As usual, this post is a little delayed, but hey! Another season of London Fashion Week Men’s is over. And although the grandiose thrill of LFWM – formerly London Collections: Men – is slowly dying out, the sheer joy of seeing phenomenal clothes/accessories from incredible designers is still there.
Now, maybe I just sound like a bit of an old crank harping on about ‘the good old days’ but honestly, there’s a change to the menswear season in London and though I do welcome change, it’s not one that I’m particularly enjoying. Now, this season, the days were shortened from 4 to 3. So, I thought because the past few seasons have been dwindling a little with the business of the days after designers have pulled out, this for me meant that by removing a day, a jam-packed schedule would be back on the horizon… Sadly not, it felt as sparse as it did before but hey, it meant that my feet weren’t as sore from running around London.
This season I thought it was about time that I brought a camera with me. I mean, why not, it’s not like I have a degree in photography or anything 😬. A few seasons ago, I decided to take a quirky approach to shooting street style with a FujiFilm Instax camera. Like last time, I thought I’d go with the good old polaroid format rather than a DSLR and so that’s exactly what I did.
You may remember from my previous post that I bought myself a rather peculiar polaroid. I bought the Polaroid Taz Cam, a rare 1999 edition in collaboration with Looney Tunes. And with such a strange looking camera on my arm, I would be a bit of a dullard if I didn’t buy myself some swanky film to go with it. Of course, I bought myself the ‘Coloured Frames Edition‘ film And just look at how beautiful it is!
Anyway, I feel like I’ve rambled on long enough, I promise to try and be a bit more punctual with the other posts. I will have some more coming soon. I’m currently in the process of buying a house so I’ve been a bit preoccupied with blogging (but this year I aim to get into it more, so please bare with me).
But enough about the humdrum backstory of my personal life, on with the shows!
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!
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!
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.
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:
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!
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