18 May 2018

MR P. My Way SS18

MR P.  Blouson Jacket | MR P. Boucle-Stripe Tee | MR P. Camp Collar Shirt | Whistles Trousers | Converse Sneakers | Cutler & Gross Glasses

Along with a handful of creatives, writers, entrepreneurs + craftsmen from from all around the world, I was recently invited by MR PORTER to style a few pieces from the SS18 MR P. collection. The collection itself is full of easy to wear pieces, none of which are screaming out to out any particular trend or time period - the hallmarks of a versatile wardrobe, that will only improve with age. That's my kind of thinking.

MR P.'s latest capsule collection sticks to a soft pallet of blues, greens, beige, grey, with some added faded reds and orange. A splash of colour would have gone down a treat for me, but for our morning spent at Lyle's Restaurant in Shoreditch, the weather wasn't up to much, so I matched that with three muted pieces which matched my personality - with the Boucle-Stripe textured t-shirt being the no.1 top dog for me.

If the opportunity comes around again I'd love to show the MR PORTER team around some of my favourite stops in Manchester, I know they'd love it!

Photography by Lauren Luxenberg for MR PORTER.

13 May 2018

Embracing Downtime

mat buckets wearing paul smith linen shirt, moscot blonde sunglasses, instrmnt watch and whistles chinos in manchester
Paul Smith Linen Shirt (gifted) | Paul Smith Long Sleeve Tee | Whistles Trousers | Instrumnt Watch | Moscot Sunglasses

The title of this blog post may suggest that I've fully learnt how to embrace downtime, but I'm not quite there yet. In fact, this short entry will serve as the perfect reminder for me to not forget how important it is to down tools and recharge. 

The weekend can be a funny thing for anyone who is self-employed: sometimes I'll find myself away from home working on a projects in a different country, or in a early morning meeting, other Sundays I'll be roping Hollie in to point + shoot my camera while I rearrange a corner of our living room all ready for some up-coming Instagram content. I love my job, but the work/play balance is key.

Sometimes I just want to dedicate time things away from work. There's that fence panel that needs fixing, those prints that need framing, and those weeds don't get rid of themselves...maybe I should stop by to see my Mum more often...I think it's imperative to a healthy life that I don't take the slower moments for granted. 

Photography by Anthony Lee.

25 Apr 2018

A Change of Climates | Genova Travel Diary with Ralph Lauren

mat buckets wearing ralph lauren mesh white polo shirt custom fit in italy
 Mediterranean mode was fully activated in Genova, Italy. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ralph Lauren
boccadasse fishing vllage in genova north coast italy
mat buckets wearing ralph lauren mesh white polo shirt custom fit in italy
mat buckets wearing ralph lauren mesh white polo shirt custom fit in italy
textures and colours in genova, italy
When an important anniversary rolls around it’s worth reflecting on the journey that we've took to this point in time. Pulling out all the stops to commemorate such an occasion is one of life's joys looking back on those memories that will cement themselves in time. It’s hard to believe that myself and Hollie will soon be celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary, it feels like yesterday!

But first, we have another event to get the party poppers out for. 2018 marks 50 years of Ralph Lauren: an iconic within pop culture. Which brings us to one of the brand’s most recognisable pieces, an item which constantly finds itself fitting into the category of timeless (and effortless if your initials are JFK): The Mesh Polo Shirt. Many menswear aficionados would consider the humble polo shirt as a staple in their wardrobes since they were yey high you'd be hard-pressed to find a gent who hasn't worn one at some point in his life.

To celebrate this anniversary we this we took a two hour plane journey, from Manchester, over to the historical Italy city of Genova - the birthplace of America’s founding father, Christopher Columbus, and home to one of the most significant port industries in the whole of Europe. Would you believe that our whole trip cost us less than a two-day round trip to London?! I think I'll be making similar excursions more often...

The city itself mirrors many of Ralph Lauren’s distinctively recognisable qualities; seldom effected by time, always improving with age, and at its core, charmingly simple.

boccadasse fishing vllage in genova north coast italy
cornflower yellow converse 70s in shadows and natural light
grand builing and home in genova italy
boccadasse fishing vllage in genova north coast italy, textures and colours
yellow and grey building in genova, italy with shadows and tradional shutters
rustic streets in genova, italy
mat buckets wearing ralph lauren mesh white polo shirt custom fit in italy
mat buckets wearing ralph lauren mesh white polo shirt custom fit in italy, iphone 6 and folk trousers
Mesh Polo Shirt c/o Ralph Lauren | Trousers by Folk x MR PORTER | 
Sneakers by Converse | Sunglasses by Moscot

One walk around the city’s historical quarter left me wondering why my only prior knowledge of Genova was from watching Football Italian when I was a young boy. Winding, narrow pathways seemingly leading to nowhere, shadowed by towering building, each showing signs of weathering from decades of bombardment from the Mediterranean sun. Look + listen; you’ll hear locals sharing conversations across balconies, unintentional beauty with colour-matching laundry hanging from washing lines, bleached-out power cables + everyday life barely altered by modernisation. Genova truly felt like "old Italy"; a close-knit community built on family values, hard work and honesty qualities which I know the Ralph Lauren the brand is centred around.

The Mesh Polo Shirt is a piece of clothing I’m revisiting at a time in my life where I feel at ease with my personal style. Experimentation from at early age saw me sporting polo shirts on countless occasion, but it’s an item that has eluded by wardrobe for half a decade.

The breathable qualities of the polo came in handy for the 30° heatwave we found ourselves in. I felt at ease knowing that my outfit would take me through the day; from a 9am breakfast of pastries + coffee, to a late night dinner at a local gem known as Groove Burger. Polo Shirt 1-0 Ketchup.

One feeling that did come over me when wearing the fresh white polo shirt was confidence. I'm not sure if it was the freedom of being somewhere new or the fact that I was pretty pleased with my styling choice, but everything about wearing the polo shirt just felt right. It's garments such as Ralph Lauren's lived-in Mesh Polo Shirt, worn-out blue jeans, sun-bleached baseball caps, classic Chucks or threadbare chinos that evoke what true Americana means to me; a honest reflection of an individual personality.

Photography by Jake Millers.

This post is an paid partnership with Ralph Lauren. Your support of the brands + businesses we work with helps make this blog happen.

20 Apr 2018

Stepping Back to Push Forward

mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers and asket sweatshirt and a days march chore jacket
 Revisiting Manchester with a fresh mindset + an eagerness to try new things
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers and asket sweatshirt
mat buckets in converse one star and universal works indigo trousers
mat buckets in coffee shop in manchester
mat buckets in coffee shop in manchester

A Day's March Jacket | Asket Sweatshirt | Paul Smith Tee | Universal Works Trousers c/o Gardrobe | Form&Thread Socks | Converse One Star | Tote Bag c/o Millican | Void Watch

Sometimes it's good to look back at past successes to push forward with new ones. A few weeks ago I headed face-first into a metaphorical creative brick wall it was the first time I'd experienced this feeling since becoming a freelancer. As I reflect on this now I realise there was a number of factors contributing to this slump; crappy weather, becoming irritated with deceptive tactics being used on social media, the lack of paid work coming my way and frustration with my own camera skills.

But, I don't want to dwell on the negatives, that doesn't serve any of us well. In fact, taking the positives from a negative situation has really helped me get "over it". Talking about my feelings helped tenfold, even if it was just to a 4.7 inch iPhone screen via Instagram Stories.

A few people suggested ways to combat a creative dip; step away from the work to clear your head, move on to something completely different, try to figure out the components that you aren't happy with, or my personal favourite go smash some stuff!

I did, however, find a certain solace in looking back at past projects, blog posts + creative work that I've been proud of (and the pieces of content which had that little bit of extra magic). Sometimes it's the natural light doing the hard work, other times it's the styling of an outfit against a certain location that fits perfectly, or maybe it was the photographer who had a super cool idea and things just fell into place. On many occasions inspiration comes from my close friend Jordan Bunker has had a hugely positive effect on my creativity over the past 24 months.

Looking back on past achievements is seldom a waste of time, in fact it seems to be the main driving factor for enabling me to push forward, learn from mistakes and take my work in the direction that feels natural for me.

Photography by Jake Millers. Thank you to Just Between Friends for letting us take over their coffee shop!

15 Apr 2018

A Look Around Our House | My Workspace

anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp and dan marc writing desk
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp and dan marc writing desk
anglepoise paul smith type 75 lamp, dan marc writing desk, hay ikea chair
gf smith design book and mat buckets workspace
stone cold steve austin action figure
hey ikea shelving collaboration
simple design magazine rack

It feels like ages since I last did any kind of home / office update, so yesterday morning I took full advantage of the early morning sunshine, and quickly pointed my camera in the direction of some of my favourite details.

My office is where I spend most of my time when I'm working from home, and it's my personal preference to have this space as uplifting and motivating as possible. We turned our tiny box room into my workspace, but it acts more as a place to store some of our favourite possessions and memories that we have picked up on our travels :)

Two of my favourite pieces in here are also two of my most loved possessions: the Dan Marc Writing Desk (worth checking his Instagram account for updates) + the Anglepoise x Paul Smith Type 75 lamp. My personal relationship with British designer Dan Marc (we've been friends for around three years, but within the first few months we spent 10 days travelling around Japan) has cemented my love for this locally designed + produced work of art. The Type 75 Desk Lamp was a very thoughtful gifted from Hollie + my in-laws, for my 30th birthday - it one combines my love for playful colour + progressive design.

Point your eyes towards our shelves and you'll find some of my favourite beer label designs, mementos from holidays + work trips, characters that remind us both of our childhood (I value the journey from childhood to adulthood extremely important) + other bits and bobs that we think look nice together.

Then there's the other corner of the room that doesn't get any camera time, and that's because it's an absolute mess! Let's just call it a work in progress. I hope you've enjoyed this little look around my current workspace set-up.

Also in my office space:

Postcards by my friends Haarkon + It's Nice That
Chair + Shelving by HAY
Skateboard by Penny Skateboards
Toolbox by Vitra via Utility
Magazine Rack by Rockett St George
Stone Cold Steve Austin!