For AW18 Gola once again delivers a collection of truly inspiring footwear that reflects back to its decade-long heritage. Along with some of the timeless classics, this season sees a selection of new and updated silhouettes that take AW18’s biggest trends to a new level. Mixing classic with modern, the trainers are given a lift with imaginative fabrics and details that add a contemporary twist whilst still maintaining a sleek, classic look
The recent hype around functional outerwear has reflected in a new direction in footwear, seen in some of Gola’s new season trainer styles. Inspired by outdoor and camping activities, the theme puts a new spin on urban footwear with influences from trekking and climbing gear. The silhouettes are clean and contemporary, accented by hardware details and pops of bright colours. A perfect interpretation of the trend is the Men’s Lowland Millerian designed for the return of the Gola Classics x British Millerian collaboration. This silhouette has been reworked in British Millerian fabrics including an olive waxed canvas and a water resisting suede toe facing and counter, perfectly suitable for the sophisticated urban commuter. More of the utilitarian vibe can be seen on the popular Men’s Montreal Camo trainer, the Harrier Millerian or Men’s Monarch in Camo/Gum.
Not to miss one of Gola’s long-time fabric favourites – the suede. Its luxurious texture remains highly popular for the AW18 season and also taps into the outdoor adventure trend. Gola has developed a palette of new deep earthy colours incorporated into some of the best-selling styles in suede. If you are thinking about Harrier, you’re probably not wrong, but we’d like to turn your attention to some of the new additions to Gola Classic’s trainer collection: the Men’s Tourist and Men’s Inca trainers. If you like a modern court sport style and a truly heritage feel, then look no further. Tourist sports a cognac suede upper and a subtle punched wingflash to the side. Available in a classic black and deep cognac, this timeless silhouette will keep your urban look on point. Introduced for AW18, Men’s Inca Suede adds an edge to the collection with its active, street-ready look. Featuring a gum sole unit and a nylon tongue, Inca Suede can be found in a navy, khaki or ash colour options.
Speaking of nylons, AW18’s catwalks are a proof that technical nylons, and especially those which have a hard-wearing feel, have moved from a functional use to a design highlight.
The lightweight fabric is featured on casual every-day footwear and is accented by splashes of contrasting tones to complement the utilitarian trend. Updated for the season, the Men’s Flyer, originally developed in 1975, sees this retro trainer in light nylon and suede upper, and a contrasting wingflash. The style is available in three colour options as seen below.
Stay tuned for the trendiest women’s styles from Gola’s AW18.
We don’t like to admit it, but it is edging closer and closer to colder and darker days (nooo!) most of us haven’t even been on a summer holiday yet, but in the world of fashion AW18 has begun.
Here we have some of the new in collection that you can wear now and later in the year, call them the ultimate transitional trainers if you will….
The classic Harrier has been updated for AW18 in new seasonal colours. Harrier is one of our most popular styles and dates back to the 1960s and the transformation of the style has been minimal, just slight updates to keep the silhouette modern. For AW18 the Harrier is in deeper earthier tones which are so on trend this AW! Pair these with anything in your wardrobe, but for true style a pair of classic jeans and a white tee – what could be more classic!
New for AW18 the leather Inca trainer is inspired by the terrace scene and features a leather upper with suede trims. The style comes in different colour options for men and women, but all of them are a classic that can be worn throughout the seasons. If you want to create a real terrace look, wear with a Fred Perry polo t-shirt and dark denim.
Montreal got a seasonal update for AW18 in on trend velvet! This style looks great paired with jeans but if you are brave enough to keep baring your legs into Autumn wear with a midi tea dress to add a sporty edge to your look. The velvet colours are opulent and bold, so you will stand out for all the right reasons
The leather Trainer silhouette is here to stay, proving to be a popular style we have updated in new AW18 colours. Trainer is simple and stylish, with a tonal wingflash, it is minimalistic and low key. Wear the darker colours with jeans for dress down Friday for ultimate day to night smart trainers
Fashion trends are all well and good, but what you really want is a classic in your wardrobe. That one item you can go back to again and again and know you will feel and look amazing – your trusty pair of trainers!
At the moment the trend is chunky (and pretty ugly) trainers, where you need to either have legs as long as time to pull them off or style to rival an A-Lister. For the rest of us it is a strange trend, and here at Gola we are all about the classics, the styles you can keep forever and never get bored of, so here are some of our favourite Gola Classics styles that will be your wardrobe staple for a long long time.
The Bullet was originally launched in 1976 and was originally designed as a running shoe for athletes, over the years the trainer has become more of a fashion trainer and has had numerous updates to ensure it is both comfortable and durable. The simple sleek likes of the Bullet means you can pair with both summer dresses or jeans, and the colour options mean you really have something for every outfit. Our favourite is the classic Black/White Bullet.
The women’s coaster is a vulcanised sole plimsoll, the style is popular as it literally goes wit anything! The Coaster was re-introduced into the Gola Classics collection in SS17 and became a best seller, the Coaster Rainbow is one of our most popular Coaster designs – so much so we sell out on a regular basis! Make sure you keep your eye out for the next drop in September – get them before they go!
The Harrier, the most popular men’s Gola Classics style is seen on an array of celebrities like Noel Gallagher to comedian Al Murray. Originally created in 1968 the Harrier was created for athletes to train in, now like the previously mentioned Bullet, it has been updated for a modern trainer lover. Available in an array of colours you can find a pair to suit any mood.
The men’s Coaster is a vulcanised sole plimsoll (like the women’s) and comes with rubber or gum soles, the classic simple style is key to its longstanding success and can be worn in winter with our leather styles and summer with the canvas. Why not buy a pair now, you won’t regret it.
When fashion trends talk, we listen. This season bright, bold colours are the talk of the fashion town and we have three women’s Gola trainers that are ticking all the boxes for this trend.
The Gola Classics Coaster Neon collection celebrates colour. The simple silhouette of the women’s Coaster trainer is a perfect canvas for the bright colours, making each style the statement of your outfit. The three colourways are Neon Coral, a bold Coral colour which paired with a pair of white jeans and a denim shirt would make a summer statement. The Coaster Neon Yellow is a highlighter yellow colourway, team this with dark denim to really make your shoes stand out. The Coaster Neon Pastel Pink is the last colourway, this style is girly and vibrant and can be paired with a summer dress or jeans.
The women’s Gola Classics Coaster trainer was first introduced into the Gola collection in the 70’s and has since become a firm favourite, the style has a vulcanised sole and canvas upper creating a trainer that is versatile and comfortable.
Happy birthday Harrier, you have been a long and trusty friend to our wardrobe. To celebrate Harrier turning 50, we’ve taken the silhouette back to where it all began; using classic colourways from when Harrier first burst onto the sport shoe scene but with clever modern updates, this collection is everything you need this summer.
Back in 1968, Harrier was the multi-purpose training shoe of choice. Built for track and field, the gym or the pitch, Harrier led the way in sports footwear. Originally launched in statement making white/red, this colourway was soon partnered with royal blue/white as a fellow option but as the years have progressed Harrier’s colour options have run into the hundreds. Never shy of making a statement the original design featured a durable gristle rubber sole, suede toe cap, rubber toe guard, padded insole and of course the signatory contrast Gola wingflash branding.
As Harrier moved into the ‘70s it developed a new life in the form of a leisure shoe. This multi-purpose training shoe was now equally at home on the track as it was on football terraces up and down the UK. From here Harrier transcended into music culture, with a cult following from key names of the day such as The Jam. Over the decades other fans of Harrier included Duran Duran, Oasis, Robbie Williams, Jude Law and Paul Weller. For Harrier’s 50th anniversary we have seen the son’s and daughters of rock royalty wear these styles with as much style as the first time around. Raff Law (son of Jude law) and Anais Gallagher (daughter of Noel Gallagher) are two of the names sporting the new Harrier style.
Never steering far from its original form, Harrier has stood the test of fashion cycles and footwear fads to have survived five decades and be Gola’s best selling footwear style. In recognition of this accolade, Gola has launched a special edition anniversary edit of Harrier. With the design staying true to the style’s 1968 roots, the special edition is a no gimmick, purist silhouette; it’s confident, genuine and unique. There’s only one Harrier.
Inspired and named after Gola’s 1975 Flyer style, this lightweight option combines classic jogger style with modern materials. This season sees the addition of fresh and current new colourways which give a contemporary edge to this heritage shape.
The jogger silhouette is becoming more and more popular with the men’s style set, with durable and comfy materials allowing comfort and fashion forward designs you can really make your mark in this updated classic style.
Colourways come in popular white/gum for a fresh and clean addition to your outfit, with more bold colourways such as blue/navy/orange for those who want to stand out with their footwear. Classic navy/gum is a bestseller and proves that dark trainers really are a trend staple for men.
It’s official, rainbow brights are IN this season, seen everywhere on bloggers, stylists and in Instagram it is the new trend brightening up our wardrobes – and let’s face it, our moods!
We all know that April is the month for ‘April showers’ but if there is something that can brighten your mood it is our Coaster Rainbow women’s trainers.
This canvas trainer comes in 5 different colours, so you pair them up with anything in your wardrobe. The best sellers – off white/off white and optic white – look great with mom jeans and a t-shirt for a classic casual outfit, or as the weather gets a little brighter (and hopefully warmer) pair with floaty tea dresses and a denim jacket for ultimate brunch goals.
Lightweight because of the canvas outer, comfy with the inner padding we guarantee you won’t need any other trainer for this summer.
‘I need a new pair of trainers’ I hear you shout……Well, look no further!
The Bullet style is back this spring/summer with updated, on trend colourways for all your sartorial needs. Made in an array of fabrics including suede, nylon and leather along with metallic, pearl and glitter wingflash details to really up your fashion credentials.
You can build your wardrobe around these styles as easily as 1,2,3.
For the men, the classic Bullet is a go to for weekend drinks, impromptu football in the park and practically everything else you can think of. With the vast amount of colours available you can style dependent on your mood or weather – we got you covered.
With the 70s trend coming back into fashion, make sure your ahead of everyone else and bag yourself a true classic. The new colourways mean you can match them with anything, happy shopping!
It has been a long January, but pay day has finally been and you can start to think about your spring wardrobe and your wardrobe essentials.
Trainers are still big news on the fashion circuit with celebrities pairing them with everything from trouser suits to red carpet dresses (Stacy Solomon we mean you). Now while we are not saying wear your Golas with your prom dress, we are giving you updated silhouettes to wear with your everyday style.
The SS18 collection includes the bright neon Coaster to get you noticed, muted nudes and pastels on our Harrier and Bullet styles to give a feminine touch plus bold rainbow stripes on the Coaster Rainbow to go with pretty much anything you can think of.
The great 1990s are a collection of ten incredible years hallmarked in history by their contribution to fashion and music.
90s music was a burst of angst, energy, colour, dance, and soul that has never repeated itself in quite the same way. Here, we’ll let 90s music fight 90s music. From Britpop to Eurodance, find out which is worthy of a 2017 comeback.
‘Girl Power’ vs…
90s music was all about powerful and influential female groups and singers. Expressive songs, motivational videos and power ballads from bands like Eternal, Destiny’s Child, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and Christina ‘Xtina’ Aguilera were a hugely popular break from the male-dominated music scene of the time. Madonna was as omnipotent as ever and Sugababes managed to hop onto one of the last departing trains for the decade in 1998, but — of course — ‘Girl Power’ was high-kicked into a global phenomenon by the almighty Spice Girls.
An unforgettable quintet whose posters were plastered on the walls of every young girl’s bedroom during the decade, the five famously fabricated personalities of the Spice Girls gave young girls someone to identify with and pushed the idea that women could be successful independently from men (admittedly, their former manager, Simon Fuller, played a part).
Britpop was, as you can guess, all about singing for British youths and acted almost as a counter attack on the themes of American songs at the time. Bands like Blur, Oasis, The Verve, and Manic Street Preachers took influence from 60s/70s British rock music and propelled Britpop to subculture status with its own distinct clothing and attitude. 90s songs like Wonderwall and Parklife had a strong sense of local identity and working class ethics that really spoke to youths of the day, while the behaviour and atmosphere of Britpop championed the brazen maleness of ‘lad culture’ at a time when ‘Girl Power’ was about to make waves.
While Girl Power instilled self-belief and confidence in many young girls, Britpop was all about giving the working-class a mainstream platform and voice. Feminism vs. social mobility? We’re backing off and making this one a tie.
Party dance routines vs…
From Whigfield’s Saturday Night to Los del Rio’s Macarena, you have to admit the 90s were a hit for disco routines. Not only were these ideal ways of moving from the corner to the dancefloor at the unavoidable school Christmas party, but they’ve also been helping DJs crank up the party spirit at wedding receptions and 18th birthdays ever since. In this time of dabbing, twerking and whipping your hair; there was something pricelessly innocent about doing Madonna’s Vogue gestures, followed by a Steps’ 5,6,7,8 and Rednex Cotton Eye Joe hoedown.
Although 90s music was big on girls groups, the stage was fairly shared by the boy band. N’Sync and Backstreet Boys were America’s greatest exports in this industry, while Take That and Westlife fought back well for the UK and Ireland. The ballads, bubblegum pop tunes and craze-making dance routines pumped out by boy bands of the 90s created the type of frenzy seen by Elvis fans in the 50s and The Beatles followers in the 60s.
Before we knew it, there were dolls, posters, magazines, and clothing devoted to these vocal harmony groups but unfortunately, this led many to associate boy bands as being mere puppets of a money-hungry record label. Although we tired of miming shows, structured interviews and tacky merchandise, many boy bands have actually made a respectable return to the music scene in the past few years, including Take That and Backstreet Boys. So, there was talent behind the trash after all.
Although these disco dance routines are always good fun, the boy band 90s music genre was a formidable force. Even today, we wonder if Smash Hits would have kept in print without it. All in all, it’s that wonderful sense of nostalgia that has persuaded us to let the boys win this one. Nothing brings back memories of our youth than the dolls, posters, concert t-shirts, and scrapbooks filled with ‘I *heart* Justin’ of our beloved 90s boys.
Feelgood party tunes vs…
The 1990s were a feelgood decade. Home Alone was on at the cinema, the World Wide Web had its first test run, Nokia’s Snake was controlling all our minds, and Harry Potter flew into our lives. But this was also the season of boppy, catchy pop songs that still get us dancing today. In the same year that Tony Blair rode Labour back into office the Danish-Norwegian pop group, Aqua, released Barbie Girl and we were hooked. The 90s music scene was peppered with unforgettable tunes like B*Witched’s C’est la Vie, Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping, Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca, and literally anything Steps released. Yes, these weren’t lyrical masterpieces, but they were a good laugh and we all loved them back in the day.
Contemporary R’n’B and urban music
In the 1990s, the world was more connected than it’s ever been. So, let’s look at 90s music outside the UK. The greatest genre to captivate the decade was modern R’n’B/urban which was spearheaded by artists including: Faith Evans, Lauryn Hill, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, Usher, R. Kelly, and TLC.
Combining funk, pop and blues, contemporary R’n’B and urban songs are rich, soulful and emotional which was a great contrast between the more sugary ballads and techno tunes they were up against in the 90s. Tracks such as I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston and Vision of Love by Mariah Carey kick-started the genre which has weaved its way through the following decades to nourish global stars like Beyonce, Ne-Yo and John Legend.
We’re grateful for the cool, deep and inspiring songs of 90s R’n’B music, and how they’ve contributed to our music then and today. But if we could bring either of these 90s music genres back; our heart says feelgood. There’s no better party starter or stress booster than a cheesy 90s playlist. Let’s face it, family occasions just wouldn’t be the same without a 90s feelgood megamix at the end of the night.
Hip Hop vs…
The world of 90s music would be incomplete without a nod to the globally-renowned rappers and hip-hop stars of the day. From 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G, and Vanilla Ice, to Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes and Eminem; hip hop was the genre of choice if you wanted an unfiltered insight into hard urban culture that’s often glossed over in mainstream media. Empowering, rhythmic and confident, hip-hop was the top-selling genre of music in the mid-to-late 1990s. Similar to Britpop, hip-hop is a subculture, generally containing key elements like rapping, graffiti, breakdancing, and DJing, which could explain its popularity across the world.
Rarely has technology and musicality collided so fruitfully. The birth of Eurodance masters like Vengaboys, Haddaway, 2 Unlimited, Corona, and Scatman John came about in the 90s due to the explosion of equipment that enabled electronic music. A combination of house, techno and dance, the Eurodance 90s music genre is recognisable for its use of synthesizers and strong bass rhythms. This type of music is almost always positive and upbeat with a strong undercurrent of partying and generally having a good time — ideal going out soundtrack for when you’re getting ready.
Although Eurodance has helped us get pumped up for crucial life moments, we can’t place it above the global phenomenon that is 90s hip-hop. The decade propelled the gritty genre all over the world and it’d be a very different stream of sound today if it weren’t for the rappers of the 90s.
This decade was also the time that the great rock bands in modern musical history came to our attention. Before 1990, many rock bands had just a niche following compared to other genres, but as we entered the decade we saw bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and The Smashing Pumpkins receive attention from major music labels and become commercially successful. The energetic performances and expressive song lyrics really filled a gap in 90s music, and the media presented rock’s popularity throughout the 1990s almost as a rebellion of real music and emotions against the more manufactured genres of the time.
Country music rocketed in popularity and airtime during the beginning of the 1990s — it even had a cover story about its history and appeal in Time magazine. Aficionados will probably attribute a lot of 90s fame to the surge in people taking up line dancing. Even in the UK, many working men’s clubs had a weekly line dancing night and this helped songs like Achy Breaky Heart and Boot-Scootin Boogie ride high in the charts. As the decade progressed, artists like Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Dixie Chicks took a hold of the genre and helped to usher it into the consciousness of a younger audience. Almost certainly, it was this nudge into the ‘poppier’ mainstream arena during the 1990s that helped breathe new life into country music and make sure it made it into 2017.
The problem is, both these genres are raw and creative, inspiring millions of fans for so many years. Country songs all seem to tell a true-to-life story, while rock expresses all the emotions we want to show for us. Dare we draw another tie?
The 90s were a huge decade for music. If you want to check out our range of retro shoes, browse our men’s and women’s Gola Classics for the perfect throwback trend to suit your style.
If you’re choosing your warm-weather wardrobe and need some footwear inspiration, check out our top shoes for summer 2017. We’ve looked at what’s tearing up the catwalks across the world right now to give you a clear-cut run-down of how to get ahead of the game this summer.
From sliders to snakeskin, our top picks for the best shoes in summer 2017 touch on a wide range of quirky designs that promise an interesting look this summer.
Top in our list of shoes for summer 2017 is the chic wraparound sandal, which are designed to be comfy, flat footwear — as sandals should be — but with a stylish twist. These sandals have extra material for winding around your ankle or even your lower leg to add some glamour to an otherwise ordinary shoe. This shows off your skin beautifully and it also adds to the security of your sandal which are notorious for flying off with the odd meaningful stride.
Platform and flatform shoes
Think Baby Spice in the Wannabe video and we need say no more. Platform shoes are dragging the legendary 1990s into today and will be a huge summer 2017 shoe trend. You’ll be able to get these in a range of colours, with open and closed toe options and materials, too.
Coming with the platform is the next generation of super-elevating shoes: the flatform. Set to join it’s cousin in taking summer 2017 by storm, the flatform shoe has the same sassy appeal — just a completely even base. Plat-and-flat-forms are real statement-makers, so they look great in bold colours with a neutral outfit. However, we’d also suggest you go for a type with an ankle-strap to make sure you don’t fall off them.
Kitten heel shoes
We never thought we’d see the day the divisive kitten heel would be in a ‘summer trend’ list, but here she is. Kitten heels — high-heels’ meeker and milder sister — are coming back with a bang this season. But, when you think about it, why not? They’re the ideal shoe to add a touch of height without becoming uncomfortable, plus they’re versatile enough to wear for both smart/casual and dressy events.
Wear them with sheer stockings of go barefoot and get a pair with an ankle strap for added support.
Re-visiting the 90s
The next 1990s-inspired theme to hit summer 2017 will be the 90s streetwear shoes. Those chunky trainers with big logos are going to be all the rage — especially for men. On top of that, the cool and casual sneaker is due to be a common footwear choice for boys this season, too. We think this type of laid back footwear looks great with slim-fit jeans or chinos and a checked shirt.
Boots might not be the first shoe to spring to mind for a warm weather outfit choice, but they will actually be a top trend for shoes in summer 2017. Thigh-high and ankle boots in all kinds of fabrics having been up and down the catwalks lately and there seems to be a focus on warm colours (perhaps to match the climate). So, choose your favourite material and get a pair of summer boots in orange or yellow to fit the trend.
Incredibly thin stiletto heels are also set to be popular shoes for summer 2017. Flying in the face of the aforementioned chunky platform trend, the next season will also feature thinner-than-ever footwear options. If you’re a skilled high-heel walker, this is the shoe for you.
The skinny stiletto looks incredibly elegant and really makes you get the picture-perfect posture in order to stay steady. You’ll be able to get these in all kinds of materials and styles. Go for a peep-toe variety or try on a pair with lots of wraps and straps going above your ankle.
Emphasis on great outdoors
A major summer 2017 shoe trend is the great outdoors. Khaki shades, camouflage options, durable trainers, and bulky, lace-up boots are going to be smash hits for trend-setting men — particularly if they wear them with windcheater jackets and a backpack.
Summer 2017 is going to be splattered with yellow. A huge next-season trend in shoes, this bright and sunny shade will be available across all kinds of footwear, from men’s canvas espadrilles to women’s ankle boots.
Black and white checks and off-white
If you’re not into fresh-out-the-box-looking white shoes and prefer something a bit less high maintenance, shoes in summer 2017 are going to be more off-white for your convenience. Less blinding and easier to keep looking good, off-white and cream plimsolls or trainers are great accessories to match with a block colour shirt and plain jeans.
If you do stick with white, why not add some flair to them with a pen? Drawing and writing on plain sneakers are going to be big in summer 2017, so get a pack of colours and make yours stand out.
Rounded heels are the ultimate shoe. They give you elevation for longer-looking legs, yet don’t offer the same level of falling-risk as standard high heels. Round-heel shoes are in this summer, and we particularly like the ones featuring contrasting colours between the heel and main shoe to show off the design.
Sandals with socks and boots
Our shoes for summer 2017 list wouldn’t be complete without this beauty of a trend. Wearing socks, tights or stockings with your sandals is going to be a top fashion style, which goes completely against what we thought was good dress etiquette. If you like the look of a pair of sandals, but don’t want your feet on show, it’s a great solution and there’s obviously a huge range of varieties you can choose from to get a different look every time.
Gleaming sandals, heels and boots are set to be the finish-of-choice this summer, too. That polished look is a fantastic fit for classy nights out and we suppose it makes sense to get something shiny to catch the sun when the warm weather hits.
Lot of laces
Every top fashion designer is going to be on the lace trend next season. From multi-coloured laces that contrast the shoe they tie up, to dainty types that cover just the top of your foot. You can even buy new laces to go with a plain pair of sneakers and plimsolls to add some flair to your footwear.
Open back footwear/slingback shoes
Shoes for summer 2017 are going to heavily feature open-back footwear. Jetting off somewhere hot on holiday or even just enjoying the nice weather at home means that you’ll probably want a shoe that’s airy and breathable. This slingback trend — with just a single strip going around your heel — will come in a range of thin and thick straps to suit the feel you want. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from a good mix of casual and formal looks so you can get the right look for a particular event.
Summer 2017 shoes are going to benefit from a heavy dose of athletic inspiration. You’ll find lots of sneakers, plimsolls and retro trainers on the soles of people next season, which is perfect if you want a comfy day shoe that still looks like you put the effort in.
Perhaps not everyone’s bag, but snakeskin has also made our grand ‘shoes for summer 2017’ run-down. Don’t just go for the typical snakeskin colour, though. The trend this year will see snakeskin in all kinds of bold and beautiful shades and you’ll find plenty of combo-fabric varieties if you don’t want your entire shoe in full serpent mode.
If you like the coolness and breathability of sliders, but aren’t really into bright and bold designs, go for Moroccan slippers instead. Summer 2017 will bring a touch of the exotic thanks to an influx of this footwear type — also know as babouche slippers — which will mainly feature a subtle colour palette and simpler styles.
Sliders over flip-flops
Obviously, the flip-flop is a staple part of anyone’s summer. But this year, it might have some competition. Funky sliders in a rainbow of the brightest colours and embellished with sequins and flower patterns are set to strut the shops, promenades and beer garden terraces in summer 2017. Comfy and eye-catching, we’ve already seen great designs from fashion’s leading names, including Prada, Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana.
Music and fashion is a stormy marriage. For one artist it’s a supportive crux that keeps them in the limelight (Madonna’s cones and anything Gaga), for others it’s the first sign that things are on the slide (Sinitta’s X-Factor palmleaf dress).
But the clothing choices we make owes a lot to bands and singers, and few areas can boast a heavyweight title in this area than the Manchester music scene.
This vibrant north-west England metropolis — the first city outside of London to open an Armani shop — is divided between delirious Madchester, rhythmic Northern Soul, and ballsy Britpop. A city that fuses ‘Manc Swag’ and all-night clubbing with high-end designer shops and ultra-chic hangouts; we’re looking at how Manchester music launched male fashion into unchartered territory.
If you hear Madchester, one of the first bands you see is Happy Mondays. The term Madchester became part of British vocabulary in the 1990s. It was created to sum up a revolution in Manchester’s music scene, as well as the surging popularity of psychedelic rock and electronic dance music. Madchester’s quirky/bohemian clothes and fresh sound worked together to create a cultural phenomenon in the city, which centred around the explosion in the availability of ecstasy that changed a ‘night out’ into an entirely new experience.
Before anyone knew it, ‘baggy music’ — a genre of funk, house, guitar rock, and psychedelic sounds — was born and Happy Mondays fandom soared.
Even excluding the band’s hallucinatory sound, mad performances and off-stage behaviour, Happy Mondays is one of the most entertaining bands ever to hit music fashion.
Think flared jeans, buttoned up shirts and hippie-like tops (or just Shaggy from Scooby Doo) topped off with a fishing or bucket hat and you’ve got a visual style that is Madchester through and through. Happy Mondays fans quickly followed suit and even today, we can buy the smiling ‘acid face’ logo emblazoned on t-shirts and hoodies, which shows how the band’s fashion legacy has kept strong.
A lot like Happy Mondays, Stone Roses helped to marry music and fashion, and were massive players on the Manchester music scene. Founding member, Ian Brown, led the band to international stardom in the 1980s, and they soon become famous for their distinctive style and resurrection of flared trousers.
From the fisherman bucket hat to the Adidas jacket, Stone Roses fashion was all about loose clothes and a casual dress sense. You catch Stone Roses fans sporting tracksuit tops, floral or checked shirts, too-big Stone Island sweatshirts, and maybe even the iconic ‘mod cut’ hairdo made famous by Brown himself. This messy haircut is a mix of classic rock and ‘baggy style’, influencing stars and fans alike over many years — including Liam Gallagher and The Enemy.
Stone Roses helped to create a fashion spin-off of the ‘baggy music’ genre that fans loved, and this Manchester band became synonymous with the term, scally — a word first used to simply describe a working class person with a casual/sportswear dress sense that is now, unfortunately, almost always used as an insult for yobbish behaviour.
Another of Manchester music’s most famous bands, Oasis, formed in 1991 and won countless MTV, NME and Brit awards before splitting in 2009.
Immediately when you think of how Oasis dressed, you probably imagine khaki parkas, baggy shirts and Lennon-esque glasses. A big part of music and fashion in Manchester around Oasis’ heyday was the revival of the 1960s’ Mod, which Oasis spearheaded amazingly.
Original mod fashion brought together tailored suits and military-style trench coats with buttoned-down collars and fitted trousers. Bands like Oasis took hold of this idea and spun it into something that fitted perfectly into the world of Manchester music. Keeping the streamlined look, Oasis gave mod fashion a rockier edge with Paisley-print shirts, tracksuit jackets, messy haircuts, khaki coats zipped up to the chin, and straight/slim fit jeans (never skinny).
Brands like Levi, Fred Perry and Tommy Hilfiger were often found draped on The Gallaghers, who also loved the lightweight, waist-length look of the Harrington jacket. This garment was actually first made in Manchester, which probably made it a source of pride for the Mancunians, and it was the perfect mix of smart/casual for the quintessential 90s’ mod look.
Throughout their time at the top, the Oasis boys loved the odd Kangol-branded bucket hat like the rest of Madchester, and made sure to sling on plenty of Adidas tracky jackets (fully-zipped) for the ultimate lad-look that you see everywhere today.
Oasis continues to influence the world of fashion. Ex-member, Liam Gallagher, started fashion label, Pretty Green, in 2009 which has had great success in bringing Oasis’ mod/Britpop/90s’ lad fashion into 2017.
A Manchester music scene titan, Joy Division was originally called Warsaw and formed in 1976. It had great commercial success before the death of lead singer, Ian Curtis; but was also a leader in alternative fashion that still influences fans today.
The band had a very simplistic attitude to clothing. Tucked-in dress shirts, plain suit trousers, brogues, and large overcoats with upturned collars was the style of Joy Division. Similar to The Smiths, Joy Division opted for monochrome shades that didn’t attract attention and helped encapsulate the dark, emotional, disenchanted sound that was Joy Division’s post punk/gothic rock legacy.
Eighties’ rock band, The Smiths, had huge influence over the independent music scene and inspired a wave of alternative rock/indie pop groups. But when questioned about fashion, Morrissey was brutally dismissive of clothing trends and claimed that The Smiths were pretty much the worst dressed band ever.
Many fans clearly disagreed and Morrissey is still known for his quiffed hairstyle and wire-rimmed glasses (which possibly inspired Liam Gallagher’s spectacles affinity). The Smiths’ uniform consisted of baggy shirts, over-sized cardis and large jumpers, but they also had a grungier side that was made up of acid-washed/ripped jeans, leather jackets and sunglasses. These styles worked to cement the band’s unique and unforgettable sound that blended poignant, multi-layered songs with an undertone of youth angst and discontent.
The Smiths came about at a time when the flamboyant costumes of Duran Duran, Adam Ant and Culture Club sashayed around the opposite side of the Eighties’ music stage. However hard Morrissey fought on the side of art against fashion pageantry, The Smiths still inspired generations of dressers who go for the thoughtless, laid-back, ‘thrown-on’ look every morning.
Manchester music and fashion has revolutionised British style for decades. Check out our range of retro men’s and women’s plimsolls for your own alternative look.