World Exclusive: Paul Weller teams up with Pretty Green
Music and style icon Paul Weller, who needs no introduction to Pretty Green (PG) News readers, will be working with the Pretty Green label on some designs in the near future.
The former Jam and Style Council front man also wore the first ever Pretty Green suit, bespoke to the Modfathers own specifications, for his triumphant five-night run at the Royal Albert Hall this week.
PG News was extremely grateful to be granted an audience before Paul took to the stage on the opening evening of his concerts at the gig hotspot of the British Empire.
From a watercolour of Queen Victoria laying the first foundation stone, through a promo poster for Mohammad Ali's 1971 exhibition fight, the route from the Albert Hall's stage door to dressing room area is lined with frames picturing the venue's golden times. At the end of this passage through 20th century cultural history is the star's dressing room: where even in his pre-performance loungewear, greeting well-wishers with a firm handshake, Paul looked immaculate.
"I actually only bought these today," he said of the spectacular pair of tasselled black monk-strap loafers he's sporting, A super-fine white towelling button-neck 'granddad' T-shirt, luxurious black flares, and a lit cig despite the omnipresent 'No Smoking' signs, completed his ensemble. But during the concert itself Mr Weller was adorned in an even stronger look - his one-off bespoke suit especially made for these gigs by Pretty Green.
"Nick, Pretty Green's creative director measured me up and it turned out top," Paul enthused. "It's double-breasted, grey with a chalk stripe. Almost like a gangster suit, but with a little kick to the trousers." A bold style, certainly, but don't think that the rock icon remains anything other than a practical man. "What shirt will I be wearing with it? Well, I don't know yet. It depends how hot it is out there."
He could even strip to the waist, Iggy Pop-style - thanks to a recently-acquired wiry 'Brad Pitt in Fight Club' frame. "Have I got abs? Not yet. I think the trend for men looking after themselves more is a good thing, of course people getting healthier is. Plus, when you get older," and on the eve of his 52nd birthday he struck that trademark subtle grin, "...you have to."
Being preposterously well-turned-out is nothing new to Paul Weller, naturally. "I come from a time when everyone dressed up. Every kid on my estate dressed to the nines every day. People today though dress for comfort, which doesn't always look the best. Trackies, jeans and trainers... I grew up with a different set of values and outlook. I've always loved clothes. I've loved the clothes as much as the music of the time. They've always gone hand in hand to me - if I loved a band I loved the way they looked too."
And Weller's band themselves took to the stage bedecked in Pretty Green too. Ocean Colour Scene guitarist, and archetypal blunt but golden-hearted Brummie, Steve Craddock was in his dressing room getting briefed by the sound crew on his new array of guitar FX units.
"I thought what with [My Bloody Valentine's] Kevin Shields playing on the new album too, I'd better not play it at all safe this week!" he says. Steve's teamed his grey PG granddad tee a PG white jacquard-weave silk scarf and a very natty pair of tortoise shell Clubman shades. "Three quid these were from some seafront shop! I like PG because it's contemporary but classic. All the Mods with their Weller wigs dress like their dads. Or probably their grandads. You don't want that. Although I must say I like the Pretty Green grandad shirts! And the Monkey jackets."
But soon Steve will be able to wear Pretty Green designs by his own notably sartorial front man.
"I've got designs for suits, jackets, shoes - I've been talking to Liam about them," revealed Paul exclusively to PG News. "It's the same principle as what he's doing, really - stuff I'd wear myself."
Paul Weller's designs will compliment the Pretty Green range perfectly. "I certainly admire Northern style; I've got a fantastic white Parka from Pretty Green. Mind you, up there they have to wear big coats, being so cold!"
The Pretty Green Collaboration with Weller will be formally announced later this year.
Here are some photos from his recent gig.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Watson