Green Team: Paul Weller, Fashion Designer

How often do we hear the term celebrity designer these days? It seems everyone and their little sister has a clothing line or perfume brand associated with them.

Fashion has become for the masses, and celebrities of questionable note offer up even more questionable mass-produced wares for us to wear.

For the most part, I’m not buying it.

Why? Well, because, I don’t often see the connection between the product and the person flogging it.

You see, I grew up listening to the music of bands (many of them from the UK), whose style influenced me, likely as much as their music did.  I didn’t disassociate the music from the look of the band – they were all players on the same stage. I had infinite respect for those who bothered to get dressed for their jobs.

When Bryan Ferry put on a raw silk suit and sang his heart out, it was anything but the same old scene. When The Specials put on their braces – brace yourself, you were in for a romping good time – suspended in Ska style.

For some musicians, a foray into style is a natural extension versus a marketing agency strategy.

Liam Gallagher of Oasis, launched a clothing label and store a while back, called Pretty Green. Say what you will about the bad boys of Brit rock, but they had a style all their own. Need proof? Head down to the hipster neighbourhood of any given city. Chances are, traces of Oasis’ look is in the crowd.

The store’s been a hit amongst the Brits and beyond.

If the friendship and mutual admiration between this Gallagher brother and Paul Weller was a secret before (hardly), the name of the store was a giveaway.

Pretty Green is a song written by Weller, during his days with The Jam.

There were rumblings last year of a design collaboration between the two for the label, with Pretty Green even designing bespoke suits for Weller’s five-day run at Royal Albert Hall last Spring.

Paul Weller wearing Pretty Green bespoke in May 2010 on exshoesme.com
Paul Weller, backstage at Royal Albert Hall in Pretty Green bespoke, May 2010.

Well now, it’s official. The Modfather will be launching his first stand-alone fashion collection with the brand on June 23rd.

Paul Weller for Pretty Green announcement on exshoesme.com
Paul's signature label for Pretty Green.

This, you see, makes infinite sense.

This, is fashion coming full circle.

Nice to see that we agree on a few things…

Union Jack Mod Image by Guy Davies with Paul Weller Quote 1 on exshoesme.com

Union Jack Mod Image by Guy Davies with Paul Weller Quote 2 on exshoesme.com
Weller, to those of you who don’t know him, comes from style stock. Through the music of The Jam, The Style Council and his 20+ years as a solo artist, he is the epitome of British music – having collaborated with the best of them over the years. Throughout this musical journey, Weller has managed to look immaculate. The word ‘cool’ has lost its meaning in our urban dictionaries, but Weller was and always will be cool – as the word was originally intended.

Before Sart was taking pictures of international males sporting bare ankles, Weller had set the pant length years before. When we all snickered at tassled loafers during the pointy shoe phase (which, I beg, I have yet to leave), Weller wore them. Men, of course, followed suit. And speaking of suits, he has always been tailored to perfection. There is something about the way he can don a pinstriped pair of trousers, a slinky sweater and wrap a scarf around it just so. It’s all in the details with Weller – the break of the pant, the fringe of the scarf, the slant of the cigarette. He is one cool cat.

He grew up in the ’60s scene on Carnaby. How fitting that his collection will now be shown in the Pretty Green shop on the infamous stretch of bricks and mod mortar, come late June.

Pretty Green Shop on Carnaby Street on exshoesme.com
Each visit to London, for me, includes a stop on this style street.

The capsule collection will have six limited edition items – but according to PG, this is the “start of a long-term partnership” with Weller, who designed all the items himself.

Paul Weller for Pretty Green Leather Jacket on exshoesme.com
The motorcycle jacket from the collection. More like Vespa jacket, ya?

In a statement released by the brand, Weller said,  “I’ve wanted to design my own range for some time and Pretty Green felt like a good home for my clothes. I guess my main design reference is somewhere between ’68 and ’70. The clothes themselves sit between being smart and casual with quality materials and tailoring.”

The first Paul Weller Collection for Pretty Green includes: a high-shine zip biker jacket (seen on Weller, here); a three-quartered length Indian linen shirt (intrigued by the sound of this), a luxurious Egyptian cotton long-sleeved t-shirt; a statement tank top with satin trim; and pleated silk scarf (you can see what a staple the scarf is to him, as it’s one of only six key pieces!). They will range in price from £30 to £175 and will also be sold online, for those of us on this side of the pond.

Look for a fuller Weller collection, this Fall. I’ll have pics for you of the High Summer collection as more pieces become available.

Paul Weller for Pretty Green Collection on exshoesme.com
Mod style, zipped up.

Here’s a little snippet of a vid, when Liam was asked about the Weller rumour, last June.

[Update June 22: take a look at the full collection.]

Images: Royal Albert Hall backstage photo by Lawrence Watson, courtesy of Pretty Green. Original (and brilliant) Union Jack Mod illustration (used as quote background) by Guy Davies. All other images courtesy of Pretty Green.

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