Friday, 30 September 2011
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Last week, after proudly viewing my gallery installation of street style in Cruise Ingram Street, I noticed a new menswear store I hadn't seen before. Having lived in Glasgow for quite a while, my expectations of Scottish menswear are far from high. Call me cynical but with W2 being the only independent menswear store worth mentioning, it's not doing too well in the stores to people ratio stakes.
I thought I was fairly up to date with the state of Glasgow shopping (as my overflowing-with-press-releases inbox will tell you) but somehow Rossi on Miller Street slipped through the net. With a pair of classic brogues in the window & some silk scarves tied to a wall, I found it hard to resist having a wonder and was pleasantly surprised to find a well stocked store that also has knowledgeable and friendly staff. I rarely do store reviews on Les Garçons de Glasgow but decided this one was too good to pass up.
As soon as I entered the store, I had a feeling that this would be more of an experience than the usual quick swatch and exit routine. I was instantly drawn to their selection of Macintosh jackets as Scottish produce is always of interest to me. I knew that 187 year old Macintosh supplied the global heavyweights like Louis Vuitton and Gucci from their small Glasgow production unit but what I didn't know was how difficult it is to get your hands on an original Mac jacket. Rossi are they only store in Scotland to stock Macintosh and they have a small but perfectly formed collection of the key styles for the season for men and women. Naturally I tried on all of them (yes, even some of the women's) but it was the Dunkeld that I was drawn to most. Paired back design, buttonless front and stiff collar in the classic stone colour – with it's rubberised cotton and belted waist, this is a jacket that could repel bullets – the Scottish weather has no chance against this. All I need to consider now is how I can get it in my wardrobe in time for Paris Fashion Week.
Taking more time to fully investigate the store I discovered blazers, suits, shirts, overcoats and a plethora of hats, cufflinks, ties...the list goes on. How did I not know about this place? Where the real strength lies is in the mix of brands. For shirts Rossi have brought in Penrose London, a collaborative menswear label with a background in Duchamp and Saville Row, being the only stockist in Scotland (a pattern began to emerge here) and after trying one on, I can confirm it's probably the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. The range of tweed available was also exciting for me as I'm generally prone to something Scottish, but these are probably the softest weaves I've ever felt.
As the store's only been open a year I'm surprised to see such a strong range of brands; Graham even suggested that Mr Hare shoes may be available from next season, a brand that would bring a real cache for a small Glasgow store. After watching an old episode of “Mary Queen of Shops” last night, I wondered what Mary Portas would make of the store. In this episode, she coincidentally overhauled an old menswear store in London leaving me thinking about all the things Rossi have done right: personalised service, staff who know the product and a concise range of brands which target customers looking for quality and style perfectly. I did also consider what she would change - perhaps the foot-space is not filled to capacity, the fixtures are a little bare and the store soundtrack could do with tweaking but I think overall Rossi are onto a pretty good thing.
This is a store that's not about hyped up label or huge bling watches – I feel (read: 'hope') we've left that era of egotism behind. As we creep further into the 2010's I welcome the new era of subtle craftsmanship and appreciation of quality. It's about getting advice on the best jacket available, having it personally fitted and wearing it for the next 30 years. It's about knowing the name of your local store owner and hearing the stories of their trips to fashion week straight from their mouth. For the first time in a long time, I've found a store which can do just that.
Monday, 26 September 2011
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Over the past few months friends have began to grow rather weary of my overuse of the word 'ethereal'. For some reason I just can't get it out of my head, with my Tumblr continually spitting out post after post of hazy photography, fragmented light and vibrant sunset, I decided to channel this whole inspiration into my Hilary Laing AW11 shoot.
Having reviewed the collections from London Fashion Week this season, I have a feeling I'm not the only one under the influence. My regular response to dainty florals and pretty pastels is frustration; Feminine females? How boring. This season, somethings changed. Louise Gray (personal favourite and fellow Scot) kick-started my reconsideration of the worthiness of 'pretty in pink' by fusing future and past Gray. As each season passes she's becoming more streamlined & accessible and for me this was the perfect balance. Play-school style appliqué met Chanel-esque tweed all with suitable rogue styling.
For AW11, even Mary Katrantzou softened her unstoppable Greek power-print-fest for a few looks but the most wonderfully predictable of them all was King of Floral Print, Erdem. He masterfully side-stepped from the AW11 collection that made it onto every editors wishlist, by creating a fresh image of youthful ladies to the soundtrack of In the Mood for Love. How apt. It seems that 'ethereal' won't be slipping out of everyday use any time soon.
There were many questions regarding successful blogging. Below are some of my top tips:
When it comes to the design, I think simpler is better. This isn't MySpace so there's no need for hundreds of GIFs or a star spangled cursor. If your content is strong and central to the site, that's all that matters.
There are so many blogs out there that to make any impact you need to be niche. Focusing on what you really love will make it easier as creating content will be second nature.
Post as often as possible – I prefer earlier as people will begin to start their day by reading your posts
People will only return to your blog if you post frequently. If someone logs on twice in 2 weeks and there has been nothing new, why would they return? I recommend a minimum of once a week, but that's only if that post is particularly strong.
Try to keep a high standard when blogging. For me, pixelated photos and incorrect grammar are huge turn offs. If I see it more than twice, I tend to not come back.
It's unlikely that now you write everyday about your style or photograph yourself for that matter, but remember that practice makes perfect. When I started taking street style photographs, I just did it at the weekends as I went about my usual life meeting friends and going clubbing. As my passion grew and I got practice, I understood how it fit into my life better.
It's easy to get writers block, especially at the beginning of starting your blog. I keep an inspiration folder on my computer and save any photos, websites or ideas I have which can be used as great fodder for blogs.
Love it or hate it the internet has been designed to be read in bite-sized chunks. Unless you make it your 'focus' (see 'focus'), then I'd recommend keeping text to-the-point and in small paragraphs. Readers will get overwhelmed if they post appears to have no end and people prefer reading honest simple editorial.
You don't have to be a technical genius to create a blog which is aesthetically pleasing. I recommend the following for beautiful blogging:
Keep all fonts and text sizes consistent throughout
Keep colour to minimum: perhaps 2 or 3 is enough between the background, header & text
Post all pictures in the same format. Use a photo resizer to make them all the same width and centre or left justify each one.
Keep the background simple: I tend to find images confuse the design and makes it more difficult to read posts.
Use a strong image as the header – its the readers first impression of the blog, and first impressions count.
Blogger etiquette is a big thing. If you don't already know about it, read this Independent Bloggers post. Main thing to remember is not to steal other peoples content. If you like someones idea or photo, use it but always credit the author. You never know, they may like your blog too and link back to you.
Don't say anything you wouldn't say in person. The manners we use in everyday life should be retained for the internet.
Be honest about collaborations & gifts. Other than it just being an FTC rule to lie about gifting, it's truer to your followers when
Use social networking tools to reach new people. Sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter and of course Facebook are great ways to share your ideas.