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you don’t often get to have.
I appeared on Fiasco magazine’s online street-style page for the DAY1 of SS14 London Fashion Week
Photography: Beccy Nuthall
I fancied splashing a bit of colour to the otherwise dreary day and torrential downpour that was September’s LFW.
From attending previous Fashion Weeks, i expected a bit more of a burst of colour, but the weather had definitely dampened a lot of spirits, Somerset House felt like a barren wasteland with the lack of people this season which was a touch unfortunate as there were some beautiful collections this year.
I was rather flattered to be shot by Joseph Kent (Unlimited by JK), this guy is a pro when it comes to Street-Style photography and I was pretty thrilled with my photo (after seeing so many unflattering pics from this season where I have frizzy windswept hair, mid conversation gurnings or the dreaded double chin, JK managed to cheer me up.)
I would definitely check out his blog if you want to see some beautiful Street-Style photography from London Fashion Week and other escapades.
The photo also appeared on the Daily Express online.
STREET STYLE: The most stylish and outlandish outfits from London Fashion Week
“Go bright or go home. This fashionable fellow teams his tomato-red suit with orange trainers and oversized glasses.”
London Collections: Men
I attended the LC:M shows in June this year to network and find potential job opportunities. I attended some incredible shows this year, such as; Topman Design, Nasir Mazhar and Xander Zhou thanks to David Gandy.
I also met up with Callum Watt (Digital Marketing Manager for Topman) who I went to shows with and met a lot of my favourite menswear designers like Sibling, Katie Eary and Agi&Sam in the Topman pub.
The Ivy opened its doors for the Velsvoir champagne reception and presentation
Stylist Karen Mason was another person I met who I later worked with on a shoot for Jocks&Nerds magazine.
I managed to get a few front row seats with both David Gandy and Oliver Cheshire and attended Oliver Spencer’s after show party at Liberties and the Ben Sherman for Shortlist magazine (#BSSparty) party where I managed to meet more people (and got some magical goodie bags).
Jocks&Nerds: Svengali photo shoot
After meeting stylist, Karen Mason, I contacted her about working as a styling assistant with her on a photo shoot. I was fortunate enough to work with Karen on a shoot for Jocks&Nerds magazine with the cast of the new film Svengali.
We went to lots of different PR companies around London sourcing and selecting clothes for the shoot. This was such a great experience as I got to meet a lot of PR teams and find their locations which will benefit me in later life.
Harvey Nichols’ LC:M tour – Leeds
The other day I attended the London Collections: Men showcase at the Harvey Nichols store in Leeds with my friend Jessie Pink. This event was a brilliant way to network with a lot of top London menswear designers in my hometown (with the cocktails flowing).
The designers that were showcasing their latest collections were; Katie Eary, Casely Hayford, James Long, Mr Hare, Lou Dalton, Bernstock Speirs, Lee Roach and Christopher Shannon.
Being able to chat with the designers about their collections was incredible, especially since you don’t often get chance to do so at LC:M in general due to hectic schedules but here I was able to have a gossip with many of my favourite designers including Katie Eary who created one of my favourite collections of LC:M back in June and James Long who was the first menswear designer I was able to attend a runway show of.
The event was a great atmosphere with free drinks galore (which is always a good sign) and the chance to check out some incredible pieces and a chance to chat to the menswear designers about their inspirations and such.
I really fell in love with Katie Eary’s hoodie (which I wore in my photograph with her) and Mr Hare’s metallic trainers.
The event was a brilliant opportunity to meet some of my heroes in the menswear fashion scene (and have drinks and a laugh with them in the process).
After the event at Harvey Nichols finished, we all went out for drinks and kept the party going (with many a drink swilling its way around my body).
I would love to meet up with the designers again at some point and attend their next LC:M runway collections.
I worked for a week in the Sorapol offices with Sorapol (designer), Daniel Lismore (creative director) and the rest of the team. I worked within the office writing up press releases, researching, going around London to check out some beautiful fabric and textile buildings and other deliveries.
Pre-London Fashion Week:
Hype Black on Black x Topman & MTV Stayin’ Alive x Bjorn Borg:
The day before LFW had started, I was invited to two events. One was the launch of the Hype Black on Black collection in association with Topman which took place in Shoreditch. This was a great event in a really nice little flagship store with Rekorderlig ciders being handed out like tic-tacs and gifts of limited edition silk scarves and Hype beanies. The second was the collaboration with MTV and Bjorn Borg’s new underwear collection. This event was really fun to be at, free champagne and cocktails and a brilliant runway presentation mid-party. Once the show had finished we were blessed by an appearance from MKS (better known as ‘The Original Sugababes’ to you and me) which really got the crowd pumped followed by a brilliant DJ set from Jodie Harsh.
We were gifted with beautiful pink camo Bjorn Borg underwear (limited edition for HIV awareness) and a really nice fragrance… All in all a top party.
London Fashion Week SS14
To me, LFW this year was a bit of a let down…
Firstly, they didn’t have Mulberry sponsored tote bags (already off to a bad start). Secondly, the weather was so repugnant that the number of people had depleted to a substantially minimal level thus enthusiasm had dropped.
I wasn’t particularly fussed about seeing shows this year, I was more interested in meeting up with friends and business contacts.
The highlight was meeting up with my friend Cornelia who runs her own fashion brand called IRL LDN (In Real Life London) and I was blessed with a freebie t-shirt gifted which will be perfect to photograph for my project this year.
I also attended the KTZ show which was brilliant as always and bumped into Kate Nash again, and I went to her after party in association with Untitled magazine.
I also managed to go see my friend’s collection this year; Pritch London who is a phenomenal designer who creates beautiful leather jackets in ways you couldn’t imagine leather to work.
Other than that, LFW was a bit of a blow out.