ISSUE N° 15, SPRING & SUMMER 2012
THE GENTLEMAN’S STYLE JOURNAL
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Mr. LIAM GALLAGHER The assured artiste
From mod culture to ‘Madchester’, the parka coat is one fashion trend that shows no sign of ageing. Once warn to protect the suits of Brighton mods, riding around on customised Vespa’s, the coat has since been adopted up North and cultivated by a curious few who can only be described as the Northernites. Naturally inspired by Liam Gallagher with hair only Paul Weller would be proud of and a dash of Keith Richards, overall the look is distinctive, Brit-pop fandom. The Northernite tribe is often dis-missed and sometimes laughed at as ‘just another Oasis-bandwannabe’ when in fact, on close photographic and journalistic interrogation, these lads really know their culture. Text by Samantha Goodwin Photography by Samantha Goodwin -111-
THE NORTHERNITES David Nyanzi, a street style photographer in London for ASOS magazine, has been cruising the streets in search for style for over 2 years and he’s certainly snapped the trend wondering the colourful Carnaby Street. A place that is what Oxford Street means to an Essex girl is what Carnaby Street is to your 21st century mod. We ask David, why fashion and music so obviously cross paths, “People always want to associate with their music idols, it helps them embody a certain coolness in their everyday street style.”
“Not only do I think that’s a top jacket. It’s a style icon that has stood the test of time and was an emblem for an entire subculture.”
With pin ups such as Johnny Marr and the Gallaghers, it was inevitable the parka started to embody a set of manly characteristics and an outspoken-esque personality for the beholder. Our Northernites however not to be mistaken for the Merc abiding souls of Carnaby Street, but are to be found in Manchester’s trendiest district, the Northern Quarter. Loitering around waiting for gigs, handing out leaflets for FAC251, the modern rendition of what was the 90s ‘Madchester’s’ Haçienda. An area home to all night cafés, damp ridden vintage shops and the famous Dry bar, the very place Shaun Ryder and our idol of the month, Liam Gallagher have both been barred from. The Northern Quarter is definitely the place to be in Manchester. It is a place where the parka is instantly appreciated and understood. Where our Northernite lads can pass fellow men of all ages that patrol the streets in their parka armour. A sort of parka telepathic connection occurs, an instant bonding of their similar interests, often musical, just by one trend in fashion.
of how much it matters to them as an individual. Agrees Joe O’Connell, “I think it says that when fashions concerned, it says you know what you’re talking about.” Long gone are the days of dodgy interview suits and bulky briefcases, a ‘trusty’ go-to outfit for a job interview. The high street and affordable designer collections have helped revolutionise the average man’s wardrobe who wants to appear, not so average looking. This only confirms that times have changed and within the current economic climate, buying clothes that will last that still look the part, is ever more important. The fishtail parka comes from a practical background. From protecting the American soldiers in the Korean War from the freezing elements, to becoming the go to item for mod culture of 1960’s Britain, bought in bulk from their local Army Stores for its scooter-proof qualities and relatively cheap price range. Today the parka has evolved physically whilst oozing a whole new list of new century connotations. From the standard interest in Brit-pop and FAC251 club nights there’s a desire to look smart and stylish, Joe O’Connell comments: “If you go on a date with someone you don’t know that well, you’ve got to make them think you’ve got a good sense of fashion or you’re getting nowhere”. You heard it here first. Today however the fishtail isn’t necessary anymore, therefore opening up the boundaries for designers to focus more on the materials used and to be able to design the coat to ‘weather specific’ conditions, a light cotton here, a bit more fur there, always baring durability in mind. These different styles appeal to the Northernites because of its ultimate practical nature yet stylish agenda. What was once used to protect life in the 50s to expensive, tailored, Italian suits in the 60s now acts as an addition to the Northernites personality, hungriness for live music and modernist attitude.
So what is the stylistic relationship between the parka wearing men from Manchester and their coat really about? Social symbolism apparently, we speak to 4 parka wearing Northernites about the trend in today’s society. Harry Corbett comments on the opposing fashion trend in high-street menswear today “it feels good to look unique and different at the moment, as only a select number of people tend to dress this way. Especially among the whole Topman, chino wearing addicts you see around town.” The parka acts as a communicator to not only one another but as a symbolic resistance to those non-parka-wearingchino-loving-folk of Market Street. Calum Doherty persists “Not only do I think that’s a top jacket. It’s a style icon that has stood the test of time and was an emblem for an entire subculture.”
Designers such as Burberry Prorsum, at Mr. Porter. com, offer a modern interpretation of the parka in classic green, with a notable military aesthetic. With a detachable raffia-trimmed hood for everyday use, the website recommends layering over a two piece suit for ‘impact’ still keeping the mod spirit alive at only, £1695.
Emulating idols and popular figures isn’t anything new. Tom Ryding, a conscious shopper says: “Johnny Marr, he always looks good. I bought a leather jacket because I saw a photo of him wearing one… a bit sad that, I know!” It’s illuminating to hear that the very men wondering the pavements of the Northern Quarter feel so strongly about fashion and are aware
Designer brand RAKE featured a more updated version in their AW12 menswear collection. Inspired by the Italian Riviera and early seventies, the coats are focusing more on the quality of fabric and its cut, opposed to practicality. One of these coats would be all the statement a modern Northernite needs while still embodying the parka persona. RAKE have transformed the coat into a more streamlined silhou-
FANTASTIC MAN ette, using fibrous materials and fur detail, keeping in with the traditional design but with a relaxed, almost draped, collar. The original parka design has stood the test of time, continuously being re-designed to co-inside with the times and to a new taste of its consumer. Celebrities from David Beckham to Liam Gallagher have previously been seen wearing the coat, attracting all different kinds of customers from football lovers to music enthusiasts; they all have one common interest, style. Something that Liam Gallagher tapped into and translated into the creation of his label, Pretty Green. Available in stores at the heart of Manchester and London’s Carnaby Street. Owning such an influence with menswear on stage it was organic process for Liam to transcend into the fashion industry. Idolised by all that hair, the walk, even the accent created a look that has been replicated and inspired the Northernites tribe we see roaming around today.
The look best associated with Liam is ultimately the parka, a bestseller guaranteed to fly off the rails each season at Pretty Green. Erin Swan, a Pretty Green Menswear Consultant, states the parka coat is more important than ever, “our customers feel as if they’re buying something unique which not only represents them but translates another element into their everyday wardrobe. Manchester has created its own style within menswear and is something we can see going from strength to strength”. Overall, the parka coat is an iconic investment piece, one which will stand the test of time and translate a passion for all things cool, without the bravado.
MANCHESTER IN TEN A LIST OF TEN THINGS TO DO IN THE NORTHERN CITY
NUMBER ONE Factory 251: http://www.factorymanchester.com/ NUMBER TWO Magma Books: http://www.magmabooks.com/ NUMBER THREE Olkahoma café: http://www.oklahomacafe.co.uk/ NUMBER FOUR Pretty Green, Manchester: http://www.prettygreen.com/ NUMBER FIVE 42nd Street: http://www.42ndstreetnightclub.co.uk/ NUMBER SIX The Janice Graham band: http://janicegrahamband.com/gigs.html NUMBER SEVEN The Deaf Institute, café, bar & music hall: http://thedeafinstitute.co.uk/ NUMBER EIGHT Night & Day café: http://www.nightnday.org/ NUMBER NINE Nexus Art café: http://nexusartcafe.com/ NUMBER TEN Vinyl Exchange: http://www.vinylexchange.co.uk/ -113-
The parkas revival, encompassing mod culture and the best of the 90’s on the streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter Carnaby Street’s Mod culture influence, the reunion of the Happy Monday’s a Hacienda favourite, Manchester’s Pretty Green store the hotspot for parka shopping and a subtle reminder in shape of a mosaic on the walls of Affleck’s Palace.
Joe wears an original army issued parka in the Northern Quarter
Left page: film still from Quadrophenia, below Harry wears parka by Pretty Green. This page top, the latest Pretty Green parka edition and below a still from the film Brighton Rock
Couple endorse the parka look by Barbour
Tom wears his dads parka
FANTASTIC MAN TREND FEATURE LAYOUT IMAGE BIBLIOGRAPHY FIG 1 - Cover image, Liam Gallagher - http://www.ashopcalledwood.com/blog/you-got-to-rollwith-it FIG 2 - Black and white photo of boy in a parka coat - taken by me. FIG 3 - ‘God Created Manchester’ - taken by me.
VISUAL ESSAY IMAGE BIBLIOGRAPHY FIG 1 - Taken by myself, Carnaby Street sign on a disposable camera. FIG 2 - Taken by myself, Manchester Evening News newspaper headline, in Manchester. FIG 3 - Taken by myself, the entrance to Manchester’s Pretty Green store. FIG 4 - Taken by myself, Afflecks Palace mosaic ‘God mad MANchester’. FIG 5 - Taken by myself, streetstyle image. FIG 6 - http://www.flickriver.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/5130733677/ - Quadrophenia film still. FIG 7 - Taken by myself, streetstyle image. FIG 8 - Taken by myself, inside of the Manchester Pretty Green store of a Pretty Green parka coat. FIG 9 - http://clothesonfilm.com/brighton-rock-and-mod-trailer-hits/17514/ - Brighton Rock film still. FIG 10 - Taken by myself, a wall in store of the Pretty Green Manchester store. FIG 11 - Taken by myself, streetstyle image. FIG 12 - Taken by myself, used as a background image, taken of the wallpaper in the Pretty Green Manchester store. FIG 13 - Taken by myself, streetstyle image. FIG 14 - Taken by myself, used as a background image, taken of a camouflage print mens jacket by Pretty Green. FIG 15 - Taken by myself, streetstyle image.
Trend forecast: 'The Northernites' Feature and spread aimed at Fantastic Man publication. I wrote and edited the piece.