Looney Tunes X Polaroid Originals

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It takes you back to happiness of yesteryear and makes you think of the “good ol’ days” when life was simple and you didn’t have to worry about mortgages, debt and what Donald Trump is going to say next.

In fact, nostalgia is quintessentially ‘on trend’ at the moment. With brands such as Ellesse and Tommy Hilfiger making prominent comebacks in the fields of fashion, the remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy storming its way onto the PlayStation 4 some 20 years after its original release and vinyl records reviving people’s love for music without feeling like you have to be a keen-eyed collector. 35mm cameras are proving to be popular with young folks again more so than the expensive digitals counterparts.

And 35mm isn’t the only format of camera that’s making a resurgence. Instant film cameras are kicking back to a time-gone-by. I’ve had a FujiFilm Instax camera for a while now and I absolutely love it. You may remember that I’ve done a series of street-style photography on Instax film while at London Fashion Week Men’s. But I’ve always wanted to shoot on actual square-format Polaroid film. But while Instax works out at around £1 a shot, Polaroid has always hit into the £2+ per shot.

But I have finally taken the plunge! After seeing the new OneStep 2 i-Type Polaroid advertised online, it brought back my childhood lust for the iconic camera of my youth. So I went online and purchased a camera… But not actually the new one that I had intended on buying. In fact, I actually bought a vintage camera from their website that hit me with a double serving of total nostalgic proportions… I bought the ‘Taz Cam‘.

Granted, it’s not a discreet and tasteful Polaroid camera, but why the hell would I want that?! By now I think you’re all aware of my love of all things a little bit quirky and this camera is the epitome of quirky!

This reclaimed vintage camera is nothing short of magical for pure Looney Tunes nostalgia. This camera was made as a limited run in 1999 to honour the iconic cartoon character. Though you can still pick them up on various websites such as eBay and Amazon, the Polaroid website has a very limited few that are available for purchase, most probably a higher price tag than buying from other second hand sellers but Polaroid gives all its stock tests and refurbishments to make sure every nook and cranny is working to perfection. 

Inspired by the world’s most infamous Tasmanian Devil, the Polaroid 600 Taz Edition (affectionately known as the “Taz Cam”) is easily the most weird and wonderful camera Polaroid ever released. Produced for a short period in 1999, it turns the Polaroid 600 into Taz’s head, complete with teeth and tongue on the inside. If you’re the type of person that likes to stand out, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The exterior is sheer childhood heaven. When the camera opens you see the tongue and teeth printed around the lens. The shutter stands out with a bright yellow plastic button (that matches the yellow camera strap) and a beautiful big red rubber button at the end featuring concentric circles (much like the “That’s All Folks” circles from the Looney Tunes credit design.

If you’re wanting to reinvigorate your love for vintage photography and instant film cameras, a Polaroid will always give you that orgasmic sense of sheer joy. Pair that feeling with the Taz Cam and you’re ready to take on the world, one merry little step at a time!

Now, if you’re wanting another fun little treat to go with your new cartoon camera, I would definitely recommend getting the Colour 600 Film ‘Colour Frames Edition‘ to give an extra burst of vibrancy to your images.

You can also buy black & white film with the coloured frames from the Polaroid Originals website.

Now go forth and spread the joy and have fun snapping some old school images on the quirkiest/craziest/silliest camera in town!

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Erdem x H&M’s Gloriously Floral Menswear

Every year H&M teams up with a global fashion house to design a high street marketed collaboration. This year is no exception. We’ve seen some incredible designers and fashion houses collaborate over the years. Including; Versace, Maison Margiela, Balmain, Kenzo and Anna Dello Russo to name but a few. And now we’re only 1 week away!

This year, H&M paired with contemporary fashion house ERDEM and people are already going crazy for it! Erdem Moralioglu is the 17th fashion designer to collaborate with H&M. And the high street brand’s creative advisor, calls him “a poetic addition” to an already stellar lineup of fashion giants.

The collection is nostalgic yet modern, structured yet rebellious, feminine and powerful. It’s gloriously floral and I’m totally invested. What makes this collaboration so exciting is that it’s such a step in the other direction from the previous few designers; Kenzo, Balmain and Alexander Wang.

This collaboration saw designer, Erdem Moralioglu design his first ever menswear line. Staying true to his brand, Moralioglu’s garments are a beautiful fusion between both genders.

“Once I’d finished fitting a Harris Tweed suit, I’d take it off the boy and put it on the girl and it just looked amazing. So then came the Harris Tweed suit for women — it’s one of my favourites.”

Erdem’s aim was to create a collection that can be mixed and matched with each piece, giving the wearer their own sense of individuality and ownership of their wardrobe.

“It’s a collection of pieces that have a permanence about them, which is almost the antithesis of this idea of what fast fashion is.”

Designer, Erdem Moralioglu, Director, Baz Luhrmann and Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.

Designer, Erdem Moralioglu, Director, Baz Luhrmann and Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.

One of the most beautifully fascinating parts of the collaboration has to be the campaign film “The Secret Life of Flowers” which was directed by Baz Luhrmann who famously created the visual beauty of Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet which starred Leonardo Di Caprio.
I honestly have to say, I think this is one of the most stunning contemporary fashion films I have seen for such a long time. The colours are sensational, the story is whimsical and the regalia stands alone in the busy visuals.

I couldn’t help but find myself falling into a romantic dreamscape while watching the campaign film. And that’s the best way to describe the collection, romantic! Frilled shirts, gushy gowns and floral patterns rife in every design.

If you’re wanting to check out what’s on offer, have a gander at the price list below and all that is available in the menswear range of the highly anticipated Erdem x H&M collaboration.

£139.99

£229.99

£229.99

£69.99

£79.99

£79.99

£79.99

£79.99

£49.99

£49.99

£139.99

£139.99

£199.99

£69.99

£69.99

£69.99

£69.99

£69.99

£69.99

£79.99

£79.99

£24.99

£29.99

£139.99

£99.99

£69.99

£39.99

£29.99

£59.99

£24.99

£24.99

£24.99

£24.99

£19.99

£19.99

I’m definitely getting myself the silk shirt and trouser co-ords as well as a few other bits and bobs… If only my budget could stretch a little further. What are your favourite items? Get thinking and put some pennies aside, you only have 1 more week to wait for the collaboration to go live!

Erdem x H&M

Harry J Bartlett wearing YHIM

YHIM: x Harry J Bartlett: In Conversation

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.

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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!

Harry J Bartlett and Sophia Wu

YHIM Founder, Sophia Wu with Harry J Bartlett at London Fashion Week Men’s SS18

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!

Street Styled: Men’s Hair & Style @ London Fashion Week Men’s SS18

Granted, it’s not the most eloquent interview I have ever given but in my defence, it was far more humid than my outfit suggests and I had just arrived to LFWM 2 minutes before I was hunted down for this interview.

Watch the interviews to see Robin James hunt down some of his fun finds at London Fashion Week Men’s. Robin is a men’s style, grooming and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber. He’s definitely worth a watch so have a gander at his channel and get inspired by his videos. https://www.youtube.com/ManForHimself

LFWM SS18 Day 2 Outfit – The Man From Del Monte

Day 2 was a hectic one! My word it was warm outside. When I checked the weather reports before packing my bags for London it predicted rain and coolish temperatures… After packing a small case and arriving in London the temperatures soared immensely and I became quite the overheated beast.

I have to say a big thank you to Laird Hatters for lending me this beauty of a panama hat which definitely kept my head cool in the heatwave and added a sophisticated dabble of dandy to my already quite ostentatious take on a traditional suit.

I definitely feel like I bare some resemblance to The Man From Del Monte, I think it’s the panama hat and waistcoat. I tried to give this devilish dandy attire a spruce of cool with a pair of cuban heels. Genuinely, one of the best purchases I ever made! If you want to get a pair of these ASOS Cuban Heels I would recommend. (I’ve provided a link). In fact, I would go as far as saying that they are probably the best high-street priced shoes I have ever bought. Genuinely £55 and they are phenomenal! I am debating buying a second pair in advance for when these ones eventually start to fade out.

Photography: Joel Smedley

Suit: Bespoke
Shirt: Debenhams
Tie: Vintage
Waistcoat: Jean Paul Gaultier – Vintage
Cuban Heels: Asos
Hat: Laird Hatters
Glasses: Bailey Nelson 

LFWM SS18 Day 1 Outfit

LFWM was a very brief one for me this season. Sadly I only had chance to do the first 2 days which was a bit of a bummer but still nice to head down and see some shows. This season marked the 5 years of London Fashion Week Men’s (formerly London Collections: Men) so it was a bit of a let down that I could only do the first two days… Financial troubles, we’ve all been there, but it was a rather fun season and so I thought it was about time I uploaded some of the things I saw and what I wore during the festivities.

I finally got a chance to wear my Agi & Sam faux cross-stitch blazer which I absolute love but haven’t had an opportunity to wear yet. There was no real inspiration to my attire today. My vibe was a bit of an 80’s acid-trip Teddy Boy heading to prom.

Jacket: Agi & Sam
Shirt: Vivienne Westwood
Tie: Vivienne Westwood
Velvet Trousers: Topman
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood
Sunglasses: Joshua Kane

There has been quite a delay on my blog. I’ve recently started a new job which is consuming most of my time so I haven’t been very pro-active with my blogging. However, it’s a great job that I am absolutely loving and it will give me chance to earn some more money for new treats and trinkets.

Hopefully wanting to get back into a few fashion projects as well as i’ve not really had much opportunity to shoot anything and i’m starting to feel a bit art redundant. Anyway, ramble over.

Thank you to my good gal pal Amy Alice Platt for taking this snap of me during the fashion week escapades. It’s always nice to catch up with her as I don’t often get the opportunity.

I was Amy’s student mentor at university and my word me and this girl had some good banter.
Lots of love to this one!

Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Initiative Bags “Handmade with Love” in Kenya

Last week I was asked to take some photographs for the Leeds branch’s “Handmade with Love” in-store event. The focus was around Vivienne Westwood’s ethical collections which are handmade by local artisans in Kenya. The event featured a new collection of beautifully colourful and vibrantly patterned bags including an event-specific bag that allowed customers to choose their own patterns, straps, designs and colour schemes.

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Below I have attached a copy of the interview from the London Conduit Street store with Marketing Director of Ethical Fashion Initiative, Robin McAndrew. The interview was hosted by journalist and TV presenter Billie JD Porter and talks about the brand’s “Handmade With Love In Kenya” ethos.

A big thank you to the staff at the Vivienne Westwood Leeds store for hosting a fun event. Also, if you would like to learn more about this project you can click this link to take you to the Vivienne Westwood website where they have spoken about the materials, the artisans and the history of the project as well as shop the latest collection of “Handmade with Love” in Kenya bags:
http://www.viviennewestwood.com/en-gb/content/artisan-fashion

Fashion In Leeds @ Leeds International Festival 2017

Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend a series of talks from some of my favourite working professionals in the fashion industry.
The event was arranged @FashionInLeeds and @LeedsIntFest and has had small catwalks, talks and presentations from a wide variety of fashion and technology based talent which started on the 22nd of April and runs through to the 30th.
The three speakers I had the privilege of listening to were; Lulu Kennedy MBE who is the founder of Fashion East and MAN, bold print designer and collaboration queen Katie Eary and “Remade In England” sustainability designer Christopher Raeburn.

The first of the three speakers I attended was Christopher Raeburn who is best known for recycling military materials such as life rafts, maps and parachutes. He talked us through some of his fashion films and his inspirations behind his collections and materials. The ‘Meridian‘ video from his Spring/Summer 2015 collection was a visual masterpiece using CGI to recreate his garments and showing an artistic story of the materials used in a somewhat Matrix style of dressing.
(Side story… The last time I met Christopher Raeburn, we were locked out of an Agi & Sam after party (with Agi) and had to tell the doorwoman that the person who was left outside with us was actually the person hosting the party.)

Katie Eary spoke heavily about her career building around collaborations and the importance of building an identity and the opportunities others can give you to build a brand. Katie has collaborated with some incredibly diverse brands including; Kanye West, KFC and IKEA. She spoke a lot about her groundbreaking collaboration with IKEA as the first fashion designer to work with this homeware giant and about the long process of designing home furnishings, plates and bedding.
I have been such a fan of Katie Eary’s work. She was one of the first designers I had the pleasure of seeing during my first ever season of London Collections: Men (now known as London Fashion Week Men’s – christ I still hate this re-branding) and I still remember her bright pink flamingo collection to this day.

Lulu Kennedy MBE is a woman I have wanted to meet for quite a long time but never had the chance to. Fashion East and MAN are two incredibly influential and important companies to grace the British fashion scene. I’ve been lucky enough to attend many of the Fashion East and MAN collections and these showcases have been a great source of inspiration to me as I have inspired a lot of my work around some of these designers who have been spotlighted through these companies. Charles Jeffrey, Katie Eary, Bobby Abley and Gareth Pugh are all designers who I have used as inspiration for various photo shoots and visual projects.

With these talks being relatively small in numbers (and the fact they were hosted inside a shipping container in the middle of Briggate high street) meant that as a group we had the opportunity to talk to each of the guests and have quite an intimate Q&A. Though this was a huge bonus for me, it was a shame to see such influential speakers be in the presence of such a small crowd. Events and talks like these in Leeds are definitely infrequent but are highly valued. Leeds College of Art is an incredibly established art school and with many other designers and artists coming from the Northern territories of England I believe it should have more of a direct address in these areas as a lot of focus (naturally) is on London and London art school graduated designers. I always enjoy listening to designers, artists and industry professionals talking about their careers and experiences and I definitely feel that these events would not go amiss in Leeds.Please, please, PLEASE can we get more incredible speakers like these heading to Leeds in the near future, not just for my sake but for the hundreds of fashion students and industry workers Leeds has to offer!

Check out the #LeedsIntFest website for more details on events.

GQ @ LFWM Autumn Winter 17

gq-australia-day-3-3For 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-spainGQ 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.

If you want to have a gander at the other people featured in GQ Spain’s run down of daily street styles, have a look at the links below:
Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4

gq-spainstreetstyle_london_fashion_week_mens_2017_enero_822471517_1000x667
GQ Australia – Photographer: Sarah Jane Barnes
GQ Spain – Photographer: Pablo García

LFWM Day 2 @ 180 Strand

A poor drunken attempt at a fashion hop. Well, someone had to I suppose. Sadly, I look more like a startled Zebra.
hjb-x-kinographyJacket: KTZ
Shirt: Pretty Green
Trousers: Topman
Boots: Zara
Hat: Laird Hatters
Bag: Reiss
Scarf: Thomas Farthing
Bracelet: Maketh-The-Man