ABOUT

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A collective of HND Fashion Design & Manufacture students and Fashion Feature Writing & Styling students from Glasgow Clyde College School of Fashion & Textiles present their Fashion features inspired by the consecutive briefs ‘Glasgow’ and ‘Next Generation’.

Thinking youthful, edgy, current, inspiring, experimental, well produced and professional.

Futures  brings you a raw and honest dialogue from the new generation of talent…

 

Interested in our Fashion Feature Writing & Styling Evening class? Click here for more details. Is HND Fashion Design & Manufacture more your thing? Click here to find out how to apply.

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NEXT GENERATION

Event: Glasgow Clyde College Creates, Fashion Show + Exhibition 2018

Date: Thursday 31st May

Location: The Garment Factory, Glasgow

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Glasgow Clyde College is renowned for producing the brightest young fashion talent in the industry, what do Louise Gray and Tammy Kane have in common? They are both creative pioneers within their sector and both GCC HND graduates . Every year the roster of our graduating talent securing their rightful places at world class institutes such as London College of Fashion, Central St Martins and Edinburgh  College of Art grows and exceeds all expectations.

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Behind the scenes at Glasgow Clyde College student’s final fashion show; an atmosphere that is  electric with a heady mix of mounting excitement and anticipation as the models wait to walk the 6pm show. The professionalism exudes, the area is organised and prepped and the wait is only until the sold out seats of the expecting audience are filled…

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The late May heatwave floods the New York esque loft style space with natural light. The Garment Factory, Glasgow’s hottest new property, a building steeped in industry history, now offering 6 floors of truly unique work spaces.

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The show didn’t disappoint, inspirational collections marrying the idea of concept and commerce. The ever changing landscape of fashion lends for a new interpretation by each generation. The design graduates carefully crafted looks we admired for creative prowess and wanted… to wear.

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Lauren Warnock’s cosmic-pop adds a quirky edge to the raver look. A balance between club kids and girly kitsch. A collection inspired by intergalactic outer space, a mass void full of the unknown, with a futuristic twist.

 

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Steen Weidmann’s collection ‘Geisteszustand’ is an exploration of mental illness and emotion in design. The collection aims to convey the internal workings of the designer drawing on elements of deconstruction, layering and tonal colour blocking. Steen is set to intern with the fashion buying team of Vivienne Westwood after graduating.

 

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Chloe Orr’s offering was inspired by nature growing through and destroying man made structures, in turn, reclaiming it’s place. Taking a deep interest in statues which had been overgrown by moss and greenery therefore inspiring the colour palette.

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Calvin Blackburn’s garments were mindfully created to provide feelings of comfort and freedom in the wearer, opting to remove as many seams as possible to propose an experience that works from within. His debut unisex collection titled Sanctuary – is deeply influenced by mankind’s spiritual connection to the universe.

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Danielle Veldon’s quiet, minimalistic view is extracted from an overpowering world.  Reserved yet unusual shapes creating a clean canvas for what’s to come. Layers of fabric giving a new purpose to what the eye would have once seen.

The world is a  blur. Gender, race, sexuality it’s all a blur…”

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A bold statement from Kieran Shields who used transparent fabrics and strapping details in order to create both men’s lingerie and casual wear.

Although leather, lace and sheer fabrics may not be seen as masculine.  I feel that it creates a bold provocative statement that must be worn with personality and confidence in order to make men feel sexier, comfortable with their bodies and not ashamed.”

Glasgow Clyde College Fashion & Textiles graduates… the next generation of raw talent. Class of 2018, ‘ones to watch’.

Credits

Collections by  students from Glasgow Clyde College’s HND Fashion Design & Manufacture, HND Fashion Technology and HND Textiles courses.

Words and Photography: Mairi McDonald

Models: Colours Agency Glasgow

Venue: The Garment Factory, Glasgow

 

東の影響 (Eastern influence)

 

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Having always been heavily interested in Japanese culture and technology for as long as I can remember, my initial interest almost definitely stems from my dad’s love of martial arts. The ability Japanese culture has to be both infuriatingly complex yet beautifully simple at the same time is something which has always enthralled me.  Being exposed to Eastern cultures from a young age meant that I later became interested in Japanese fashion as well. I remember seeing a photo of a young Ziggy Stardust posing in what can only be described as a space age jumpsuit with samurai roots, I felt compelled to research the designer and in doing so discovered the surreal yet incredibly powerful designs of Kansai Yamamoto. The way in which his designs were directly inspired by Japanese culture was incredible and I had to know more.

The diversity of Japanese fashion and the extraordinary designs have always amazed me and too see the recent influx of Avant- garde made practical shapes being walked down the runway is incredibly refreshing. From the absurdly oversized jackets to the wide legged trousers (that everyone seems to own a pair of), Japanese influence is everywhere.

 

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(Masters of the future)

Japanese, socially and culturally, are the masters of the future and this is apparent throughout society. In the 1400s, Japanese painters were producing work that was centuries ahead of that period however forward 400 years into the late 1800s and European artists are claiming the post-impressionist movement as their own. The same can be said about fashion (albeit not 400 years but advanced and influential on Europe nonetheless). Japan has always looked to the future, creatives have never been afraid to be different, and that is what sets Japanese designer’s years ahead from the rest. Kansai Yamamoto embodied this attitude and for this reason received complete admiration from the most innovative space man of all, David Bowie. Bringing fashion to the West that was completely alien at the time. He and Yamamoto were an ideal marriage giving each other extra ordinary relevance, a space man wearing space age garments. Bowie recognised that to sell the space man image he had to look to the place that was already light years ahead and in doing so the collaboration of both men’s vision took us into the 21st century, and beyond.000008850033

Kansai Yamamoto set down foundations for other aspiring designers to follow. Like the most consistent and possibly most iconic Eastern designer of the past 30 years, Rei Kawakubo. Her Commes des garcons brand has influenced Western fashion heavily and has been everpresent  at catwalks since the early 1980s, which at the time was dominated by Gianni Versace and Thierry Mugler. Kawakubo broke traditional European fashion rules and our catwalks have never looked the same since. To this day Kawakubo continues to break down barricades with her unorthodox approach to design, which is much more a statement of anti-fashion rather than convention. Her radical work bridged the gap between East and West and is one of the reasons why we have such diversity within our fashion industry.

Western Fashion has benefited greatly from the ideas transported from the East and currently high street shops in Britain are bursting at the seams with Japanese inspired shapes and sizes. Wide legged trousers are a perfect example of a simple Japanese idea which has been pushed to the forefront of British mainstream fashion. And we can also thank Japanese designers for introducing oversized garments back into our wardrobes. It is quite remarkable the way in which the simplicity of Japanese design is often what inspires the bestsellers in high street shops like Zara and Topshop. Japanese design has the ability to sell in high street shops but it also has the ability to influence the worlds most renowned designers like Margiela, Owens and Simons who have all credited Kawakubo and co for aiding them into fruition, a compliment which is not handed out too often. Recently, streetwear has been the biggest beneficiary from the influx with brands like Vetements using the Japanese oversized trend to full effect in most of their recent collections, which has propelled the brand to the pinnacle of Global fashion.

Nowadays, the next generation of Japanese designers continue to use Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto’s legacy to full effect. The designs are practical and hardwearing yet stunningly beautiful and completely individual. The technology used is in producing these garments is incredibly advanced and again, is an example of how Japanese culture permeates into Fashion and design.

As long as Japan keeps pushing boundaries the rest will follow behind.

Credits

Fashion writing, styling and photography-  Peter Bajenski                                     Fashion Feature Writing & Styling Student @ Glasgow Clyde

Model – Elena Stevenson

 

 

Yasmine Amani

The GSA student putting propaganda, poise and Putin at the forefront of textiles

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Yasmine Amani met me at the front of her studio with a large blue Ikea bag filled with her intricately embellished, irreverent designs. A 3rd year Textiles & Embroidery Glasgow School of Art student; she sent heads turning with her first collection this year. We walked round to CCA to sit down over a couple of G ‘n’ Ts, and I got to know the girl applying politics to fashion with her decadent embroidered pieces. There’s something pretty unconventional about sending dictators Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un’s faces down the catwalk on sportswear, so I wanted to know where her ideas and influences originated.

Yasmine’s primary influence is her Dad and his love of luxe sportswear; “My dad is algerian, I model my aesthetic on my dad, he’s definitely an icon when it comes to tracksuits”. The athleisure style Yasmin’s father sports is a recurring  theme of that informed her collection, as we are frequently informed by the narratives present in her father’s native Algeria.

Keeping the sportswear tradition in the family, Amani sits in front of me rocking a pair of custom harem style trousers with Kim Jong Un embellished on the derrière. I can’t help but be reminded of the cruise’ 18 collection from luxury high fashion house Gucci.

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As a designer, her texture and style inspiration hails from high fashion houses Gucci and Versace; “The detailing in the Gucci snake and the symbolic meaning behind the design reminds me of tapestry and the old forgotten arts”.

This year fashion pop culture’s perennial fascination with religion took centre stage, in particular Catholicism, at this years Metropolitan Gala in New York. Versace presented us with dramatic designs emblazoned with silver Byzantine crosses,  sumptuous gold colours and extravagant ecclesiastical accessories. Yasmine’s collection depicts similar contrasting elements, between street leisure wear and political iconography. ‘Mapping the correlation between propaganda and religious iconography; mixing the halo with leisure wear”

Yasmine sourced her items from various vintage boutiques and shops for her first collection. Fila and Slazenger silk tracksuits and a simple black shift dress which she added frills, gemstones, rhinestones and exquisite fabrics to create the visual imagery on her designs.  

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Luxury sportswear designer’s have been know to be antithetical to the mass produced cheap materials on sportswear. Gucci sells tracksuits and sportswear but would never consider the thought of it being recognised as sportswear. In addition to the fashion world’s own long-running fetishisation of the street, it has blurred the divide that traditionally separated the runway from the streets. Within high fashion, certain figures have done their best to make sportswear feel like an unwelcome guest at a party.

Drawn in by the Ego and narcissism of the dictators, her work disempowers them by highlighting their obsession with their own image. These figures are extremely visual in their presence. Putin presents himself in velvet and velour tracksuits and string vests whilst weightlifting, constantly trying to prove his masculinity and his powerful role as Russian President. However Putin has started to shift from the image of the tough fighter and a miracle-maker to the image of a considered man and the leader of a young team. He is the country’s brand. “Putin is a VERY visual man”.

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Kim Jong’s expression on Yasmine’s garments is a constant beaming smile. Kim sports a peasant-style outerwear, but appears intent on modernizing his country’s look with a suave haircut, which fellow North Koreans are forbidden to copy. With his androgynous attitude and demure what can we possibly do but laugh at this political figure who has indifferent views on how his country survives, resulting in mass poverty and uncertainty.   

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When it comes to designing the pieces, each is drawn, placed by hand then beaded around the face, finally contour around the face and position it.

With fourth year looming and a six piece collection to curate, we don’t know what to expect from this new designer, but we hope for more current over the top decorate designs with an injection of humour.

“My time at GSA is a chance to experiment with fabric, textures and create pieces people will enjoy. I hope to follow it with a masters in fine art”

Yasmine’s designs caught my eye at the GSA March fashion show earlier this year and for me stole the show with their unpredictability and decadence, “What you wear is itself as an expression, so i create one off pieces’’. This designer has a fierce experimental outlook on fashion. For a first collection, it was bold, expressive and current. Yasmine is a very talented woman who is creating iconic and eye-catching unpredictable fashion. “I believe i am headstrong in my approach to embody unpredictable entertaining fashion”.

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Since showing her collection in March, Yasmine’s pieces are featured in acclaimed independent visual zine SYN Magazine.

 

Credits

Creative Director, Fashion Writer & Stylist – Caoimhe McKay, Fashion Feature Writing & Styling Student @ Glasgow Clyde

Designer – Yasmine Amani (itsyasmineamani)

Photography –  Jonathan Ashworth (jonny_ashworth)

Model – Eilidh Maxwell (eilidh95)

Location – North Woodside Glasgow

 

 

The Fairtrade Furore

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Getting Right to the Heart of Fashion

Fair-trade, ethical, eco, reclaimed, recycled may sound like buzz words or fashion fads but they are definitely hear to stay. My early twenties were filled with days of shopping for sale dresses from uber cool high street shops, one in every colour because they were cheap and easy and why the hell not? I laugh to myself at the frivolity of it all but my cheeks burn at the ignorance of my younger self.

Thankfully our appetite for fast, throwaway fashion seems to be waning. You only have to look at designers like Vivienne Westwood who is on a one-woman crusade to tackle climate change or Eco fashion activist and wife of Mr Darcy, Livia Firth who believes we should have the same attitude to our clothes as we do to our food,

“We’re trying nowadays to eat healthy, avoid pesticides, eat fresh and green,” she said. “Why not care about the clothes we wear in the same way—where they were made, and what they really cost in human and environmental terms?”

In the age of equality, where for the first time in history the editor of British vogue is a black man (Edward Enniful) and cover stars like Adwoa Aboah are the supermodels of this generation.  It would be hypocritical of the fashion industry to overlook the people who can relate to them most, who aspire to be them, the people who see themselves in them. How can we revere the work of Indian designers like Ashish Gupta when the child labour rates in parts of India continue to rise? How can we as human beings knowingly profit from the mistreatment of the people who enable us to make Icons of the chosen few and will us to look like them.

This is not about sanctimony but about being aware and making informed choices.

You only have to look at high street brands like H&M, with their conscious collection or Asos Made In Kenya to see that fashion is evolving and consumer tastes are changing. More than ever we as consumers want fashion that is fun, not uniform, we want to stand out not fit in and we want all of this while being conscious of what and where we are buying from. We are choosing clothes that will not only make us look good but feel good about ourselves.

A local brand with ethics firmly at the heart of it is Kochiba, stylish wooden timepieces that stand out as much for their unusual style as their contribution to women and children throughout the globe.

Niraj Desai or NJ to his friends, at first glance is not your typical fashion designer. Raised Hindu and now a practicing Buddhist, he is quietly confident but modest with it and although at first seems reluctant to divulge too much about himself (because, he says he’s aware that too much ego is a common problem these days.) It’s clear that kindness and giving back to others is at the heart of everything he does.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background and also the background of the company?

My name is Niraj, NJ to most, and I’m love to create things. I’m originally from Zambia, Africa, born and raised and eventually ended up in Scotland after meeting my wife and getting married.

I started KOCHIBA late in 2015 and thinking back it was like a sudden flash of inspiration, it came from nowhere. Earlier on in the year, I was thinking about starting a business and although I have an IT background I wanted this business to allow me to be creative. When I first saw wooden watches on the internet, I couldn’t believe it. At the time they were different and I was fascinated by them.  It took a lot of research and a lot of learning the business side of things, but I knew that wooden watches was what I wanted to do and eventually Kochiba was born.

How would you describe Kochiba watches?

I would say that KOCHIBA times pieces are different from anything out there, not just because they’re produced from natural wood but also because they combine this with style, they are also fashion Item and when we started designing our watches there wasn’t anything that combine the two quite as much.

What does KOCHIBA mean?

Whilst looking at a list of types of woods online, a Japanese plant called kobushi caught my eye, aesthetically it appealed to me. I played with variations of the word and KOCHIBA was the one that stuck. Regardless of the name, I wanted to have a brand that I could resonate with, and brand that I would buy from and be proud of and KOCHIBA with its motivations and social responsibility is aiming to be that.

What is the African/Scottish connection and how did you choose the names for the watches?

I was born in Zambia and that’s where I spent 20 years of my life before moving to Australia to attend university.

My wife, Victoria is Scottish and she & I spent countless hours, after the design process, deciding what each one was going to be named. I always admired some of the Scottish names of places. We literally sat in from of Google maps and jumped from place to place and picked the nicest sounding names that subliminally matched the watches. We still have a few that haven’t been released yet and have still to be added to the range.

Why was it important to ensure that your brand was ethical and that Kochiba is socially responsible?

Being from a developing country, I always felt very privileged to be living in a western country. When my best friend and I went to Australia to go to university we’d have many lager fuelled discussions about how lucky we were and how we could use our privilege to help people who came from similar places to us but weren’t as fortunate and so it seemed obvious to me that I had a social responsibility as well as the motivation to help people to cultivate a healthy mind-set.

Do you have any connection to the fashion industry and why did you decide to set up a watch brand?

I wouldn’t say I have any connection to the fashion industry, I have an IT  (NJ laughs at the thought of himself in the fashion industry. Seemingly oblivious that’s exactly where he is) though I’m attracted to style and functionality I think due to the nature of our product, we tend to get people from within the fashion industry or people who are  into fashion approach us about content and promotion and so that has launched us in fashion circles and it’s nice.

Watches just have a unique appeal, people love them for their mix of colours, styles and designs. Something I see myself doing is paying attention to what people are wearing and looking to see which one of our designs would go with it.

Where do you get your inspiration for your deigns?

I love simple design, something minimal without too much going on and so we designed some of the models to be very simple but bold and colourful against the natural colours of the wood. I also admire some of the retro designs that you see in older movies and pictures and this also served as an inspiration on a couple of the models.

Can you tell me about the design and manufacturing process of the watches?

Our designs are the product of countless hours of mixing colours and types of wood until we come up with the combination that looks best. Once we decide on a final watch style and how they may compliment different people’s styles, we then work on the details with designers in Asia to finally bring the KOCHIBA designs to life.

It would be great to hear about your partnerships with Womankind and CINDI K. Why did you choose those organisations to partner with and what do you hope to achieve?

From the brands commencement, I always wanted some sort of giving back to a good cause. When looking at a range of charities, I came across Womankind Worldwide and what I loved about them was that they were pushing for women’s rights and equality as well as empowering and educating women globally. Coming from a developing country, I know the importance of women in communities and the role they play as leaders and I believe that we can resolve and improve a lot of issues if women are at the forefront. As for CINDI, when I went back to Zambia to visit family, Victoria and myself decided to visit this school for orphaned children and I remember going there when I used to live in Zambia. The role they play in helping orphaned and vulnerable children in getting an education is indescribable, and so I decided that since I have a small brand and a growing social media platform, that I could use it to help their cause.

 What they need aside from money is young people who can help devote some time and effort and this is something I’m able to help with and raise awareness of. I will continue to do this as long as I possibly can.

Are there any other partnerships or initiatives planned?

Maybe in future but not right now. Kochiba is a relatively small brand and although our contributions may be small we are focused on assisting Womankind and CINDI as best as we can.

How would you describe the Kochiba customer?

It would be tricky to box the people that buy a timepiece as I’ve learned that they are all different but if I had to pick the most common it would be a watch lover who is looking for something unique and maybe like the idea of buying to give back.

If you could choose anyone (celebrity or public figure) who would you love to wear your brand?

I would have to go with RZA of the Wu Tang, an easy choice for avid hip hop enthusiast.

What’s next for you and Kochiba and what do you hope to achieve with the brand in the next five years?

We hope to continue growing and adding new products to our range of watches. We hope that in the next five years, the brand has grown to an established brand that people can gravitate towards for its ethos and model.

…And finally, the theme of this article is Next generation. How do you hope Kochiba inspires and encourages the next generation?

I hope that the next generation can continue with its wave of creating social enterprises and building business with empathy and sustainability rather than a traditional theme of chasing profit. I also want Kochiba to be an example of how easier it is to pursue and build something in today’s world. Have fun with fashion but think about what you’re buying too.

Fashion has always been about choice and I hope I’ve given you something to think about before you make your next purchase.

Stylist & Creative Director: Claire McGuire, Fashion FeatureWriting & Styling Student
Photographer: Kevin J Thomson
Make Up Artist:  Misha McCullagh
Model:  Sarah-Louise Main

Depop: The Modern/Greener/Cooler Way to Shop & Sell

 

I chat to one of Depop’s Top 50 Sellers Worldwide, to find out about the app from the seller’s perspective.

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Christie Eccles of Depop shop Christie’s Cupboard, is a 24-year old entrepreneur based in Glasgow. Her business, Christie’s Cupboard, has 104,000 followers, and often finds itself ranked in the top 50 sellers worldwide. Her brand is fresh and authentic, specialising in handpicked 90s and 00s vintage that she sources from charity and vintage shops, kilo sales, as well as eBay and wholesale stockists. Her brand is clear and consistent, tapping into the growing popularity of 90s street wear style among young people.

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Christie and I were planning a photoshoot together; she had agreed to model, as well as contribute some 90s/00s clothing to the shoot. Before we get down to business, I’ve tonnes of questions for her about her business. I’m surprised (and envious) that Depop is her full-time job – mixing business with pleasure in this way seems too good to be true.

If you’ve never heard of Depop, it’s been described as a cross between eBay, Instagram and Pinerest. It uses a mobile app that works in a similar, but less formal way to eBay, where customers bid on items for sale and the seller accepts the best offer. Depop CEO, Maria Raga, thinks that the app solves three of the biggest problems that young shoppers and sellers face: they want to feel unique, to shop with (and from) friends, and to build their own green businesses without losing a drop of street cred.

About Christie

So, what did Christie’s journey to success look like? After getting a degree in International Business from the University of Edinburgh, Christie did a year and a half travelling around Australia and New Zealand. She spent periods of time working for catering companies and cafes in order to fund the next chapter of her travels. It was whilst down under that she began using Instagram to sell vintage clothing and accessories, encouraging auction-style comments underneath the photos. She recalls a few occasions where she shocked herself at how easy it was to make money there; she once sold a pair of sunglasses for $60, when she had originally purchased them for only $2. It isn’t the first story she tells me that shows she has her ‘business head’ screwed on. Christie has been selling clothes online since a young age, using platforms like eBay, ASOS marketplace and local vintage fairs. At 14 years old and in the early days of Primark beginning its migration from Ireland to the UK, Christie recognised increasing popularity and buzz surrounding the retailer, and bulk-bought Primark handbags only to then sell them online for a profit: the classic supply and demand approach.

On returning to Glasgow from her travels, Christie saw no reason not to turn this talent into her full-time job. She enjoyed it, and clearly had a flair for it. On top of this, she has one essential tool that helps her business run smoothly: an enthusiastic and proud mum who loves nothing more than to be Christie’s styling assistant as she trawls vintage shops searching for hidden treasures. Her mum’s background in the furniture and shoe business probably helps a bunch too; I guess that an eye for product and design runs in the family.

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What does the future hold?

On average, Christie will sell 10 items of clothing a day. Depop are paid a fee from her weekly takings, but in the absence of overheads, I can’t help thinking that Depop, and sellers such as Christie, are ahead of the game. Depop is the modern way to shop, and to sell. Sellers operate in a realm that is not monitored or regulated (yet) in the same way that a traditional retailer would be. Success is built and reliant upon volume of followers, much like the mysterious and (still) relatively new world of ‘Instagram influencers’.

We chatted about the future and where Christie envisages her fashion business going. She acknowledged that Depop will probably not be around forever and that 90s and 00s style is likely to go out of fashion again. It’s reassuring that she is so forward thinking in her approach and that she’s far from naive or complacent about her situation. To my surprise, Christie confessed that she worries about how her body will change over time, and if this will have an impact on her success and ability to sell clothes. I go to interject and say something reassuring, but she catches me and says, ‘My mum told me not to worry about it though, that my followers will age with me.’

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Christie modestly admitted that she would love to design her own clothing range at some point – I personally don’t think that this is an outrageous idea. She has gained a significant following, and importantly, gained their trust. She conducts her business in a fair and dignified way, whilst maintaining a cutting edge in the second-hand fashion world. I think any fashion designer would be lucky to have her.

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Credits

Writer & Coordinator – Niamh Tumilty

Clothing – provided by Christie’s Cupboard

Photography –  Andrew Cawley (@acawleyphoto)

Model – Christie Eccles

Location – Carlton Bingo Hall, Partick

 

 

 

A Japanese Influence: Menswear

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Harajuku street fashion. Manga-inspired pop culture. Lolita girls.

… just some of the associations that spring to mind when thinking of Japanese fashion?

Well, there is also another Japanese aesthetic currently taking on a cult like status amongst fashion aficionados; one that is minimalist, subtle and cool.

Someone who is passionate about menswear coming out of Japan is Ross Whitehall. For this photoshoot, I worked with and spoke to both Ross Whitehall and his girlfriend Ruth Bennet; both of whom I am lucky enough to call close friends.

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Ross has an expansive collection of clothes like no other male I know. He takes a deep interest in the story behind the clothes that he buys and sees his purchases as very much investment pieces. For the shoot, we used clothes from Needles, Beams Plus, Ordinary Fits, Rough and Rugged, Hatski, Often, Bass Weejuns and Anonymusism.

 

In these designs we see boxy shapes and clean-cut lines. The designs don’t shout a specific brand label and the fashion houses are eponymous with premium quality, hand craftmanship and longevity. There is a sense of cult to the labels that attract enthusiasts only. It is a passion. A way of life. I know from speaking to Ross that details right down to the type of socks is a conscious decision.

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Speaking to Ross, he shares some of his inspiration, knowledge and passion….

How did you get interested in fashion coming out of Japan and have you been to Japan?

I started spending money from my part time job during Uni on clothes that were generally more difficult to get hold of. Most of the brands were solely available in Japan and I sort of became obsessed with hunting things down that no one could get hold of.

What sets Japanese fashion apart from other clothing coming out of the UK at the moment?

Japan has a rich heritage when it comes to attention to detail and quality. I have pieces that are over 10 years old that get regular wear and look amazing.

Who are your favourite Japanese designers and fashion houses?

Visvim, Ordinary Fits, Needles, Beams Plus are my favourites.

Describe your style and how Japanese designers and fashion houses influence your style?

As I’ve gotten older I tend to stay away from loud graphics. I gravitate towards really well made items that have subtle, unusual details (though the Needles rebuilt shirts [shown in the shoot below] aren’t very subtle!)

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Who’s style do you admire?

John Mayer, Old Levi’s adverts from the 50s, Hirohito Nakamura, Stephen Mann.

What clothes and designers have been used for our fashion shoot and why do you admire them?

Most of the items used are Beams Plus – the offshoot of Beams who make amazing classic garments that are heavily influenced from Americana of the 30s/40s, such as the navy and khaki chinos. They are so well made and seem to get better with age as they wear and fade.

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Talk us through the pin badge on your jacket…

It’s a pin of a design by and artist called Hikeyuki Katsumata – he had an installation at the DCA in Dundee, where my girlfriend Ruth studied. We went whilst I was through for the weekend and loved it. She bought me it after we saw the exhibition. It’s quite unusual and it also reminds me of her.

What is your most treasured piece of Japanese clothing?

When I got my first bonus I bought a pair of High Water Visvim chinos. They cost far too much to ever justify but I still have them and wear them regularly. They still look amazing. No regrets!

How important is fashion to you?

It’s more of a hobby actually. I love collecting items that I know I’ll have for ages and that I know were ethically made.

What was your most recent Japanese fashion purchase?

I bought a boat neck long sleeve Tieasy t shirt. I wore it to work last Friday and almost melted in the heat. A true fashion victim

Where do you get your clothing from; and do you find it hard to source items in Glasgow?

Physical store – W2 or 18 Montrose. Though I mostly shop online. My favourite being Alpha Shadows based in Peckham.

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What is your next “must have” Japanese fashion item?

I probably won’t know until I see it! I’d like to get a Nanamica raincoat for the summer – I have a feeling I’ll be needing it.

If you had to summarise Japanese fashion in three words what three words would you use?

In terms of the Japanese brands I gravitate towards: Slow. Classic. Subtle.

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Speaking with Ross while choosing the clothes for the shoot I’m left with a feeling of optimism for an area of fashion that I knew little about before. It makes me think about the longevity of the pieces that I buy and also the history of a piece of clothing. Against a contemporary fashion landscape, where the focus is often on “fast fashion”, a lot of the pieces shown in the shoot are sustainable: they are pieces made to last a lifetime or recycled from old materials like the t-shirts from Needles.  I can see why Ross and others are so passionate about these Japanese designs.

Location: Glasgow West End

Writer & Photographer: Caitlin Douglas

Models: Ross Whitehall and Ruth Bennet

Styling: Caitlin Douglas & Ross Whitehall

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With thanks to my lovely friends: Ruth and Ross.