#MSF14 Manchester Science Festival 2014

Manchester Science Festival enters its 8th year this year, with a packed calendar of activity from 23rd October – 2nd November. The festival was officially launched at a do hosted by Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester t’other night and yours truly was lucky enough to be in attendance.

Bez and his bust

Among the other guests were patrons and friends of the museum, scientists, professors and engineers from the local Universities, budding enthusiasts and even Bez from Happy Mondays, but more on him later. The soiree was a chance for the festival’s organisers to offer a sneak peak at some of the exhibitions due to launch at the festival, as well as a chance for the region’s geek community to sample local Ales, pies and music courtesy of Elbow. Any excuse!

Elbow on the decks.

Dr Marieke Navin, the Festival Director, took to the stage, alongside fellow intellects from the world of science to offer their thanks and their appreciation to the crowd and the people that helped make MSF14 happen. Dr Navin also introduced Bez, of Happy Mondays fame to the bewildered crowd. Bez had volunteered his body for the purposes of science – but not for the kind of experiment you’d think. Instead, Bez his head examined (which, is probably a good thing) and then printed in 3D! As part of the 3D: Printing the Future exhibition that will form part of the festival, Bez’s 3D bust was created by reprographics firm Hobbs from Manchester’s Northern Quarter and will be on show as part of the exhibit. That’s science kids!

Here’s some of the highlights of this year’s calendar:

#HookedOnMusicLate, 2nd November, MOSI
As part of the #HookedOnMusic exhibit (which you can find out more about in my blog here) MOSI are hosting a silent disco with Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam on the decks

Dress of Glass and Flame, 27th October 5pm – 10pm, Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibiting the blurred liens between art and science in this alchemy project by Helen Storey MBE.

3D: Printing The Future, throughout, MOSI
The only exhibition endorsed by Bez!

Find out more about what’s on here


Selfridges AW14 Menswear Showcase

Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square have finally finished the £3million upgrade of their menswear floor and, in true Selfridges fashion, threw a little party to celebrate. Cue the male models.

Biker, Alexander McQueen, £3155, Selfridges

Dress, Marchesa Notte, £1420, Selfridges

So, amidst DJs, trays of fizz and a raft of Corrie and Hollyoaks stars, I milled around the 1st floor, sampling canapés and checking out the new floor. I must confess, the space wasn’t new to me (a wander through Selfridges forms part of my homeward routine each day after work!) but it was nice to do it avec Prosecco.  

 Saint Laurent and Varsity

The new floor is impressive, it looks bigger, there’s more space allotted to contemporary brands, a lot more denim and high-end has a more prominent position along the main shopper’s route. But, £3million? I’m not sure I could see the benefit in all honesty. I mean, if one’s investing that kind of money in a menswear department and seeking a return, why not stick a bar in the middle and a couple of plasmas with Sky Sports on? You’d be golden – right? Well, maybe I’m no Mary Portas, but I expected a little more for the lofty price tag.

Celine, £1995, Selfridges

Still, there was the fashion. And here, there was no disappointment (unless you don’t like black…) In a sentence, Selfridges’ interpretation of the AW14 season for menswear is: black, with a big of red, a few buckles, maybe a zip and a sharp suit to boot. What are you waiting for, go shop!

Vivienne Westwood, £930 (J) £440 (T), Selfridges

 Paul Smith, £450, Selfridges

Little Black Dress own label collection launches

Little Black Dress, the début collection

Manchester etailer littleblackdress.co.uk, purveyor of fine frocks (that aren’t always black, oddly), has stepped into the world of design and launched it’s first own label collection. Taking the company’s name, the collection comprises 20 dresses inspired by iconic styles, designed for the modern woman.

Little Black Dress, the label, was launched at a swanky do at Manchester House, of Restaurant Wars fame, where the dresses was showcased to the North West’s fashion and lifestyle press. I was genuinely impressed with the collection, particularly the attention to finishing detail and the choice of fabrics used throughout. These pieces aren’t throw-away, they’re statements that you’ll ear again and again.

“Oh, but I bet they cost a pretty penny!” I hear you yell – well no, they don’t. Whilst entry-level designer labels like By Malene Birger and 2nd DAY Birger et Mikkelson charge £300 for a dress and call themselves an entry-level price point, Little Black Dress offers looks from £75 up to £120! I mean, you can’t say fairer than that, can you?

The collection represents the leaps and bounds the company has come since I attended one of their early parties at their studio in Ardwick, Manchester. What was a fledgling ecommerce concept has turned into a brand with promise. Good luck to the team!


7 For All Mankind opens in Manchester

LA denim brand to the stars, 7 For All Mankind, has opened their first store in Manchester on New Cathedral Street. 

 The new 7 For All Mankind store on New Cathedral Street

The store is flanked by the likes of Ugg, Harvey Nichols and the UK’s largest Hugo Boss. Behind the white fascia and secluded from the glare of passers-by, shoppers can browse both men’s and women’s denim as well a ready-to-wear and leather goods. Not to mention, gazing at Miranda Kerr, who is the current face of the brand – her beautiful visage adorning most walls.

Yours truly,
Feather and leather bow tie, TOPMAN
Shirt, TM Lewin
Suit cost, Burton
Jeans, French Connection

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they’re LA-based and still make all their denim in their studio there and they’re credited with kick-starting the revolution in denim, being among those super-brands like J Brand, Paige and Current Elliot that changed the face of denim, making it a truly high-end product. I’m fortunate enough to have a pair of light coloured cigarette style 7FAM jeans and they’re a great fit, style, colour and are so comfortable. I love that they’re my go-to comfy jeans but I don’t look like a total slob! Bonus!