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.
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.
No matter what time of year it is, a splash of pink will always brighten up your day. You could say it is lucky then that right now on the Gola website, we have dozens of brilliant pink ladies’ shoes and bags which can help add some much needed colour to these cold and grey winter months.
There are plenty of pretty pinks to be found in several of our Harrier trainers, which were originally launched in 1968 and are part of our Gola Classics collection. Whether it is bright pinks against a dark navy suede like these, or dark, warm pink with a navy wingflash like these, you can always count on pink to bring your Harriers to life.
Our next selection is an eclectic mix made up of three styles which are part of our Gola Classics range. These include black slip-ons with an elegant pink floral print, the 70s tennis classic Orchid in a bright shade of fuschia and last but not least the Gola x Liberty Art Fabrics Samurai which makes great use of one of Liberty’s intricate prints.
We are absolutely delighted to welcome back the Gola x Liberty Art Fabrics collaboration for AW15, with a whole new host of their floral, pattern and paisley fabrics used on the Gola Classics range.
For any of you that may have missed it, we first collaborated with the amazing London-based brand back in 2013, producing a beautifully feminine range of lades’ shoes and bags which captured the hearts of people all over the world. Now, they’re back for more as we continue this marvelous relationship of two quintessentially British brands on a mission to create high quality footwear and bags with an unmistakable floral image.
Who are Liberty?
Liberty Art Fabrics have a long and lustrous heritage which all started in 1875 when a certain Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened an Eastern bazaar-inspired store on Regent Street, London. Customers flocked to his store to browse and purchase Liberty’s ornaments, fabrics and other works of art which fueled a shop expansion within the first eighteen months.
Since then, Liberty products have remained irresistible to consumers and now the brand is adored all around the world. Below, we have pulled out some of our favourite pieces from the Gola x Liberty Art Fabrics AW15 collection, but you can browse them all in our online store.
Our first footwear choice is the gorgeous slip-on Delta plimsoll in navy / blue. This easy-going design comes with chunky sole, twin gusset and an eye-catching all over print. Second, Liberty re-imagine our Samurai with another of their stunning floral prints, this time adorned on an 80s-inspired silhouette with a suede and nylon upper. You can also see both of the charming Gola x Liberty Art Fabrics rucksacks above/below.
Well its all over for another year, but what a year it was. With a venue change, sunshine and wall to wall new talent.
I am going to give you the lowdown on what went on and some of the best bits at GFW 2014.
Firstly the location change. Usually GFW is held at Earls Court which by no means is a bad venue. It is a large space that is very bland, so the perfect backdrop to customise and create a great fashion space. The only downside being the location of Earls Court, not really a fashion district in London.
This year GFW was held at the Truman Brewery. Located in the heart of Shoreditch and just off the famous Bricklane. On the weekend the whole area is filled with market stalls selling street food, antiques and clothing. A mecca for anyone interested in Fashion. Many new fashion brands/agencys etc are now based in Shoreditch making the Truman Brewery an even better location to attract potential employers.
With the bustling streets outside the old brewery the inside was transformed form a warehouse into a vibrent, talent filled space.
Each university is allocated a space to customise as they wish to best showcase the students work and represent the university.
As you entered the building life drawing classes were being held by the London Colllage of Fashion. Next to them was the University of Salford stand. Very simple and industrial looking allowing the work to speak for itself. Old wooden sleepers had been fashioned with scaffolding to create a huge desk space with matching benches. Portfolios were laid out and it allowed viewers to sit down and look through the work. The only branding was an eye catching neon sign on the wall.
Once inside the wear house there were so many stands each trying to show individuality. One that really stood out was the Manchester University stand. It had been designed by a past employee of Paul Smith. It was very clear this stand had been created to a very high standard. The whole floor was covered in wood chipping’s, all work was displayed in glass cabinets or on a single wooden shelf running the length of the stand. In the centre of the stand was a large glass table with computer screens laid into the top to showcase students digital work. It was so eye catching and looked extremely professional.
Not all the stands were occupied by universities. George for Asda also had a stand. They held talks on careers in buying and merchandising. Very interestingly they had 3D printers on display actually printing off small plastic models.
Over all I think this may have been one of the best GFW years. The change of location and standard of work on display has really made the event. I am excited to see how they will top it at GFW 2015.
Friday 13th of June 2014 marked the beginning of the University of Central Lancashire Creative Focus week and the event that opened this event was the Creative Focus Awards. A large crowd gathered in the University’s Atrium space to support the 30 plus students from the University of Central Lancashire all nominated for an award in recognition of their achievements
The awards were judged, this year, by not only the university but members of Creative Lancashire, an initiative create by Lancashire County Council with the aim to support and promote creativity within the county. Winners from each of the three UCLan schools (the school of Journalism and Media, the school of Art, Design and Performance and the Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture), were awarded by Charles Hadcock, the chairman of Creative Lancashire and Professor Gerry Kelleher, the UCLan Vice Chancellor.
Winners from each category were announced as follows:
Architecture Award – Sally Archibald (Architectural Technology)
Design Award – Nicholas Norcross (Illustration)
Fashion Award – Femida Adam (Eastern Fashion Design)
Fine Art Award – Daveid Darbyshire (Drawing and Image Making)
Media Award – Lauren Clark (Screenwriting with Film, TV and Radio)
Performance Award – Catherine Shaw (Contemporary Theatre and Performance)
Creative Lancashire – Best in commercial viability Award:
Samantha Binns (Fshion and Brand Promotion with Photography)
Lanty Ball (Contemporary Crafts)
For further information on the event and its winners visit –
This week the University of Central Lancashire opens its doors to the public for its Creative Focus Week from the 16th to the 21st June. A week long degree show exhibition of all its creative final year students individual work with courses stretching across a broad spectrum of subjects from Architecture, Media, Design, Fine art, Performance and fashion across the universities Preston campus.
The week features sculpture, design, paintings, sound instillations, animation, film and much more displayed in various studios located in the Hanover, Victoria and Harris buildings and the universities Media Factory. With the Hanover building also exhibiting work by the foundation year art and design students.
The week also features the Creative Focus Awards on Friday 13th June, with one student from each of the creative courses nominated and a student will be chosen from each area to receive the award. Friday the 20th of June will also see the catwalk exhibition of the UCLan Fashion Design students, many of which showcased their collections at this years Graduate Fashion week at London’s Truman Brewery.
The entire week long Creative Focus exhibition (10am-6pm ) is completely free and guided tours are available for businesses, schools and colleges. Staff and students can also be found throughout each building ready to discuss courses and individual work for any visitors wanting any more information. This highly anticipated event is a chance to see many important names of the creative future displaying their final major projects that their whole three academic years have been working up to.
With Graduate Fashion Week now over for another year it is now time for us to look at the enormously talented students behind the collections seen on the catwalk.
I spoke with Emma Robertson a final year Fashion Design student from the University of Central Lancashire who was one of the talented few to showcase her final collection at this years Graduate Fashion Week. Emma’s contemporary A/W 15 menswear collection put a new spin on track wear and made us re-think the PVC stripe. It focuses on the juxtaposition between the attitude of menswear style during the great depression of the 1920’s and the stereotypical look of the modern day jobseeker. Executed perfectly using a contrasting combination of performance fabrics, wool and nylon in a palette of dirty lilacs and soft powdery blues amongst much heavier navy and cream tones set against a crisp white.
What was the inspiration behind your collection?
The inspiration behind my collection came from a visit to the ‘This Way Out’ exhibition at the Camp and Furnace in Liverpool. While I was there I saw a Karl Lagerfeld quote on the wall, which read, “If you’re wearing track pants, you’ve given up“. I’d seen a lot of TV programs on ‘benefits Britain’ at the time and there was a lot of coverage in the media on how job seekers and those claiming benefits were being portrayed. I made the connection with the quote that I had seen and started to think about how people in different social and financial situations approach their own fashion style.
For example – people wearing track pants therefore must have given up and those in suits are the picture of wealth and high society. I wanted to look back in history to find a time that was suffering from the same social and financial difficulties that benefits Britain struggle with today, but where men had a different attitude to style regardless of their circumstances. I chose to research into the Great Depression on the 1920’s where men were searching for jobs wearing sandwich boards on the street but also wore their best suit underneath it.
How would you describe your collections look?
ER: My collection is a merge of 1920’s tailored silhouettes modernised by sportswear fabrics and fastenings and PVC tracksuit stripes.
You decide to use Gola Classics within your collection, why is that?
ER: The reason I chose Gola was because these are a classically British brand and shoe. It was important to me to use a trainer that fit well with my concept and so they had to be of British heritage.
How did it feel to be able to show your final collection on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week?
ER: To show at Graduate fashion week was an amazing experience and something we all as young designers aspire to. I feel that it’s a good platform to show your final collection as many people from industry attend graduate fashion week and it is also exciting to be able to showcase your work to your family and friends.
Emma’s collection was highly received at the Graduate Fashion Week showcase and she has now even been contacted by magazines, who have asked to shoot and write about her work. She also tells me that she has also received some exciting job interviews by some big industry names. With this hugely positive reaction to her final collection and Emma’s previous experience at big names such as Alexander McQueen, Savil Row’s English Cut and Sportswear International, it is clear to see that her name is well worth watching out for in the not so distant future and we wish her all the best.
It is that time of year again, the weather is getting warmer (supposedly), nights are getting longer and Uni is finally finished for the summer.
Well except for those of us mad enough to study fashion, we have the last big event to go. Those of you in the loop will already know and for those who aren’t I am referring to Graduate Fashion Week.
Graduate fashion week is the culmination of the top fashion talent form all over the country. Each university putting forward their most promising students to exhibit and show. To give a representation of the best university has to offer prospective student. It also helps the students to make the next big steps into the fashion industry.
This year is no exception. With changes such as a change of venue this year is set to be one of the most exciting yet. Moving the location of Graduate Fashion week to The Truman Brewery, in the heart of east London has brought it bang up to date. East London is famously a hub of new talent and exciting business growth especially focused on the creative industries. It is a sponge waiting to soak up anything new and interesting, a great base for Graduate Fashion Week.
Before Graduate Fashion Week a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, visualizing and creating the collections that may be chosen to walk down the runway. I interviewed UCLAN fashion student Natalie Smith about her collection, inspiration and thoughts on this years graduate fashion week.
VP: What are your feelings towards Graduate Fashion Week?
NS: To be selected for Graduate Fashion Week is a great feeling. I hope showing my collection on the catwalk will open up exciting opportunities for my career, and as a student will help promote my name in the industry.
Natalie’s Collection is a menswear collection deeply rooted in tailoring with strong shapes and muted dull tones.
The beauty is in the detail, focus being paid to pockets and zips.
VP: What is the inspiration behind your collection?
NS: The inspiration for my collection is Brutalism. I looked at the structure and exposure of brutalism building in London, (Hayward Art Gallery & National Theatre) paying attention to how architects from the 1950’s and 1960’s used the inside functions as an outside feature. The buildings also helped to create my colour pallet as the grey tones were drawn out to develop an AW Collection.
The collection has three main focal points. A beautifully tailored grey two-piece suit. A crisp white shirt with a large black panel brazened across the front to make a bold statement. My personal favourite is the classic bomber jacket. This timeless classic has been given a modern twist by using fabric usually associated with suits to emphasize the smart casual feel of the collection.
VP: How were the concepts developed and who decided on them?
NS: My concept was developed through innovative moulage and creative pattern cutting. With help from my tutors we analyzed the shapes and construction lines and combined this with brutalism architecture.
When Viewing Natalie’s collection it is clear to see the strong influences that the Brutalism movement has made on her collection, from pallet through to construction and shape. Using the strong form Brutalism portrays while combining the concept of using inside function to create a pleasing outside aesthetic.
Amiee Green, 23, from Liverpool, is an upcoming fashion design student from the University of Central Lancashire debuting her collection ‘Dressing Down Dior’ at this years Graduate Fashion Week, held in its new location of East London’s Truman Brewery.
The collection was developed through experimentation with silhouettes and influences from fashion in history. Aimee’s inspiration was everyday casual street style mixed with design aesthetics from Dior’s signature look. The collection also features a strong colour palette and range of prints, all influenced by the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. Amiee is also using the Gola Clasic’s, Women’s Spirit Jewel trainers to add the finishing touch to her look, with their classic sport shoe silhouette yet the added opulence of small gems glittering with any movement.
With many previous students achieving promising careers in fashion after showcasing their collections at the event and the pressure to live up to UCLan’s huge success in 2012, with the fashion design students winning four awards and being shortlisted for seven, Aimee is feeling positive about the experience and feels it is a helpful steppingstone into the fashion industry.
Amiee’s collection ‘Dressed Down Dior’ was recently exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week.
From blood bags to bike shorts the University of Central Lancashire’s catwalk show was a highlight of day one at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.
The show featured a huge wide of designs created by the hugely talented young students with stand out collections from Kimberly Blackburn featuring fierce fringing, large circular vinyl accessories, oversized necklines and sculpted fabrics caging the body as if it were armour, all perfectly executed in the darkest shade of black.
Chloe Siddall’s collection took the show in a much more sporty direction with a mix of bright neon hues of lime green and acidic yellow overhauling the garments clean monochrome shapes and stripes. Bright red bumbags also made a bold statement over the clash of colours adding to the sporty feel alongside skin tight bicycle shorts and subtle statements carefully positioned on the garments. Plus large gold accessories from hoops to hefty chains adding a seriously cool street feel to the entire look.
However the collection that made the biggest impact of the evening was Hollie Robinson’s blood inspired collection receiving reactions ranging from amazement to a slight squirm from the more squeamish of the audience, although it was undoubtedly memorable . The catwalk saw garments made from malleable sheer frosted plastic decorated with giant blood trype labels attached, enormous hospital patient wristbands boldly draped around waistlines/ wrists, all contrasting with highly structured block colour shirts. Printed blood bags also adorned models necks and created an entire show stopping dress that had the crowd in awe. The colour palette was direct, featuring blood red (of course), frosted whites and just a hint of black adding to the collections very confident if yet a little controversial statement.
Many other fantastic collections could also been seen from such designers as Amiee Green, Natalie Smith, Kelly Welborn, Jayne Acton, Jenifer Echeverria, Lucie Bloomfield, Rachel Wlkden, Mary Nansove, Alice Houghton, Emma Robertson, Troy Cooper and Stephanie Chesworth ,displaying the high standard of UCLan’s design students this year all styled by Sophie Benson.
University of Central Lancashire: Shortlisted for the Fashion Photography award at Graduate Fashion Week 2014
When entering the building to meet a shortlisted Graduate Fashion Week student, I expected to be greeted by a stressed, shaking shell of a student. However, Emily Long was the image of calm, cool and collected – remarkable considering it is just two days to go until the opening day of the event at East London’s Truman Brewery. Bringing her portfolio we discussed her inspirations behind each piece and her aspirations once leaving University.
A strong believer in sustainable fashion and the fashion revolution, Emily name checks Vivienne Westwood and Professor Sandy Black as inspiration. Emily’s passion for strong females and the empowerment that they portray therefore shines throughout her work. A stand out piece in her portfolio is a collection of images that takes ideas from the world of jousting. Originally brought up within a family of jousters, aspects of the medieval sport can be seen throughout, with the deep colours and styling of accessories screaming out. Although the images show inspiration, she likes to take her imagery one step further by adding context through history. Each shot is taken at the National Trust site, Rufford Old Hall, a site known to hold regular joust events giving the thought process that little bit of an extra push. Although the images portray the empowerment of females, it is only very subtle throughout, making sure that they do not push political messages.
With the use of both recycling and upcycling throughout her styling methods, Emily cites the environment as another important inspiration. Taking me through images that have incorporated her love for water sports and the outdoors, she believes it adds a sense of freedom to her work, especially with the unpredictable nature of film photography.
With a whole host of UCLan past winners pursuing promising careers in the fashion industry, the pressure is on for the 19 shortlisted nominees to live up to the previous success of the University. Emily believes that whether she wins the award or not, the nomination and attending the event alone brings great opportunity to her future career and an all in all astounding experience. However, having already been featured in Vogue Italia last year, I have high hopes for this young stylist and photographer.
Emily’s work plus a whole host of other Graduate pieces will be able available at Graduate Fashion Week 2014 from Saturday 31st May onward.