LCFMA22: Freya Temple explores the rich legacy of Liverpudlian fashion
I absolutely love the title of your project – both catchy and clever! What led you to research the historic prominence of fashion, specifically in Liverpool?
Thank you! This project actually flourished from a rather personal narrative. I grew up in Portsmouth, yet my Father was born and grew up in Liverpool. From a young age we made the journey back and forth between the two maritime cities and I was constantly bombarded with the rich culture. Each year when we would make our annual post-Christmas trip, I would always notice the streets awash with a particular fashion item. From UGG boots to Alexander McQueen trainers, there was a ritualistic-like dedication to fashion trends. This trend-driven behaviour which created a regimented ‘uniform’ that caught my eye was fascinating to me. The items which made up this ‘uniform’ where not exclusive to Liverpool, in fact some years the items that were ‘in’ in the city were most certainly ‘out’ beyond the shoreline of the Mersey. Yet the trends I noticed in Liverpool looked different on the people there and rebelled against the fashion industry, usually dictated by the likes of London. It was this united, rebellious attitude of the Scousers which intrigued me and made me want to take on this subject.
How would you describe ‘the spirit of the Scouser’?
I may have been brought up by a Scouser, and surrounded by grandparents, uncles and aunties, cousins and friends who would define themselves as such, however I would hate to put words in their mouths. From the outset of this project I swore to myself that I would not speak for the Scousers. Rather, I set out to provide a platform through this project to allow Scousers to present their innovative influence on the fashion industry, trends and styles. Looking at the facts, Liverpool is a city which has had a number of hardships, yet you only have to listen to the lyrics of the football club’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to discover the spirit of the Scouser.
Through talking with the people of Liverpool, I witnessed their spirit shine through, which can be seen throughout the project’s vast number of interviews and interactions shared. A particular moment which encapsulated this strong spirit was when I interviewed owner of deadstock trainer store Transalpino, Jockey. Expressing the extent to which he would go to sought out scally styles to bring home, he said, “If I could get to Mars I would.” It was this quote which helped me understand the spirit of the Scouser and their stance on style throughout this project.
Do you predict any further significant trends to stem from the ‘Scousers’? What is your particular favourite?
As said by Liverpool’s own Simon Rattle, Liverpool is, “the constantly offside city”, they are unpredictable, so no I cannot. What I do know is that it will be something we least expect, it will be something we see and scorn as ‘Scouse style’. However in a few years this will be a mainstream fashion trend that the fashion industry shall look upon, take a liking to and claim as their own.
As Liverpool-born model and businesswoman Erin Borini who married ex-Liverpool FC player Fabio Borini told me, “Seeing brands like Philip Armstrong grow and their pieces being worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and J Lo shows you don’t need to be from L.A. or London to be taken seriously.” Fashion trends and styles which emerge from Liverpool stem from the Scousers and therefore if we want to know the next significant one to emerge we shall have to wait and see!
My favourite trend to stem from the Scousers is their attitude towards fashion. Interviewing Coleen Rooney she said, “Being from Liverpool, has given me the confidence to dress how I would like to dress. We (us Scousers) are not afraid to try different styles, trends, shapes, which I am proud of. Liverpool has fun with fashion.”
Tell us about your time on the course – do you have any particular highlights or key moments that you will take away with you?
This MA project is something I will never forget as I don’t think it will finish here. I don’t ‘look back’ on the course as it is only just the beginning for me. As this project ‘took on a life of its own’, I believe the voices and images captured need to be heard and I hope that in the future, through publication, this project will help to further establish and emphasise Liverpool’s rightful place in fashion history.
What are your plans for life after graduation?
I began my MA straight after graduating from the University of Exeter with a 2:1 in BA Theology and Religion. Therefore after graduation I plan to travel the world for nine months. I began a styling account on Instagram during my time at LCF, called @howfittingbyfreya. As I have grown a following and maintained the account, I intend to use my travelling to explore global fashions and develop my writing skills further. Returning home my main priority is to publish my project, which I have already received offers for, and establish a name for myself writing and potentially styling in the fashion industry.