Holiday Snaps

Allow me to take a break from fashion and show you some snaps. I recently went on Holiday with some very special people, it was a week of mayhem with lots to be remembered.
 
A boat cruise around the southern tip of Gran Canaria. That’s me and Adam!

Underwater photos are a must.
 
 
The Sand Dunes,

Tee, Vintage logo Tee from Brighton’s South Laines (i cut the arms off). £3.00
END.
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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 I used to buy all the glossy magazines, but what I’ve found now is that by the time I’ve bought them they’re actually out of date because I’ve already seen all the outfits online.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: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-media-readership-idUSTRE72D0WC20110314 
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 www.LondonConfidential.co.uk   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
 END.

Oh, MrPorter.com


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 my-wardrobe.com, 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.

END.

No Arms

I have a new habit. It is a little odd. I hope you don’t judge. I like to rip the sleeves of shirts and pretend that it was the way nature intended. I have lots of shirts. Lots. And I have got bored of them. I have been getting that numb feeling when I open my wardrobe and think, but I’m bored of ALL of you. This is certainly one way of eradicating that feeling.
It all began with a £2 purple find in the TOPMAN sale. A cropped sleeve T that I kinda like lots and that sculpts my arms into something not resembling skinny rakes. I wanted more of this..
So. I began with an old manky blue cotton shirt from Burton that I’m sure wasn’t mine to begin with. I lobbed off the arms five minutes before Jordan Steven’s birthday party and wonder-webbed the edges. Snip, snap, iron, dabb, button, done. It was an experiment but it was also a hit, as was my dancing that night.
I had the taste for it. It was like a drug, I’d found a niche, a signature. I trawled Manchester’s Northern Quarter and the vintage shops for more specimens (I know, perhaps not exactly the best way to spruce up an existing wardrobe).
During my trawl I had an argument with a guy in one shop over his inability to haggle and my sheer determination to NOT pay the full asking price for second hand merch. However, I then stumbled across a Wrangler denim shirt in a rival store. The shirt was a treasure: W pocket stitching and some really nice ceramic studs all the way down the middle. I got her down to £20 from £22.50 and then whipped out my student discount for 10% off. Not bad?
Here’s to a new relationship. Me and my arms.
END.
TOPMAN

VOGUE, December 1984.

Christmas is nearly upon us and so I have a little treat. An old copy of VOGUE given to me by a dear friend a few Christmases ago. The issue was the Christmas Issue for December 1984 and depicts an era lost in the realms of nostalgia and TOPMAN knock-offs. A rare insight into ladies-wear for fashion Ramber but nevertheless a stunning pictorial. Merry Christmas
Armpits…
 Recession busting fashion finds, by VOGUE.
 health warning comes with a Cartier cigarette holder.
Fur. Discuss.
The English woman and her English garden.
 Frankie Goes To Hollywood, in the Men’s pages.

END.

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

End.

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…
£115
Still, I’m rather pleased with the freebie I got in my goodie bag. Welcome to Manchester LUKE.
End.

Oliver Sweeney is in town

I got myself on the guest list at the Oliver Sweeney party last week in Manchester’s new shopping district The Avenue in Spinningfields. The party was a chance for Oliver Sweeney to let Manchester know it had arrived and so some of Manchester’s bestest gathered to welcome the men’s shoe brand and sample the bubbly.
Whilst circulating the store, which is rather impressive despite its size, I found this shoe porn and thought I’d share it with you.
 nom nom nom

3 Hardman Street, The Avenue, Spinningfields, Deansgate, Manchester

£220

£285
  
Maybe Father Christmas will buy me some for my feets.
End.

Best of Manchester Fashion Awards

I was lucky enough to grab an invite to the Best of Manchester Fashion Awards the other night and was treated to a glittering ceremony that commemorated the best that Manchester has contributed to the UK Fashion Industry. The event was co-hosted by Manchester Fashion Network and CityCo who were unveiling their new Manchester Heart of Fashion Shopping Guide which features everything the savvy shopper needs to know about Manchester’s various shopping districts.

The event was hosted in St. Ann’s Church (it would seem that Churches are the new host spot since the Harvey Nichols show last month) which is apparently the geographical heart of the city (remember that for Trivial Pursuit MCR Edition!)

I found a pew with a view, champagne in hand and two blondes to chat to, namely Olivia of MFN and Sara of SeraLuxe who was with her lovely boyfriend Ben. The awards were presented by CEO of CityCo Vaughan Allen, from the pulpit, and the categories were: Best New Designer, Best Independent Retailer/Designer and Life Time Achievement Award.

Kirsty Payne

The shortlist for the Best New Designer was derived from the graduate talent from the city’s two fashion institutes, the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford. Salford’s Kirsty Payne won the award beating, MMU graduate and Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award winner, Rebecca Thomson to the £2,000 prize.

Olivia, MY TANGO’D SELF (yikes), Sara and Ben.  
 
Judges included Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council and fellow Mancunian, who said of Payne’s work: “There is a wealth of talent in Manchester that made judging incredibly difficult, however Kirsty’s pieces showed a level of sophistication that stood out. Recognition and financial support can make a real difference at the beginning of a career and that is what this award is all about.” She also said of her home city “Manchester is a leading style city, remember you have a reputation to uphold” which was quite well received by the crowd.
Daniel Clark and Charlotte Keyworth of Junk Shop

Best Indie was won by Junk Shop.The boutique, which stocks its own label clothing, is the best selling sustainable fashion brand on Oxfam’s online shopping portal and has collaborated with high street giants, TOPSHOP. Judge Rob Warner, the Design Director for Umbro, said of Junk Shop’s win: “Junk is offering so much to the industry and the city. It’s not just a style orientated concept but embraces so many things that are on the minds and in the hearts of progressive fashion thinkers today. This award is very well deserved.”

Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway

The Life Time Achievement award was presented to Gerardine Hemingway, who was behind the famous street style brand Red or Dead. The brand has its origins in Manchester and the famous independent emporium, Afflecks in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. After a successful progression from independent market stalls to being recognized as an international brand, stocked in Macy’s New York City, the business was sold in 1999. Gerardine and her husband, Wayne, now run HemingwayDesign. Gerardine was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Peter Saville, Manchester Creative Director and co-founder of Factory Records.

After the do we all went outside to mingle under the marquee and were treated to canapes.

Images Courtesy of CityCo, the image of me and my entourage was courtesy of Manchester Confidential

End.