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
Photography: Bart Pajak
Navy Blue Trilby: Laird Hatters
Blazer with Waistcoat: Vivienne Westwood
Tie: Vivienne Westwood
Collar Pin & Tie Pin: Peckham Rye
Trousers: River Island
Black Leather Envelope Bag: Reiss
Shoes: Dr Marten’s
Only recently been able to find some of the street style photos from LC:M SS17. Thank you to Kristin Sinclair for this photo and for the many photos she has taken of me from previous seasons.
Gold Sunglasses: Joshua Kane
Shirt: Richard Nichol
Prince Charles T-Shirt: Vivienne Westwood
Black Scarf with Gold Tassels: Joshua Kane
Gold Arm Garters: Thomas Farthing
Black Leather Envelope Bag: Reiss
Black Trousers: Topman
Black Velvet Slippers: Versace
Also found this montage image of myself and some other faces at London Collections: Men SS17 (source unknown)
London Collections: Men Spring Summer 17 feature in Shortlist Magazine.
This photo was taken outside of the Topman Show Space on the first day of LCM.