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!
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 met up with the incredibly pleasant comedian (and former Xtra Factor host) Matt Richardson. We met at The Groucho Club in Soho where we discussed comedy, turtlenecks and Sharon Osborne anecdotes. Matt is a comedian who I have been a fan of for a while now and I was gutted to have missed his last tour when he played in Falmouth where I studied my Fashion Photography degree, and I feel like he could have done with some younger attendee’s to the gig after he informed me that it’s tricky telling wanking jokes to a group of senior citizens. Needless to say, this lean, mean joking machine who happens to be a babe magnet (and winner of Heat Magazine’s Weird Crush 2014) knows how to deliver the punchlines with style and grace and after a rather lengthy and amusing chat about what animal we would be, and what animal we would do, I thought it was the perfect time to begin my interview.
Harry: If you could be the face of any brand, which would it be and why?
Matt: I would probably be the front of Topman because I wear a lot of Topman stuff. I really like it and a lot of their things are really basic and I like simple clothes, nothing patterned really. If I was the face, it would mean they would probably let me… maybe have some free things. I like Topman which is why I buy it. I mean, what a ‘first-world problem’ to be like “eugh, I still have to buy my own clothes!” But, I do really like Topman and i’m happy to buy it. I also really like Weekend Offender, there stuff is quite good. Maybe i’m not quite cool enough for it, or Farrah, they have some nice bits and I also quite like ASOS. My favourite ever pair of jeans are from ASOS.
Harry: What would be your worst 3 fashion cliches that you could be asked to wear?
Matt: I hate wearing a tie. I struggle with ties and I struggle with smart shoes with jeans. I’m so trainers and jeans, its unbelievable. I have 7 pairs of Nike Blazers. I love trainers, not crap trainers, good trainers. My other thing I hate is bow ties, people have tried to put me in bow ties and they try and play up to this ‘geek chic’ thing with me and i’m not a geek or a nerd. I’m not confident enough to rock a bow tie.
Harry: If you got asked by a stylist for a TV show to wear an outfit, how comfortable would you be wearing it even if you knew you hate it?
Matt: I probably wouldn’t wear it. I had a stylist last year when I was on Xtra Factor and she would get me all of this stuff and i’d say “aw thats so nice” but she used to over-buy for me so I would avoid wearing it. She’d bring an outfit and i’d take elements that I loved and self-edit to put it with other things that I liked, so I would mix the jackets up or I would tone down the patterns. Occasionally it would be a bit ‘fashiony’ and out there and I would try and make it as normal as possible.
Harry: Is there something you would like to see more people wearing that isn’t normally a trend, if so, what would you say is your ‘must-have’?
Matt: My must-have would probably be a turtleneck. I know they’ve become quite fashionable again, but I got so much abuse on twitter for wearing one on Xtra Factor that I would like them to become accepted again. If you’re a bit older or someone like Dermot O’Leary, you can wear a turtleneck but I couldn’t because people kept telling me it makes me look old and i’m too young. But its cold, and they’re so warm! People are scared to wear them, and I wasn’t until I felt the wrath and hatred on social media. People from my home town were like “you’ve changed since going on TV” and I was like ‘It’s just a turtleneck, I swear?!” I’ve stopped wearing them now so my girlfriend has all of mine turtlenecks and she’s shrunk them so she can wear them… It’s too late to get them back.
Harry: Just from initial viewings, what would you say is your view of people in the fashion industry?
Matt: I think the fashion industry takes itself incredibly seriously. I’m in comedy which is nice and easy but out of TV, music, fashion and film, fashion seems to be the trickiest. It’s the most ruthless, I think its the most thankless if you work in it and when i’ve been to fashion parties and events, i’ve found that people who are really successful, don’t really care and think its quite fun but there are a lot of people scrambling and taking it very seriously, that weird low to middle rung of people resent the fact that i’m nothing to do with fashion but i go to things and for them, thats a middle finger. But I have loads of friends that work in fashion who are really nice and have a good laugh but I think its pretty ruthless if you work in the industry.
Harry: If you were placed on front row at a fashion show, and then got asked to move for someone more famous to take that seat, what would you say to PR?
Matt: I would criticise them for not planning better to begin with, I wouldn’t move, I would just tell them it was there fault. It’s not my problem, for example, if Samuel L Jackson walked in, I’m not gonna save their arse because they fucked up, i’m going to stay put. If he sits on 2nd row and the PR person loses their job, that’s their issue. Don’t embarrass me, Samuel L Jackson can sit next to me, we can squeeze in together or I could sit on his lap for sure but I definitely wouldn’t move.
Harry: If there was one ‘rock and roll’ thing you could do to get you kicked out of a fashion show, what would you do?
Matt: I got told off at Fashion East because I was sat next to the organiser without knowing who she was, and she got mad because I kept trying to make jokes to the person I was sat with because I was bored before it started and when it was on, because its only on for about 10 minutes and she got really mad because I said “it was like Yo! Sushi for skinny girls” and she didn’t approve. Then turned to me and said “Why don’t we give you a microphone so you can commentate the whole thing” and I told her that it would be very funny. I was dropping some nuggets of gold. I just muck around, I have an awful attention span and thats probably what I would get kicked out for. What is the most rock and roll thing you could do? Probably start a protest against fur or something. I’m not really big on all the fashion things but I am really grateful to get invited to the shows and parties so I probably wouldn’t risk it. Mostly its just me being a dick, and that’s why I would get kicked out.
Photography: Jack Codling
I have waited for the moment to interview Kate Nash for quite some time now, I remember asking her at September Fashion Week in 2012 if I could interview her and its only just happened (but I am so happy it did!)
Kate was an absolute dream to speak to, such a wonderfully polite and charming lady. It was honestly like talking to an old friend.
Kate, Myself and her PR were laughing quite a bit throughout the interview and Kate’s PR even yelled “You need a picture with this guy! He’s wearing a fucking kilt?!”
It was an absolute pleasure and privilege, though our time was short, I hope to meet up with Kate again, preferably a more social environment where we can have a cheeky drink and a gossip.
- HJB: What was you’re first interest in fashion?
- KN: Oh my god, like ever in the world?!
- HJB: Yeah what branched you out into what you do now?
- KN: My tutu from my ballet class when I was 7 [laughs], no i’m just kidding, I think basically when I was 16, it was the first time i’ve ever bought a dress that I put on and it made me feel good about myself. I feel that when I was growing up, I wanted to change my body to fit clothes and I always hated myself. Then this one vintage dress I bought made me go “oh wow! This actually flatters me?!” and that was a really important revelation. If you don’t figure that out; A, you don’t dress very well and B you’re not very happy in what you’re wearing. So that was the first time I remember thinking “Oh, this is how i’m supposed to feel?”
- HJB: From the start of your music career when Made Of Bricks came out up to now, how would you say your personal style has changed?
- KN: When my first record came out I was super girly and I loved being sort of cute and then with my second record, I felt insecure that people didn’t take me seriously enough because I was girly, so I felt like I had to wear a leather jacket all the time and be super tough. With my third album, I feel like i’ve got a good mix of the two. Sometimes, if I wanna look like a doll, I don’t mind and then other times I wanna look a bit harder and thats fine as well. I’m a lot more comfortable with myself now and being a bit older, you care less about that and now i’ve been educated more about designers and before that, I found Fashion Week to be really intimidating to me and I didn’t feel like it was somewhere I belonged and now it’s something I actually enjoy. There’s designers I really like and i’ve learnt a lot about the creative side of it.
- HJB: If you could be the face of any brand [gasp from Kate], who would it be and why?
- KN: [Without any hesitation] Chanel!
- HJB: For what reason?
- KN: Because it’s Chanel!
- HJB: This will probably be the same answer, but if you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
- KN: Oh Harry, that’s a difficult one! Oh I don’t know do I? Erm… Shit! I don’t feel like I could answer that, I don’t even think i’m qualified to?! [laughs] Maybe I should just go with Chanel again, because, well, it’s Chanel like I said before.
- HJB: If you could describe you’re personal style in three words, what would those words be?
- KN: Childish, Granny and Moody because I am very mood-dependant.
Meeting Kate truly brought and end to such an amazing first day.
Kate, if you’re reading this, lets go shopping then head to a bar !