This season was a strange one because it felt like I hadn’t stepped foot in London for years (despite heading to London fairly regularly). I don’t quite know what it was, it just felt… different. But alas, I was excited to be back and I was ready to see some shows.
Day 1 of LFWM and, as always, it’s fun to make an entrance. And so that’s exactly what I did. With some vintage flares, gold penises on my jacket and a huge fucking cape, I was on my merry way.
Now, I don’t know what particularly inspired me with the outfit, but I’ve been feeling a lot of love for of flares recently. Yes, you heard that right. Flares, the 60’s/70s trousers that look like something you’d see The Bee Gees in. I don’t know where my sudden fixation came from, but I just suddenly started buying them. I now own at least 5 pairs in different spans, fabrics and colours. They all look lovely with my cuban heels. Yes, I also love cuban heels. Maybe I was born in the wrong decade?
The cape, as you would probably expect, divided opinion. Though the attendees of LFWM appeared to be enjoying this oversized accessory, some folks on social media didn’t. A photograph of me heading to a show at 180 Strand appeared on the New York Times fashion segment’s Instagram account (@nytimesfashion) where they appeared to be enjoying my look. However, some of the commenters felt I bared some resemblance to Harry Potter or a Jedi. I’ve left some of the comments attached so you can get a feel for the vibe.
I’ve got pretty thick skin, obviously, or I wouldn’t be brave enough to wear half the shit that I do. These comments were relatively tame and did give me a good giggle. And that’s the point, fashion should be fun! It should be debated, discussed, humoured and enjoyed.
Cape: Vivienne Westwood
Blazer: Vivienne Westwood
Penis Chain: Vivienne Westwood
Tartan Flares: Vintage
Tie: Vivienne Westwood
Shirt: Calvin Klein
Glasses: Ollie Quinn
Cuban Heels: Asos
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!
BIG SHOP was a editorial shot in my final year at Falmouth University. I was inspired by Roisin Murphy’s ‘Overpowered‘ album artwork and music videos which feature the singer wearing an eclectic mix of high fashion attire.
I wanted to mix the mundanity of a weekly shop and general routines and outings with the eccentricity of wearing unique fashions.
It was important for my models to not appear to be particularly confident or braggadocious, the clothing was the feature of my shoot but not the narrative. I wanted my models to look like women going about their everyday business in a variety of drab locations.
The garments used were created by 3rd year Fashion Design + Performance Sportswear Design students from Falmouth University.
Photography & Styling: Harry J Bartlett
Models: Cleo Lim & Emma Hughes (with thanks to my child model Baylin)
Assistants: Leo, Damien, Jacob, Ashely, Sophie
Designers: Sophie Molyneux, Millie Melbourne, Jacob Stevens, Ashley Piggott, Jessika Winstanley
It’s been an incredibly hectic little adventure since I last posted on the blog. For those who were unaware, I had been working in China for 3 months and have only been back in the UK just short of 2 weeks so its the first chance I’ve had to update the blog post-China and London Collections: Men.
So I was working at DeTao Masters Academy (a creative university in Shanghai where the course leaders are predominantly western creatives who are experts/masters in their fields). I worked for Studio Gottelier’s Advanced Fashion Design program to set up a social media platform for the course which could be accessible both in China and for an international audience.
One of the biggest burdens I had was China’s strict internet policies and the fact that nearly ever western social media platform we use everyday is banned; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WordPress and Google are all banned. Yep, even Google, that proved to be a bit of a challenge when trying to access my emails. But alas, I survived!
Anyway, back to the main relevance of the blog post. One of my main tasks while working at DeTao was to photograph projects and escapades that happened throughout my time in China. I was allowed full creative freedom with this shoot for the student’s Jeans project.
After selecting a mixture of jeans and giving the students a pep talk on styling and my vision, we got to work and got the shoot done. I wanted to give each students jeans their very own character and personality to try and teach them about creative styling and story telling through photography which they later used for their 1st year Fashion Show. Once we had printed the images, I decided to collage some of the photographs to give them a “DIY” feel, so with the help of some of my assistants, we performed our final edits and the images below are the results we got.
Photography & Stylist: Harry J Bartlett
Assistants: Arean, Tina, August, Iris
London Collections: Men AW15 has proved to be a very exciting season, this time round I had the pleasure of collaborating with a very talented illustrator. Trystan Matthey has drawn each outfit I wore at LC:M.
Trystan’s illustrations of mythical beings fascinated me and I loved the idea of having my attire illustrated in a similar fashion.
I hope you like the illustrations as much as I do and if so, I would strongly suggest checking out his Instagram – @tribandej
For other enquires, go to his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/tribandejoyceart
I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with Oliver Greenall. After seeing his (incredibly unique) face in various ad campaigns and runway shows, I knew I needed to photograph him at some point. I was drawn to the shaggy hair, hammerhead shark eyes (his words) and his Mick Jagger attitude in photographs.
After talking with a few friends, I figured it would be more exciting to dress Oliver up to get some variety in the shots and so we headed down to meet the gang at Thomas Farthing. What started off as a few street style shots soon turned into a mini editorial using a variation of props and a copious amount of beautiful gentlemen’s attire.
Once we had finished the shoot (which was already starting to turn a few heads), we unchained the large penny farthing and wheeled it down towards The Old Crown Pub (over the road from the Old Sorting Office where Oliver Spencer was getting ready to show) and had a nice pint which followed with a lot of photos and me taking Oliver to watch his first ever runway show.
Interview with Oliver Greenall
You normally walk in shows at LC:M, what was it like watching your first fashion show?
It was actually quite bizarre. The show seemed to last a lot longer. When you’re walking in the show everyone is in a state of mild panic as you’re having to change as quickly as possible and something usually goes slightly wrong whether it be a case of missing shoes or even a whole outfit.
What has been the most bizarre modelling job you have done?
I did a shoot for Essential Homme in Berlin which was pretty weird. We started shooting at six in the evening and didn’t finish until 3.00am. I was naked under an open coat at about two in the morning when a random pair of Canadians wandered into the studio with a bottle of wine and asked if they could watch. That was a bizarre moment.
If you could be the face of any brand, who would it be and why?
I like a nice suit so it would be cool to be the face of a brand like Dolce & Gabbana or Dior. And I know everyone mentions it but it would be nice to be the face of Burberry too. Could I just be the face of every brand while I’m at it?
How would you describe your personal style?
I’d say it’s quite rocky (as in musically, not geologically). I love a good hat. I’ve had long hair since I was about ten years old so hats help to mix things up a bit. Long hair can get really tedious after a while…
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I’d still like to be alive. That would be a good start. I’d like to have written and directed at least one feature film by then. Orson Welles was only 25 when he wrote, produced, directed and starred in Citizen Kane. I’ve got five years to make my equivalent of what many people consider to be the greatest film ever made. I’d say that’s a fairly good challenge.
A huge thank you to the guys of Thomas Farthing for support with the shoot, use of clothing and of course, letting me sit on the penny farthing.
I strongly suggest you have a look at the Thomas Farthing website, you will find some absolute treasures, and if you’re in London, definitely go have a look in the shop (you can’t miss the giant penny farthing)!
Photography: Harry J Bartlett
Model: Oliver Greenall
Assistants: Robert J. Railton, Oli Chiswell and the Thomas Farthing team.
I thought I would throw a little ‘Throwback Thursday’ on to the blog tonight.
Scar Gazing was a self portrait shoot I worked on in my final year of my Fashion Photography degree at Falmouth University.
This mini editorial was part of my Urban Youth project. Inspired by Jackie Stallone, Amanda Lepore and Donatella Versace, the shoot is based on the growing trend of women and their desire for cosmetic surgery. I wanted to shoot this in quite a voyeuristic way so I tried to capture a paparazzi style approach that you would see in a gossip magazine of women arriving/leaving a clinic.
I had three pairs of prosthetic lips made for the shoot and styled myself up to look like a variety of rich and powerful women that you may see in the media.
Photography & Styling: Harry J Bartlett
Photographic Assistant: Leo Sharp
Squatters is an editorial which was part of my Urban Youth project. This shoot focussed on the grim conditions of drug-filled squats and the acid-trips in unsanitary dens.
This was an interesting editorial to work on as it was my first chance to experiment with equipment used by Marine & Natural History photographers.
I apologise for the lack of posts recently, but it has been a pretty hectic time of year.
Today I handed in my final project for my Fashion Photography degree at Falmouth University and it feels bloody great!
In the morning I head to London to set up our graduate exhibition; Picture 24 which launches on Thursday @ 6:30pm in Soho.
As I haven’t posted any of my work recently, I thought i’d give you a little teaser of some of the things you can expect to see at the exhibition. I hope you enjoy
Don’t forget to join our event page for the exhibition to keep up to date with what’s happening
I hope to see you all there
Picture 24 opens at 6:30pm on the 22nd of May
55 Dean Street,