Fashion Rambler mees Lynda Moyo of Confidential Publications

I got to chat to my Editor at Manchester Confidential about the industry and her thoughts on ‘online’.
Fashion Rambler: What are your thoughts on the power of online media, will it take out print or not?
Lynda Moyo: I think most people in their 20s and 30s read the news online these days as it’s more accessible; most of us are sat on computers all day anyway. I used to buy all the glossy magazines, but what I’ve found now is that by the time I’ve bought them they’re actually out of date because I’ve already seen all the outfits online. This is why all newspapers and magazines are now dedicating more time to developing their websites. That said, I think there will also always be a place for print (I love getting the papers delivered on a Sunday) but the ratio is shifting remarkably, in favour of online. As I type this, the following story has just popped up in my Google news feed: 
Lynda in British Vogue (left)
FR: What differences do you think are apparent between a role in print and a role in digital daily publications? 
LM: I have always worked in online, apart from a few stints of print work experience down in London. I enjoy online because it’s instant and whilst we do have deadlines, we’re not bound by them. If a huge story breaks, we will get it out there first and that is very satisfying.  You also get to understand the technical side of publishing for the web, which is a great skill to have in the modern day. 
FR: Do you consider the NW fashion sphere the focus of your work or the national/international fashion world?
LM: I cover Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the surrounding areas. We are launching   this spring, so the scope will become national too and hopefully, one day, international. Confidential is taking over the world. You heard it here first….
Follow Lynda on Twitter: @lyndamoyo

Get Yours TOMS On!

I can’t believe how many people don’t yet know what TOMS are!

They’re espadrilles…. but they’re also a life line.

For every pair YOU buy from the comfort of your home or in a nice air conditioned shop, a pair are donated to a child living in poverty who cannot afford to protect their feet from the ground.

TOMS £33 from Schuh,
Flag, free.

 Note to self: fake tan.

I got these from Schuh ( and not only are they seriously the most comfortable plimsolls I’ve ever purchased but they’ll go with my Riviera/Nautical look for S/S’11. Bonus.

Amazing? Yes.



Fashion Rambler meets Charlie Miller of Grazia Magazine

At a recent S/S’11 womenswear show at Selfridgesicon Manchester Trafford, Charlie Miller the Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor for Grazia gave her advice on the latest trends. I managed to corner her for a chat

 Sophie Heldley of Selfridges and Charlie Miller
Fashion Rambler: what value do you place on blogs as a means of gaining experience and as a medium of fashion press?
Charlie Miller: I think it has been a revolutionary thing for fashion. I was reading on Business of Fashion that Suzanne Menkes of International Herald Tribune and she said “The world changed when fashion instead of being a monologue, became a conversation”… Now we have live streaming at shows, we got Brian Boy front row, it all goes hand-in-hand. Street Style is huge too because at the end of the day, that is where the credibility lies. I can show you a beautiful designer dress but sometimes it is a little bit more interesting to see what that girl over there is wearing and how she put it together. We tweet, blog and file reports in the cab between shows and so I think we’re really on it as a magazine.
FR: Do you think that, in order for magazines to stay relevant, social media and multi-platform communications are important?
CM: I do, and I think some are probably not at the moment, as much as we are. We’re new and we’re used to speed so we’re probably a little ahead of the monthly publications. They’ll get there.
FR: There are Magazines with little online presence, those with both and those that are just online. Is the future a balance or is online taking over print?
CM: I don’t think it’s taking over. I think it is very important, particularly with young kids who haven’t found a magazine that has really spoken to them. So, I understand that they are getting a lot of their information online. I don’t think it’ll take over, at least I hope not! What I think print does is give you that luxury of kicking back without looking at a screen and getting into that blue sky world.
FR: Is this a major factor when publishing on the duel platforms, both the faster daily updates of and the equally relevant but weekly Grazia Magazine?
CM: Often at times we can’t take everything onboard in the magazine, so we try to not cannibalise what is happenSing in the magazine. The Grazia Daily girls are really smart and I think it is a great partnership.
To see more of this interview click here
Selfridges & Co Ltd


I’m sure you’ve heard. Mr Porter, the sister site (or, rather daddy site) to Net-A-Porter has launched to give gentleman a fashion destination for luxury designer wear. After My-Wardrobe launched their menswear site, alongside womenswear on, AGES ago it was only a matter of time before Net did the same. 

One interesting distinction between Porter and My-Wardrobe is that Mr Porter resides on a totally different site to the ladieswear division and thus sets itself up as a standalone entity. Probably a good idea since the average heterosexual gentleman (yes, generalisations are go) likes to have this fashion served without a splash of femme.

So, what is Mr Porter like? Fashion Rambler went for a click. 

Firstly: it’s smart. clean, not overtly fashiony and more of a hub of gently etiquette/style than a high-end etailer. In a sentence – This site won’t scare (rich, professional) blokes off.

Speaking of the site not being in-yo-face-fashion, the site includes many other reasons to browse (oh no, not lady-style browsing like ladies but rather a manly browse *grunts*). 

The Journal and Style Directory acts how the Blog does for ASOS and Get Inspiration does for My-Wardrobe. Men will be inadvertently be browsing (yes, like ladies) on Mr Porter for hours reading about how they can get Jonny Depp’s style on Style Icons or how he might bed Ms Lara Stone on How To Please Her. This Menswear etailer isn’t doing anything different to its womenswear counterpart, it is just making its male clientele comfortable in their exceedingly camp undoubtedly lady-like fashion buying slippers. I bloody love it.

Coming soon, my favourite pieces from Mr Porter’s closet.


Amanda Wakeley S/S’11 Manchester Preview

The Royal Exchange Theatre held a fund-raising dinner at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. Guess who the special guest was… Amanda Wakeley.

Wakeley is a long time supporter of the Arts, “we’re both in the Arts, Theatre and Fashion.” she told the bronzed crowd, and was born in Cheshire – so she’s practically Mancunian!

Amanda Wakeley (centre) and two models in her latest collection

Wakeley’s S/S’11 collection has not been seen outside London and choosing Manchester as the first non-capital to UK city to see the designs said something about the fashion kudos in the North West.

Wakeley’s designs were brought forward on BOSS Models (Manchester) models and some rookies. Wakeley told me in the Champagne reception that “some have never [modeled] before and some are old hats at it and will be showing the other ones the ropes”, she looked nervous which was surprising since the Designer and sole Brand owner has had London Fashion Week eating out of her palm for the past two seasons. 

There was a smattering of celeb, Shobna from Corrie (whose name I totally forgot but was kindly corrected via Twitter by BlackWhiteDenim), someone from Emmerdale, someone from Brookside, Peter Kay’s mate and Ted Robins. Bonus.

Emma from The Fashion Network and Me.
Emma went for 80s glam in an LBD and I opted for Colour Blocking Black Tie.
Suit and shoes, Topman Ltd
Shirt, T.M.Lewin
Cufflinks, Tiffany’s
Bow Tie and Cummerbund, Debenhams

Easily the hottest couple in the room.
Lynda, Health & Beauty Editor for Manchester, London, Leeds and Liverpool Confidential and her other half, Chris.

Jewelery was statement, including one necklace piece that consisted of one gold plate above the breast that caught the light and stunned the room.

Hair by Andrew Collinge…

Pleats were a plenty with mainly earthy and soft plum hues. Coral and Electric Blue came out on top at the end and gave a signature to the mass of the colours already filtering onto the high street.
Oh, it was nice to chat girl-clothes for once.

Oh and the raffle alone raised £15,000 with £4,000 coming from Wakeley’s bespoke gown gift and shopping experience.

See the collection here.


My Stitch Menswear Finds: Le Coq Sportif

The last of my Stitch Menswear trade show blog posts ends on a colourful high.
Remember Le Coq Sportif? Of course you do, the brand that you used to wear to P.E. Class when you’d forgotten (accidentally on purpose) your kit. 
I spotted the stand at Stitch, it wasn’t hard to as it consisted of a customised VW Camper, and was glad to see it back on the market. The offer for S/S’11 is simple, comfortable and chic. Sportwear goes Luxe (and a little colourful too). Lots of fleece, jersey and nylon which both evokes a typically sportswear feel whilst retaining an ethos of reserved cool.
Anyone up for a spot of Tennis?

ShortList MODE Magazine

Have you seen the new Menswear magazine? Like Shortlist only more Stylist…. 

MODE is the new bi-annual glossy menswear mag distributed throughout London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Birmingham for free with Wednesday papers and Stylist Magazine! 
I am very impressed with the styling. American Gigolo, micro-shorts and 70s sweat. This is hot stuff. David Gandy is the cover model (D&G Light Blue anyone?) and the booklet oozes sex appeal.

Congrats to ShortList Fashion Editor, Adrian Clark, who has headed up the latest arm of ShortList Media.

T.M. Lewin Manchester Spinningfields store launch

T.M.Lewin opened their 99th UK store in Manchester’s business quarter last week and I got the chance to pop by for a glass of bubbly and a shirt! More on that later, firstly a tour. For a small store the stock on offer is fantastic. Shirts line every wall with suiting taking up the far corner and ladieswear the entrance. The store reminded me of Harry Potter, you know where Potter goes to buy a wand and their all stacked up around the store. Like a treasure trove of Cotton and Cuff-link excellence.
I’m a bit of a fan of the tie. I love how ridiculous they are, so unnecessary and pompous. I love how they have rules and regulations, their the metaphor of menswear in general. A strict rule making regime that needs careful consideration and time. Still, these ties are those proper suit ties and their so wide at the bottom I look like a clown when I where them. I’ll stick to the skinny ones methinks.
Got this great video on the T.M.Lewin community site, a site all about workwear and how to wear it. Pretty nifty.

Two lovely staff members who wanted a snap!

 Well done T.M.Lewin, welcome to Spinningfields.

TM Lewin and Sons Ltd.



To celebrate moving house the boy and I hosted one of our dos. The theme was Greek Vs Romans and the dress was Toga. The night was amazing.
Adam as Neptune, God of the Ocean.
Sheet, Primark, £5 Dyed with Dylon
Seahorse arm bracelet, Primark, £3
Robe necklace as belt, Primark, £3
Trident, local market, £2, sprayed with metallic paint
Ribbon accessorized TOMs
Myself, Domestic God(ess)
All same as above except:
my bracelet is a snake
Necklace as Toga Tie, Primark, £4
Sandals, Luvsyababes, £6.99
Laurel, Luvsyababes, £1.99
Loo Brush/Scepter, Poundland, (you guessed it) £1
A Mediterranean themed banquet including feta and olives, sunblushed tomatos and mozzerella, hand-made stuffed vien leaves with cous cous, mint and lime and Adam’s favourite… pineapple and cheese on sticks..Pizza came later. 
The Pig’s Head was courtesy of Howarth’s Butchers of Urmston, the only Butchers that took my request seriously. Authentic much?
Can you spot the Grecia Statue? (courtesy of the mannequin stock at Dorothy Perkins)
 Who is whiter?
 We don’t usually have Roman shields on the wall…
The Balcony and her residents.

Oh lovely. A gaggle crowding around Aphrodite’s Aphrodisiac Pomegranate Punch
And so the night continued….

My Stitch Menswear Finds: Stone-Dri

Manchester brand Stone-Dri debuted their A/W’11 collection at Stitch this year and were one of the most interesting brands on offer. I was apprehensive about the brand at first, being closley affiliated with the company’s PR agency I had heard my fill of Stone-Dri. BUT. After taking a step back at looking at the design, I was hooked. The brand is predominantly comprised of outerwear and the look is typically Manc. Not in the MadChester (over played) Hacinda way. But, simplistic, comfortable, down to earth without compromising on style. Coats that keep you warm and don’t make you look daft. Coats that can look part of the fixtures propped up against the bar in a pub but equally well placed at a swanky cocktail venue. That’s my kind of Manchester.
So. I got to pick the brains of designer-in-residence Joellah Crowther about her career and her work for Stone-Dri.
Fashion Rambler: How did you begin in design? 
Joellah Crowther: I studied Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Met after doing the art Foundation course there. The course involved a sandwich year in the industry so got my first design job during that year.
FR: What attracted you to working with Stone-Dri? 
JC: The fact that the brand existed before so had heritage within outerwear which is my speciality.
FR: What are your main sources of inspiration?  
JC: The past by looking at functional details on vintage military outerwear, workwear and uniforms and also the future by looking at advancements in sportswear and fabric technology.
FR: Do you believe your work has a signature style or do you adapt to suit the brand you’re working with? 
JC: The final design is adapted to suit the brand and end use but the attention to detail and thought behind the cloth selection is always the most important thing whatever the brand you are designing for.

I love this T because it would be THE most simple thing in my wardrobe AND the most worn. 

This coat is UBER warm looking, without being ming. I feel the cold like no one on earth and think I’d be snug in this. The Stone-Dri logo is stitched into the top right hand yoke and it is this attention to detail that made Stone-Dri stand out at Stitch.