I moved to Manchester just under 4 years ago. I was running away from a broken heart and a dead end career. I moved in with a good friend, also from London and jumped into a model booking job and things just started to fall into place from there. I got up each day, went to work and came home to endless house parties and night outs. Oblivious to the world around me and this ultra impressive northern city. It was only when I stopped hanging out in my London bubble and started to mingle with true Mancunians that I realised how utterly cool this city and these people were. I think some southerners / Londoners have a negative image of the north of England, I believe some people still think anywhere north of Birmingham is still stuck in the dark ages, or maybe they think of endless green countryside, farms, factories and small towns. in a way, I too was part of the ‘naive few’. I grew up commuting in the fast paced city of London where life moved at 200 miles per hour, everyday. I never opened my eyes to the fact that cities like Manchester led the way in the industrial revolution and are considered to be an important roll in the global economic system. This city is huge, and I was about to find out why. Fashion is huge in Manchester, the famous Northern Quarter in Manchester brings in some of the coolest, bohemian, artiest people around, and not just media types either. It boosts photographic studios, vintage shops, record labels and huge internet fashion headquarters like boohoo.com and Miss guided all being on the doorstep.
I always naively associated fashion in Manchester to be Parka coats and dark shades, arising clearly from the infamous Gallagher brothers of 90’s britpop group Oasis and the hugely successful ‘Madchester’ rave scene, which boasts band such as The smiths, The Happy Mondays and The fall, to name the bare minimum. But it is so much more than that. These people love their music and it totally reflects on their fashion. With such a popular thriving music scene behind them, no wonder these bands have inspired Manchesters fashion of today, and in general now Manchester’s importance to fashion is unquestionable.
The men love their Fred Perry button ups (Fred perry started in Stockport, Greater Manchester) and their Clarks desert boots, made big by the Oasis front man Liam Gallagher, along with parka coats/macs, Military style jackets, Mod-punk revival-esque velvet blazers, windbreakers, Paisley patterned fabrics are also huge amoung both girls and boys due to so much of Manchester fashions also being 60’s inspired, think shift dresses, beehives and big lashes , with influential 60s bands like Freddie and the Dreamers and the Mindbenders forming in Manchester clubs in the city secured a base for new music and mod fashion.
Looking back to my awakening of this amazing city, I really did fall madly in love with the music and of course, the fashions around me. Dave Ambrose, a top Manchester record producer once replied, in question to ‘Why does Manchester produce so much musical creativity?; “Because Manchester kids have the best record collections in the country”. Well if I may Dave, I would also like to add ‘wardrobes’ into this brilliant account of the Mancunian youth.
I, today, can definitely say; Manchester cured my broken heart.