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Fashion & Style Police Interviews Tony Porter

Fashion & Style Police Interviews Tony Porter

I love hosting this interview series because it opens my eyes to the talent out there, and how creative and organised they really are. It kind off takes me behind the scenes, into their world, and I love it. I know I said this will be a monthly series, but I come across some very talented people regularly, and sometimes, it can’t wait a month because I am super excited to talk about them, and share their stories.

Say hello to Tony Porter, he is one of the people to spearhead the idea of the British Fashion Week, now known as the London Fashion Week, 40 years ago. He went on to work in Biba for years, set up a fashion PR firm, and is now concentrating on his new career as a writer, with his gripping fashion memoir – Copies of Whatever Next?, now available on request. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the interview.

TonyPorterPressPhoto

 

 

1.    Can you tell us how you started British Fashion Week, now known as London Fashion Week?

At the time I had my own fashion PR business in London, and it surprised my to see how twice a year all our press and buyers went to Paris and Milan to see their fashion weeks. We didn’t have one, so I went to the director of the Clothing Export Council to ask why. He said that if I could collect £500, he would match it, so I went to Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir, Bruce Oldfield and others who gave me £100 each. I created a little brochure which I distributed with an invitation to top press and through them buyers were assured that if they came for a few days they would see our best designers at times and venues with minimum delays and a guaranteed seat. The designers themselves cooperated and the first British (later London) Fashion Week was a great success with huge international success. That was exactly 40 years ago this month.

2.    How did you cope in the competitive world of fashion?

I concentrated on the PR side of fashion choosing to promote products that were newsworthy and sold by companies who appreciated the value of publicity. There were instances where I had to compete with others, but I found that my manner of expressing myself and the way in which I approached the press usually worked in my favour.

3.    You spent 8 years in Nigeria, and left due to the Biafran war. I would like to know how you found living in Nigeria?

I started there in the army, married there and had three children there and we all loved it. At certain times of the year the climate could be trying, but we got used to that. I learnt Hausa which helped me enjoy the people of the North, while in the South, most people spoke English which enabled me to share their sense of humour which was always only just below the surface.

4.    You have dabbled in the paint, fashion, PR and now writing industry. Which have you found to be the most competitive and why?

PR was the most competitive. I always found that there were three or four others after the same coverage that I was seeking. There was just so much to be achieved with entertainment, press releases etc. but in the end what mattered most were the stories and, in the case of fashion, products which we were trying to promote.

5.    Can you tell us about your fashion memoir ¬¬– Whatever Next?

It is not so much a fashion memoir as my autobiography, of which fashion was a part. It tells of my seven different careers, including selling paint, testing and marketing insecticides, also buying a tiny island off the south coast of Devon, then restoring its art deco hotel. I have also written about my interest in polo, sailing and classic cars. Quite a lot, hence the title Whatever Next?

6.    Where do you see your writing career in 5 years?

Years ago I wrote three short stories for my grandchildren and they loved them. It is far more likely that I will pursue those rather than start on fiction. As things stand, there is no more non-fiction left in me!

 

Whatever Next

 

I enjoyed chatting with Tony Parker. I found his life experiences interesting and refreshing, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading this interview.

Let me know if you did by leaving a comment please.

Thanks for reading.

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Workwear Inspiration

Sometimes I miss getting dressed everyday, to go to work outside my home. Being a blogger, means I can work from anywhere, wearing anything, but I am also a stay at home mum, which comes first, so working from the local cafe for example, won’t be quite ideal in my current situation. Which means I do most of my blog work from home, wearing my home clothes, nothing fancy at all. So you can see why, on some days, I miss getting suited up in a fitted blazer and jeans, like I use to.

Depending on what you do for a living, it is advisable to have your workwear, casual and formal outfits in sync, so it doesn’t look like you are living separate lives, wardrobe-wise, and so you can wear your pieces for various events. This is why you need as many versatile pieces and accessories as possible.

I am inspired by some new pieces in stores at the moment, and I see myself getting some of them. Even if I work from home, and I see no reason why I should type a blog post wearing a blazer, these pieces would be great for events and meetings with clients, which I seem to be having quite a lot of lately.

Here are some workwear pieces that have caught my eye:

Olivia Single Breasted Herringbone Jersey Blazer

Joules Jersey Blazer Image

This fitted tweed grey jersey blazer by Joules is right up my street. It looks soft and feels comfortable to wear, it has a classic fitted look, which I love, and the touch of pink on the collar, just wins. I can picture myself wearing this with a pair of black skinny jeans, and a pink shirt, like the shirt pictured below. Perfect for the office and perfect for my client meetings. It is an investment piece. You can grab this versatile piece for £99.95.

Kingstonstrap Slim Fit Stretch Shirt

Joules Slim Fit Shirt Image

I adore slim fitted shirts. They usually look so pretty with skinny jeans or trousers, and they look good either tucked in or out, depending on the event and the look you are going for. This pink tailored shirt by Joules gives a flattering fit, it is a keeper. You can grab this shirt for £49.95.

 

Black Monroeblack Skinny Jeans

Joules Skinny Jeans Black Image

I am a sucker for a good pair of skinny jeans. I think they are the foundation piece to a capsule wardrobe, and they are super versatile too. You can rock a pair of skinny jeans to work with a shirt, blazer and heels, or throw a jumper with a pair of boots or sneakers. It works either way. This Joules pair is super stretchy and super flattering, and you can grab yours for £59.95.

 

UMADOSA Black Heels

 

Aldo Black Shoes

A classic black shoe is perfect for anything. It can take you from a wedding to the pub, and this pair by Aldo, can do just that. I love the attention to detail, with the addition of a sleek metal-accented heel. It is a beauty. You can grab this pair for £65.

 

What do you think of these items? Would you rock any of these? Drop me a comment, let’s chat.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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