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Personal Style: Paul Weller

November 13, 2011

“Did I want anything from my dad’s wardrobe? Only his copies of Playboy.” Paul Weller is sitting in the former offices of Hammer Horror on, appropriately, London’s Wardour Street, discussing his new range of suits for Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label. One of the country’s best-dressed musicians, Weller has gone from Burton-suited mod revivalist with the Jam in the Seventies to Britpop’s founding father in the mid-Nineties, via the Style Council and the gloriously OTT Eighties.

Thankfully his new clothing line is inspired by the late Sixties and early Seventies and includes well-cut three-piece suits which can be worn both in and out of an office. “I wouldn’t want to be involved in anything that I wouldn’t wear myself,” says Weller. “It’s been a dream really – I brought reference pictures, graphics, sketches, vintage things I’ve collected over the years and stuff from my own wardrobe.” Here he talks to about satin jackets, Ben Sherman shirts vs Brutus ones and highly questionable “mutant quiffs”…

My dad was very stylish when he was a young man. I’ve seen photos of him and he was a Teddy Boy. He seemed to lose interest in clothes after a certain amount of time. That’s the danger – when men get to a certain age, they let their wives pick their clothes. That’s really wrong – it’s basically saying, “I don’t care what I look like any more.” It leads to that thing when people say, “I’m comfortable,” and start wearing trainers all the time. Remember there’s a time and a place for tracksuits.

The first thing I bought that was really stylish was in 1969 when I was eleven. I saved up for a black, grey and white tie-dye grandad vest. It was too big – they weren’t catering for kids my age – and hung off me but I loved it. It was from a boutique in Woking called Flacks which was amazing. It had a lot of post-hippie clothing but also a lot of stuff that skinheads were buying as well. It wasn’t King’s Road hippies and trendies – it was for people who had been mods in the Sixties and were now doing their own thing.

The Jam went through a phase of wearing satin jackets. But that was pre-getting signed and making it, when we were still playing the pubs and clubs – around ’75. Shocking, really – what would you call them apart from “horrible”? We’d wear these white zip-up bomber jackets with black kind of loon pants and black and white shoes. That was our stage outfit. Shocking.

Have I ever had a nightmare with a bespoke suit? Cor blimey, loads of ’em. Not recently, but in the early Jam days, when we first got a little bit of money. We went to a place just behind Carnaby Street called Carnaby Cavern. We got some suits knocked up there – they were appalling, looking back on it. They were supposed to be mohair and had a slight sheen to them. They were really badly cut but you don’t know when you’re 18. We wore them every night on a really long tour – we did 40 dates and we’d sweat because we were playing these little clubs. We’d get them dry-cleaned wherever we could. By the end of the tour they’d shrunk – they looked like Norman Wisdom’s suits.

via Paul Weller interview about fashion for Pretty Green – GQ Style News – GQ.COM (UK).


From → fashion, style

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