London has long been considered the epicentre of the UK’s fashion world, but it seems that for one year at least, the capital has lost its crown to another fashionable city. On October 10th, Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out – an extravaganza of design and culture – moved away from it’s home in London to take up residence among the bright northern lights of Manchester. The reason behind the move? “Manchester’s importance to fashion is unquestionable.” says Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman.
If you look into the roots of several trends, you’ll find it’s impossible to deny Manchester’s fashionable influence, but what you may not realise is that many of these trends grew directly out of Manchester’s thriving and creative music scene. The Smiths, Oasis, the Buzzcocks – all of these Mancunian bands and many others would go on to inspire fashion trends around the world.
Without proof these might seem like pretty grand claims, so to back up Manchester’s fashion credentials we’ve put together this guide to the key trends inspired by the city’s music scene. Whether you’re heading to Fashion’s Night Out, or just want to celebrate Manchester and recreate one of these amazing looks, here you’ll find everything you need to help you fall in love with the music and imitable fashion of Manchester.
You can probably recognise the signature fashion of the 60s – think shift dresses, beehives and big lashes – but you may not know that the era’s fashion is deeply rooted in Manchester’s music scene. With influential ’60s bands like Freddie and the Dreamers and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders forming in Manchester, clubs in the city acted as hothouses for new music and mod fashion.
Women’s fashion in the ’60s was a reaction against the feminine ideals of previous generations, so androgynous a-line dresses and pixie crops were the order of the day. Look to the catwalk and the high street and you’ll see that ’60s fashion is back and bolder than ever, with all its bright block colours, geometric prints and some serious attitude in tow.
So how can you get the swinging sixties look? Well, if you’re planning on taking on the trend for a night out, then a gorgeous shift dress is ideal. The dogstooth shift dress fits the bill perfectly, whilst the leather-trim details will give you a modern edge. Team with some cute ankle boots or ballet flats if you want to save your feet!
If you want to get the 60s look in the daytime, then why not invest in a bright-coloured swing coat? You can inject some fun into your look with a pair of round sunglasses, while a leather tote bag will show you really mean business.
Punk came late to Manchester, but when it did, it was received with a warm welcome, and home-grown punk bands like The Buzzcocks dominated the local scene. Mancunians – like punks from all around the UK – embraced the look, wearing leather jackets, ripped jeans, extreme hairstyles and plenty of safety pins.
If you feel like taking on the punk look, you’ll find lots of high-street interpretations. Anything leather is perfect for evoking punk attitude, so why not invest in a biker jacket or some buckle biker boots?
Leopard print and tartan are also big in punk fashion, so even if you don’t want to go all the way with the trend you can work it in with accessories in these prints.
The punk gigs of the Manchester Free Trade and Lesser Free trade halls acted as a meeting place and for bands in the next major movement in music: the new wave era. Mancunian bands like Joy Division, the Smiths and the Fall all became major players on the new wave scene.
Whilst being similar in some ways to punk fashion, the new-wave aesthetic set itself apart with cleaner, more minimalist designs, making this a perfect look to take on if you don’t want to go all the way with punk. Get the new-wave look with a faux-leather-sleeved t-shirt and the eye-catching peep toe open heel ankle boots.
Although the term ‘indie’ originally referred to music from small or low-budget independent labels, by the mid-80s it encompassed the kind of music that bands under those labels produced. As much as the meaning of the word evolved, indie music retained its do-it-yourself attitude and love of experimentation, and this spirit can certainly be seen to carry through into indie fashion.
Indie fashion is all about mixing aesthetic influences, so pretty much anything goes. If you want to get the look then why not try putting together styles from different eras and working some interesting prints into your wardrobe? Two of our favourite pieces are this gorgeous bird-print shirt and trilby hat – both of which work great for a take on the indie trend. Team with skinny jeans and ankle boots to create the perfect laid-back day or night outfit.
From the early indie scene of the 1990s emerged Britpop – a movement that was all about ‘Cool Britannia’ – a renewed love of all things British – and the guitar pop of the ’60s and ’70s. Bands like Blur and Mancunian band Oasis dominated the Britpop scene, with Oasis’s album Definitely Maybe going straight to number one on its release.
As with any musical movement, Britpop had its own unique fashion style. Polo shirts and skinny jeans were both very popular, but by far the most important fashion item in Britpop was the parka jacket. You can get the Britpop look with this gorgeous take on the classic parka, which features a drawcord to cinch in the waist and a faux-fur-trim hood – perfect for keeping cosy in winter!
See what we got up to for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out here!