By CYNTHIA GREGOIRE, @cynthializa, www.cynthializa.com
In 2009, Liam Gallagher – in an uncharacteristically low key fashion – co-founded a menswear label called Pretty Green which drew inspiration from his distinct personal style. Five years on this year, contrary to the naysayers, the label shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it has grown to include Green Label, Black Label and, new in SS14, The Walrus as well as collaborations with iconic musicians such as Paul Weller as well as wider accessories, footwear and eyewear ranges. Whereas Green Label is inspired by Liam, Black Label is more luxe. The USP of both? Classic British style and unexpected detail underpinned by a seriously rock and roll outlook to design.
This June, the label showcased its Spring Summer 15 Black label collection, entitled ‘The Production’, at the Gibson Brand studio. There was directional tailoring, sharp geometric print Italian-cut suits; outerwear including sharp Harringtons and parka jackets; pony-skinned leopard print loafers (a reference to the Yves Saint Laurent loafers Liam wore in 2009?). Here are five reasons why we love Pretty Green …
1. The rockstar approves every garment.
Liam says claims there’s not a garment in Pretty Green’s range that he would not wear himself. He has the last say on designs and, if something is not up to his fashion standards, whether it be the cut or quality, it “gets binned”. Liam has also been and continues to be recognizable when it comes to fashion statements. He knows what he likes and wears it well. A few key fashion moments include the classic Burberry checked shirt (1995), aviator style shades with denim jacket, jeans and scarf (Heathen Chemistry, 2002), red leather jacket (2005 Manchester gig) and the unforgettable white parka with fur collar worn at Glastonbury (2004). Never styled by anyone other than yours truly, Liam Gallagher certainly won’t have any of this ‘taming one’s inner peacock.’
2. The formula works.
Forced to summarize Pretty Green aesthetic, it would pretty much come down to this: Mod Italian fashion meets Rock ‘n Roll. Think black leather jackets, perfectly tailored, skinny lapeled Italian suits in the finest of fabrics, paisley psychedelic prints as worn by icons such as John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix – and, of course, parkas in every possible shape and colour. Every season features garments whose silhouette, prints and fabric have had a special moment in history, tell a story and, most importantly, make sure young men everywhere look good without needing to ‘understand fashion.’ ‘We don’t follow trends,’ says design director Pat Salter.
3. It’s not just about the clothes.
Pretty Green isn’t just about looking good. It creatively integrates areas of pop culture ad music. Expect live DJ shows and gigs after hours at local Pretty Green Stores with familiar faces such as Paul Gallagher and Clint Boon spinning vinyl. Catwalk shows are held at historical music venues graced by the likes of The Who, John Lennon, The Beat Club and, like SS15, the Gibson Studios. Charities near to Liam’s heart such as Teenage Cancer Trust and the British Red Cross Tsunami appeal for relief of Japan’s tsunami in 2011 have been important moments in the label’s history, with special collectors’ items created specially to raise awareness and funds.
4. YOU are part of the brand.
Pretty Green was born at the quivering start of the digital media revolution and, as such, like many of today’s brands, it isn’t confined to bricks and mortar. FB, Twitter and Instagram; it’s easy to be part of the Pretty Green community. There are endless contests running to win free clothing, premiere and catwalk show tickets or personal shopping sprees with Liam Gallagher. Members of the week are featured regularly on social media channels.
5. Five years and still going strong.
Pretty Green started as a small pop-up shop in Selfridges in 2009. Since then, it has expanded across England from obviously appropriate Carnaby Street to Liam’s music history rich hometown Manchester, as well as into the fashion-savvy, Brit-hungry Japanese market. The label won the Draper’s Menswear of the Year Award in 2010. We’re looking forward to more.