Liam Gallagher’s new Pretty Green Range, yet to be released.
Some words from Terry Christian about the man behind the brand.
Pretty Green, taken from the title of a Jam song, is to be the name of Liam Gallagher’s new clothing range: classic styles as befitting a true star and reflecting the tastes of his audience. Liam says he is sick of the studenty skinny-jean look and wants to bring lads’ fashions back, and what true lad wouldn’t want to look like a rock star?
Gallagher was always going to be a star, from the first time I saw him, singing shyly at the Boardwalk club on a bill with Molly Halfhead and a band called the Cherries, to larging it up to full houses at Earls Court and Maine Road. If you were a 15-year-old kid sitting in your council house watching the telly, you’d want to be Liam Gallagher and to look like him; you wouldn’t necessarily want to look like Brandon Flowers or Russell Brand. The older I get and the more I hear the middlebrow brigade in their Hush Puppies sneering at Gallagher, the more I embrace the lad. To be annoying people still after all these years, he’s got to be doing something right.
Gallagher was always a bit of a style icon in his native Burnage. According to his old mate from school, Mark Bierne: “He was always smart, with good taste, a sort of Sixties-influenced mod look with a bit of Stone Roses thrown in. He used to love those Belstaff leather jackets, Converse boots — a classic, young-lads-around-Manchester look, really — but he carried it off well. It was the sort of look most of us were trying to perfect. He always looked good, even when he was broke.”
In the book Brothers from Childhood to Oasis, Gallagher’s older brother Paul told of how the 14-year-old Liam would help himself to his stuff while he was out at work. “Things would always go missing from my bedroom: adidas bags, T-shirts, the lot. It was my shirts that bugged me, especially my Ben Shermans. I’d complain and our Mam would just say: ‘Leave him alone, Paul. You’ve plenty of money for shirts.’ He always wanted to look perfect; he used to smother his hair in my gel, nicking my deodorant and aftershave too. He wouldn’t go out unless he looked perfect.”
Back then Gallagher was very much a young lad on the dole in a new band (Noel hadn’t joined Oasis yet and Liam, Bonehead, Guigsy and Tony McCarroll were still called Rain). He’s remembered for occasionally descending on offices in New Mount Street in Manchester, where small record labels, independent music pluggers and the Inspiral Carpets were all based. He would flog jeans and T-shirts out of a huge holdall: mainly Calvin Klein, Stone Island and that type of gear. There was a lot of it about at the time, allegedly thanks to a Burnage contact at Manchester Airport.
In many ways, you could say that selling clothes was Gallagher’s first real earner from the music business, but then that was what scallies did.
No doubt the glossies will sneer at a working-class kid who dares to call young student types sartorially challenged. Personally, I look forward to rummaging through his new collection, perhaps out of a holdall sported by some young scally in a bar in town.
Times March 20, 2009