Monday, 26 August 2013

Man Style

My first post about Man Style! Introducing Robbie Press! Graphic designer by trade and all round stylish husband of Natalie Willingham my go-to make-up artist (click here for her website). Robbie first got into 'fashion' in his early 20's buying up Gaultier and other expensive designer wear by the bucket load. Running with an older crowd he was, by his own admission, "fashionable"....then he discovered music: rock, alternative, soul, punk, disco, the roots of hip hop, "music is a BIG key in my life."

Setting down the armloads of designer labels, Robbie gravitated towards thrashmetal from the mid 1990's punk scene and started buying jeans and denim jackets that would "wear in with me." He grew his hair and became none other than a punk band vocalist wearing nowt but loose shorts, no shoes and a pair of workmans gloves. Then disaster struck - male patterned baldness took a hold and Robbie's locks starte falling away at the tender age of 20. By 25 he was completely bald - not a hugely conformist look in a scene where "everyone who is in metal has long hair." Around this time he had an epiphany "you don't have to look a certain way to be part of the scene."

His style has evolved from buying up rare skateboarding clothes from America, to purchasing his first Oswald Boateng suit in his 30's alongside a purple shirt and a light blue tie, "fabrics and colours have always been important to me - there is a strong influence of colour in everything I see." From that first suit Robbie's interests spread into English tailoring and a sharper way of dressing via putting together pattern clashes and sourcing denim from Japan.

As a graphic designer Robbie is intensely passionate about understanding the heritage of the brands he designs for and it is the same with his clothing. During our chat he never once speaks of 'shopping'. No. He "sources" his clothes: charity shops, gents outfitters, eBay, TKMaxx all get a look in, "I know exactly what I need before I need it. Then I find it." He knows the brands he sources from inside out. New brands lead him on a tale of discovery. Simply put the traceability of his garments underpins his uniqueness of style.

And it is style. Robbie was well aware of his fashionability in his teens which then transcended genres into style in his 30's and 40's. In his own words he is "obsessive" and his sheer dedication to his wardrobe is staggering. He is even growing his winter beard in summer.

Robbie's style has long interested me so I got him to show me his three favourite looks.

Drink. It. In.

Vintage Look: 

Christys bowler
RRL Beach Vest
RRL collarless shirt
Trickers Malton boots
Edwin ED-39 Jeans
Vintage Marlboro belt buckle
Mexican leather biker wallet 

Winter Look:

Vintage Sheepskin coat by Kinch & Lack
Cowichan Scarf by RRL
Vintage Woolrich hunting pants
Yuketen Main Guide boots 

Tweed Look: 

Borsalino Hat from New York
Round collar shirt by RRL
Waistcoat by Ralph Lauren Rugby
Pendleton tie
1920s Albert watch chain
Edwin Jeans
Trickers x My Wardrobe boots
Horse Hair belt by Ralph Lauren

He also has this beauty - The Big Lebowski cardigan. Made for the film but never used, bought on eBay from a museum in middle America. You don't get more dedicated than that.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Pork Pie Lovin'...

I love a pork pie. When I moved back from Dubai (pretty much a pork free zone - you had to walk through a special door in the supermarket to retrieve any pork products; it felt very naughty) just over 4 years ago I ate a Sainsbury's Melton Mowbray pork pie each day for lunch for 6 months.

No kidding.

And I did the leg work that summer - Asda, M&S, Tesco - I tried them all. Tesco pork pies were far too salty, M&S were insipid, Asda although now much improved, were just rank. So Sainsbury's it was and is still the best. Until I tried Best Pork Pie from Bradley's Bakery. I had met Gillian, the co-owner with husband mark, at a networking event when I first started The Wardrobe Angel but never tried one of her delish pies. Roll on two years I spent a morning at the mothership: Bradley's Bakery (click here for their website).

Bradley's Bakery is a family run business which has been going since 1960 which is a staggering 53 years. Mark's Mum was the original maiden of the pies and Mark took over the business in 1990, "It's all I have ever done since I was 12. I turned down an apprenticeship at British Aerospace to work in the shop and have never wanted to do anything else. I love my job." The pies are all handmade, hand filled and baked on the premises.

The shop employs 9 members of staff: 5 shop staff, 3 bakers and a shop assistant plus Mark and Gill. To keep the business fresh they have branched out into Good Luck pies, birthday pies and even Pork Pie wedding cakes. YUM.

On an average Saturday they sell 300 pies ...300 pies!!!! 
This works out at 1,500 pies in a week! 


Pork Pie AND Pork with Bury Black Pudding. Awesome. 

We wanted to have an outdoor picnic but the alas the Great British Weather was an indoor picnic it was!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Batley Graduate Fashion

I was invited to the Batley School of Art (part of Kirklees College, click here for more info) Graduate Fashion Show recently and was blown away by the creativity and sheer awesomeness of some of the designs. As you may know, I can barely sew a button and that's why whenever I have a 'vision' of what I want my clothes to look like I employ the creative (and patient!!) talents of Laura from Just Sew Perfect (click here for more info), so to behold the creations that were gliding up and down the catwalk on Friday night was a real honour.

Here are some of my favourite collections:

FAYE EVANS - the colour clashes were amazing. Made me want to go on holiday!

Love the surprising bow detail on the reverse

ALISON CUTS - It's like she got in my head and made a outfits out of all the styles and colours I love...

LAURA FOX - Get your measuring tape out Laura, I want to order some trousers from you!

How much for the trousers??? I WANT THEM!!!

MELANIE RATCLIFFE -  Whose whole collection was designed with no wastage. Go her!

Bear in mind that:

A) they only had 8 weeks to create the collections! Talented much?!
B) I reeeeaaallly need to learn to take better pictures!