25Ten Boutique adds Menswear

Fashion Rambler was invited to a little do in Rochdale to celebrate the relocation of a local ladieswear indie, 25Ten Boutique, and their recent inclusion of menswear!

After getting totally lost on Broadway and having to navigate the hills and car parks of central Rochdale I eventually dumped the car and arrived, fashionably, an hour late!

The new store sits prominently on the main high street that skirts the town’s main shopping centre. The move has enabled substantial growth opportunities for the boutique that has see year-on-year sales increase 29.9% from 2007 to August this year. The success of the store, that was once tucked away on Cheetham Street, is undoubtedly down to the couple who own it and their relentless publicity and drive. The store has been featured in national press for: World Cup initiatives and celeb customers, is one of only 20 Project D by Dannii Minogue stockists and is working on an own buy collection designed by local students, to be unveiled at PURE in London next year.

It’s all go!

Still, my focus is menswear and I got to ask the pair a little about their new venture whilst having a glass of pop in the spacious new store on Yorkshire Street.

Fashion Rambler: What enticed the brand to move into Menswear?
The Turner-Mitchells: Although we’ve established ourselves as the first port of call for young women in Rochdale looking for something distinctive and stylish, feedback from our customers suggested that their other halves were looking for more choice in menswear. On our high street there’s not a lot of variety for men. If you want to stand out from the crowd your only choice is to spend a lot of money on top designer brands. 
The response has been really positive with men from across the age range telling us how pleased they are to have some more choice. The problem with men’s clothes is that you sometimes have to really look hard to create an outfit that expresses your individuality. 
FR: Why did 25Ten invest so heavily in the Lambretta label? 
TM: Lambretta is a fairly iconic fashion label whose diversity has stayed close to its roots and heritage, while keeping up with the latest trends to maintain its popularity. In the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection we have focused mainly on knitwear and dress shirts, the styles of which should suit the type of customers we are looking to attract. The response so far to the collection has been extremely positive.
Good luck to 25Ten Boutique! For more of this interview click here


Fairytale of New York, Part IV

WARNING, those of you that do not appreciate Sex And the City discontinue reading (and buy the boxed set immediately!)
Sex and the City - The Complete Series (Collector's Giftset)
Those of you that do, will appreciate that an NYC trip wouldn’t have been complete without Mother and I (what-a-gay) dragging Adam on a SATC Tour Bus for three and a half hours of fucking hilarious SATC times.
We were picked up outside The Plaza (a must for my next trip methinks) on Fifth, the scene of the:
Carrie: Your girl is very lovely, Hubbell
Big: I don’t understand,
Carrie: You never did…
What a killer! We were then whisked off in a superbly comfortable coach (with a loo, you don’t see that these days in the UK) and two screens for SATC clips galore.
The tour took us right through the city to highlight some of the major scenes and destinations that were featured in the HBO series and in the two movies. 
The first stop took us to The Pleasure Chest XXX Shop where Charlotte purchased her bunny (Ahem), we also stopped at Budhakan, the scene of the (first) rehearsal dinner in the first movie (yes it is as gorgeous as on the screen). We then paid a visit to the park in The Village where Miranda smacked her face off the floor in front of Steve’s new girlfriend (who works at MasterCard) Debbie. Oh yes. 
 Us, unaware that Adam intended to take a pissing photo…
Us, slightly more aware…
We were treated to cupcakes here and got to shop in FRESH, home of products actually slapped onto SJP’s face and featured in the show. I got a lipbalm and Mother bought out their soap stock. Loads of other locations were spotted INCLUDING ‘Pastis’ where Samantha chucked a Dirty Martini in Richard’s face and said:
Dirty Martini? Dirty Bastard.
HAHAHA! It was here that we saw Russell Brand, randomly…
Lastly we indulged in Cosmopolitans at Aiden and Steve’s bar, Scout (actually called O’Neill’s). 
I recommend it to EVERYONE. Even Adam had a laugh and he was included in our reference to the show because our lovely guide (Staci) showed us clips on board the coach. So there is no excuse.
Book here.


Fairytale of New York, Part III

Sunday brought with it some Supersized-Jumbo-Full-Fat BARGAINS! We hopped on our bus and headed down down to The Financial District and the Mecca of discount designer shopping in Manhattan, Century 21 Department Store.
Whilst waiting for the store to open and recovering after some girl from Queen’s mistook me for Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter, we stumble. The scar in the ground was huge and it was hard to believe the magnitude of the 110 story buildings that once towered over the surrounding buildings. We felt humbled..

…then the doors opened and sentimentality was paused whilst we surged through the crowds inside the huge store.

I managed to get two beautiful shirts, slim fit, one electric blue by Pierre Cardin and a steal at $17.99. The other, in a steel grey by Calvin Klein at $20.00.

Next we came across winter accessories and I found a bright indigo Ralph Lauren lambswool scarf for just $15.00 and a thick black and grey stripy one from Calvin Klein for $9.99, I also nabbed some black leather Calvin Klein gloves for $12.99. I know. Amazing.

Throw in some CK Pj bottoms and a CK leather wallet that Santa is wrapping up for me from Mother and I think you’ll agree that I had a pretty successful trip. The theme seems to have revolved around American Designers and this is probably me being a tight shopper and going for those items that are cheaper (as they’re US Designers..) But I’d like to think it was because I wanted to make my items American and therefore souvenirs.

Mother got a gorgeous rabbit hair bobble scarf in a deep red colour and a matching glitsy top plus a few other bits and Adam got a heap including a lush puce Calvin Klein shirt that I might steal if he isn’t careful.

 …and on the right is the Statue of Liberty and on the left is a VERY pale Adam!

If you’re planning on a trip to NYC for shopping purposes make sure you pass by 22 Cortlandt Street (btw Church St and Broadway) in the Financial District for some TKMaximum bargains. (Did I just say that?)

That night saw us sat in premium seats for NYC Christmas Tradition, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring The Rockettes! The show was absolutely unbelievable, as you can imagine. One thing that I loved was the blaitent logo whoring. Happy Holiday shoppers carried macy’s bags (chief sponsors) and Capital Bank was written in the music hall’s Xmas decs! 
Anyway, I can’t express how well the performance was done in words and so I’ll leave you with this incredibly cheesy advert.


A Fairytale of New York, Part II

We were up before the Hot-dog stands on the Saturday and ready to tackle NYC.

We never went into the Subway system, except to ask a nice lady with a huge Afro to change a $5 note and to stare at the turnstiles and gasp: “Oh, so this is a Subway”, what tourists! Anywho, we preferred to see the sites of old NY whilst traveling so used a combination of open-top-ultra-touristy-bus and the classic Yellow Cab.

Planning on an NYC excursion? Get a bus ticket! They’re hop-on-hop-off (imagine that phrase in a Queen’s accent, lush) and you get to see EVERYTHING, plus there is a running commentary from the ace Tour Guides. We trundled on down through Time Square to The Garment District. You know the place, where Fashion Ave. is? The Garment District is called thus because it used to manufacture clothing, now it is home to the designer show-rooms and advertising agencies.

We visited The Empire State and met Kevin Bacon who took us on a helicopter ride around New York. I’m serious. It’s called New York Sky Ride, a simulator on the 2nd floor of the Empire State that takes you around the city via air. After regaining balance and supressing the urge to vomit we made our way to Macy’s Herald Square flagship. The only place to be at Christmas.

My preconception of Macy’s was based on Cole’s Department Store in Miracle on 34th Street. I was not disappointed. The store was magnificent and the staff, as usual, were exceptional. I bought a winter woolly jumper from their Menswear Store and we had a Starbucks (one of many) on the mezanine staring at the insanity of the consumer-hype. I was a happy pea.

No this gent isn’t me, and that jumper isn’t mine either. But, he is a Macy’s models and that jumper is a Nautica jumper similar to mine. Pictures tomorrow will confirm this. 
20% off at £39.99 + 10% because we were British! 

After a bit more shopping in the chains around the store we headed uptown on Fifth Avenue for New York Public Library. I know, the literary in me came out here. After passing various fashion shoots on the infamous steps we went inside and were, naturally, searched by security. The library was beautiful. I’ll stop there because you’re probably yawning. For those of you that appreciate Sex & The City, however, these are the steps that Carrie ran down in film 1.

The rest of the day took us to Grand Central Station (immense) where I resisted the urge (rather successfully) to not scream “Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station, Tonight I’m not taking no calls ‘cos I’ll be dancing!”

Later that night we hit a gorgeous little Italian near Central Park and after a bit too much Pinot hopped aboard a Horse and Cart for an evening trott with Junior the horse and the driver (whose name escapes me).


A Fairytale of New York, Part I

I’m back, from the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. It was rather fantastic.

Everything I had imagined New York to be was true, but better in the flesh. The streets really do steam, the city really does never sleep, it really is a city so great, they named it twice! New Yorkers are so lovely too, they’re widely considered the rudest Americans, but that compares nothing to how awful Londoners are! (not offense, you know it’s true!) New York is a small city and is easily navigated, it reminds me of Manchester, a slightly bigger, and strangely not a necessarily busier, Manchester. I felt right at home.

We stayed just off Time Square on West 47th Street and Broadway, pretty much as central as you can get. Upon arriving we dumped our bags with the bag-check and headed for Time Square. It was just ridiculous. A theme park. Did you know, it is a legal requirement to have your building covered in advertising in the Time Square area? I know, right! We headed for the Disney Store (obviously) and were blown away by the lovely American people telling us to have a Magical Day. By the last day Mother was saying it to everyone…

That evening saw us meander the Time Square area and have dinner in the thick of it. We were exhausted and couldn’t wait to start our next day. I’ll let you in on what I bought and where I bought it over the next couple of posts. But for now, look at our faces sat having coffee right slap bang in the middle of the centre of the universe….


New York, New York

So. I’m off to New York City on Friday (very exciting). Off for shops, culture, shops, SexAndTheCity tours and more shops. I’ve never been to the city before and am so looking forward to experiencing it for myself and to be able to say, “well, when I was in New York..”. Not so keen on the bed-bug scenario…I have bug-spray.

The map that forms the centre of the New York Issue and the plans for our trip!

I’ve been studying the Stylist Magazine: New York Issue from back in May, it has been like a Bible, to meticulously plan every milisecond of my visit (much to the worry of the two poor souls accompanying me). It was great because it informed me of places I didn’t think existed, like Justin Timberlake’s (not-at-all-hurtful-on-the-wallet) restaurant in the Upper East Side or the Boat House Restaurant in Central Park where Carrie and Big fell in the pond. (yes there is a distinctive SATC vibe running through this trip, I blame Mother).

Want to see the preliminary itinerary?

I’ll post once I’m back. Be good.


LUKE North Western Flagship opening

I was among the few to trot up the red carpet at the launch of the new Norther Western flagship store of LUKE menswear in Manchester City Centre.
The new store was packed and the drinks flowed aplenty so it was altogether a rather brilliant launch party. & yes, I got papped. (ego?) Merchandising was interesting with the usual denim wall featured at the store’s rear and product adorning the remaining walls right up to past eye level. Fixtures within the shop floor hosted product and provided focal points (and places to dump empty Champagne glasses).
I took this opportunity to browse the collection and fell in love with a checked shirt with a weird collarless thing going on, (that I can’t find a picture of, failure) and a chunky knit that asked me to take it home…
Still, I’m rather pleased with the freebie I got in my goodie bag. Welcome to Manchester LUKE.