22 May 2017

You're Not Failing If You're Not Flexing

How often do we log onto social media and see someone else living the most perfect life? The wardrobe we would die for, the house that we can only dream of and going on holidays that are so far beyond our reach that we can't believe they're real. We all follow people who are living this perfect life, who are top of their game. But what impact does this have on us? 

The power of social media is unbelievable. Before social media was a real force, a successful year in my eyes would have been making enough money to be comfortable and to have good health. But these days I want all of that, along with holidays to Bali, a wardrobe full of Acne Studios and a country manor which a lil picket fence and a sunflower patch. In reality my life couldn't be further away from that! I currently live in a one bedroom flat by myself and as it stands, I'm not going on holiday this year. But does this mean I'm not succeeding? Like fuck!

What we have to remember is that social media (especially Instagram) is a place where people go to flex. A place to show off your recent purchases, somewhere to show that amazing steak you ate or the place that does the most amazing flat white. We have to keep in mind that these peoples live isn't delicious coffees and new trainers all of the time.

The likelihood is that these people are working 9-5's and creating content on the side (which is a job in itself!) and they're just showing you the side of their lives that is worth showing off or even exaggerated. Take me for example: judging by my Instagram and other social media, you'd never guess that I live in a flat that can only be described as 'brown' or that I work a desk job for 40 hours a week.

By no means am I slating the people that are living 'the perfect life' if anything I'm rooting for them. Having these people at the click of a button only gives me a reason to work more and hopefully one day, I'll be the one doing yoga on a Bali beach! But if not, I'm still doing ok. In a way, I don't think 'being successful' can be measured by your air miles or how your Instagram looks. If success to you is having a large Dominos and tub of Ben & Jerry's then who's to say otherwise?


17 May 2017


Masculinity - Qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men. ‘handsome, muscled, and driven, he's a prime example of masculinity.' Nonsense. I thought I'd have a go at a serious post for once and talk about masculinity and the problems that come with such a normalised word. 

One of the main reasons this subject comes to mind is the aftermath of the Blogosphere Magazine Blog Awards nominations announcement. As is tradition, a lot of entitled male bloggers got butthurt after finding out they weren't nominated but tried masking their saltiness by saying 'The lack of male bloggers is why I'm angry.' If I had a penny for every time I've seen this, I'd be able to buy every single male blogger their own award three times.
But it got me thinking: What is being a man? And why is 'masculinity' so fucking fragile? 

Firstly, masculinity is nothing more than a social construct. It's only a thing because we've been taught to believe that there's such a thing as a 'real man' and we've been conditioned into behaving and living our lives in a certain manner. 

Coming from a working class, council estate background I was pretty much the only male I knew who was into fashion, who didn't really enjoy underage drinking and who wasn't having sex at the age of 15. Being in that environment I was often asked if I was gay and I even remember my neighbours mum calling me a weirdo (hahaha.) Luckily for me I was able to educate myself and not fall into the trap of being consumed by the masculinity facade. But a lot of men will be sucked in and start to veer away from being themselves and instead, creating a false persona to be accepted as 'a real man.' The consequences of this can obviously be horrendous, with it affecting their health, relationships and general wellbeing. So how can we stop men slipping into the fragile whirlpool of masculinity? 

One of the most damaging factors has to be masculine consumerism. There are hundreds of male grooming brands out there that market their products to 'manly men.' Not only is this a ridiculous marketing technique because they're excluding a huge potential customer base but it also proves how fragile masculinity really is. Want to wear eyeliner? Have guy liner instead. Need to use soap? Have a man sized bar! I recently read instructions on using beard oil which read "Once you have washed your man beard, rub it dry with a manly towel (not a pink one.)" What the fuck is a manly towel? 

Along with man soap and guy liner you can also get man sized tissues, cotton buds called 'Men's Ultimate Multi-Tool' and a MAN LOOFAH called 'Detailer Shower Tool' because a loofah is perceived to be a feminine item. WTF?

So now that we're able to use manly soaps, what does it take to be a man? I don't have the golden answer, but what I can say is there is nothing more humane than just being yourself. Even if you fall into the stereotypical masculine type, as long as you're being yourself then that's the best thing you can do. In the grand scheme of things we're on this earth for a very short time, so I can only encourage people to live their best life. Want to wear skinny jeans? Wear skinny jeans! Want to have sex with people of the same sex? Do it! (With consent obviously!) Just be yourself and don't be a dick, that's the best thing you can do as a man! Peace out.


13 May 2017

Outfit Of The Day ft boohooMAN

What's uuuuuup! Long time no Outfit Of The Day, right? I've been a bit lazy with the ol' OOTD posts as of late but I couldn't give this one a miss!

Back in March, boohooMAN launched their first full range of tailoring which led me to tweet about a pinstripe two piece which really caught my eye! Fast forward a month later and I received an email from boohoo asking if I'd like to collaborate and choose something from said collection. Without hesitation I immediately opted for this outfit because as you're probably aware, I don't do 'smart' clothing very often. The beauty of this two piece is that it can be dressed up in a more formal manner or a casual fashion which I much prefer. Also the relaxed silhouette of the cropped trousers was something that I've been looking to find for ages too!

I took the outfit on a trip to London where I attended a store opening for The Ragged Priest and I thought it would be the perfect place to debut the garms. I threw on a grey beanie and my Vivienne Westwood x Grenson squiggle derby shoes (which I don't wear enough!) I finished the look with a plain white tee from H&M, socks and my Kika pendant, both from Vivienne Westwood again.

For more formal occasions I would replace the t shirt with this long sleeve white shirt from boohooMAN, which has a cool pin detail on the collar.

Beanie - ASOS
Tee - H&M
Tailored Bomber - boohooMAN
Tailored Trousers - boohooMAN
Shoes - Vivienne Westwood

You can find more photos from my London trip on my Instagram! Photography by India Hannah Pixie.


7 May 2017

In Conversation With: Rory Hutton

Hello, and welcome to the third edition of my 'In Conversation With' series! The first edition was with Charlie from Modish Male and the most recent edition featured India from Trashed Vintage. This time however, I catch up with Irish accessories designer Rory Hutton.

Rory is flying the flag for not only British designers but for British manufacturing too! He specialises in bow ties, pocket squares and socks and has previously worked with my queen Vivienne Westwood and Hardy Amies of Savile Row. The label has been featured in various press outlets including Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire and Men's Health. He will be showcasing at London Fashion Week in June, but in the meantime you can check out his online store here. Here's what went down when we had a little chit chat!

Ryan: What was it like working with (my favourite designer) Vivienne Westwood?

Rory: Vivienne Westwood is one of my favorite designer too! As a student I really admired her approach to pattern cutting and how she reinterprets history in a fresh and dynamic way. It was great to get an insiders viewpoint on the workings of her studio and I met some great people that I'm still in touch with. 

Ryan: Her approach is definitely unique! How important is it to use materials sourced in the UK & Ireland and what made you decide to do this?

Rory: All of my products are made in the UK. As a British brand I think it's incredibly important to support the great craft and manufacturing traditions that exist locally. At the moment the fashion industries favourite word is transparency and rightly so. There have been so many horror stories of exploitation in the industry over the last few years and as a result more and more people want to know they are buying products that have been made ethically. My first collection was made entirely of Irish linen and this is still one of my favourite fabrics. Historically all the best couture houses considered Irish linen to be the finest in the world and I agree! Most people today associate it with table cloths for tourists. So I decided to counter this by putting it at the heart of my brand. Over the years I've also used Scottish and English wool and I would really like to work with one of the English silk mills in the future.

Ryan: It's so important to support British businesses while also taking an ethical approach to fashion! So what can we expect from you at Fashion Week next month?

Rory: This will be my first time to show at London Fashion Week Men's and I'm really excited about it! I will be presenting a collection of bow ties, pocket squares and socks. It will be a mix of my most popular prints together with a number of new designs! 

Ryan: I'm gutted I can't pop along to check it out! Tell me about your creative process...

Rory: I have been drawing all my life. I love history and I have an MA in Design History so I usually begin with books and museum visits. All my prints began life as pen drawings and each of them has a story to tell. I like to think I work in a way that Christian Dior would recognise! I'm a romantic so designing on computers has never really appealed to me. My prints are a mix of traditional screen printing and digital printing. I like to mix old and new technology in this way. This year I have spent a lot of time sourcing artisans and manufacturers in the UK which has been a lot of fun. 

Ryan: Talking of fun, if you were stranded on an island for 365 days with only 3 albums, what would they be?

Rory: I'm delighted you asked me this because Desert Island discs is my favorite radio program so I think about this quite often! My taste is pretty eclectic, at the moment I'm listening to The Weeknd, his music is really upbeat and energetic and just what you need when you're busy! However my two favorite pieces of all time are The Flower Duet from the opera Lakme (Joan Sutherland's version is my favorite). I first heard this when I was 16 and its just so beautiful and filled with sunshine. Then there is Clair de Lune by Debussy, so haunting and optimistic...

Ryan: The Weeknd is definitely a favourite of mine too, his latest album was awesome! Who are your style inspirations and why?

Rory: As we mentioned earlier Vivienne Westwood is a hugely inspiring character. I like people who are themselves and wear what they like regardless of what society thinks. Isis Apfel is someone I would very much like to have coffee with, she says 'More is more, less is a bore' and this quote pops into my head quite often when I'm designing! I've never been a minimalist I like colour and print. Diana Vreeland is another fascinating character, have you seen 'The Eye has to Travel'? Her stories and anecdotes are priceless.   

Ryan: I haven't seen it but I'll definitely have to check it out! If there was one trend you could chuck in the bin, what would it be?

Rory: I keep seeing little girls with giant hair bows everywhere, they seem to be a big trend at the moment. I think they look truly dreadful! They make me think of Victorian children in paintings. Unless your wearing a starched cotton dress and having your portrait painted by John Singer Sargent circa 1900 there is really no excuse for this!

Ryan: Hahaha! What made you relocate to Glasgow after starting your business on Brick Lane?

Rory: Scotland is an amazing place to have a business. There is a really supportive community of entrepreneurs here and Glasgow has an amazing architectural and design heritage. I will never tire of the spectacular buildings. One of my favorite architects is Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (1817-1875) and you can spot his work everywhere here. I spend a lot of time in Edinburgh too and that has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. 

Ryan: I've never had the chance to travel to Scotland but I'd love to one day! Finally, what do you plan to do with the brand over the next few years?

Rory: When I started I was making bow ties and have since expanded into pocket squares and most recently socks. I would like to gradually expand the range further over the coming years. I think my prints would work well for swimwear and I love the idea of old fashioned silk robes! I'm also interested in collaborations with like minded brands.

Ryan: I can definitely see your prints working well on swimwear, I'm looking forward to seeing how that pans out in the future! 

If you fancy being featured in the future, email me at ryan.mules@live.co.uk

Thanks for reading!