I had a very polite chat with Daniel and Jonathan from the style blog Les Garçons de Glasgow.
The acclaimed and increasingly popular site is helping raise the awareness of style in Glasgow and documents the characters, personality and the honest representation of fashion in the city. This exclusive interview, proved insightful, informative and impressive, changing the way I understood the site. So without further ado, let’s take it away…
You seem to have good eyes and a talent for capturing interesting characters from Glasgow. What are your links to fashion, that allowed Les Garçons De Glasgow to flourish?
We have both been into photography for a number of years, and have worked on a number of fashion photography projects in the past. Daniel gained his experience in street style photography following his work with a number of Toronto-based magazines last year. Whilst Jonathan developed his eye for fashion during his time in New York, interning with a fashion photographer and working for Love Shine, the East Village’s version of Glasgow’s Mr Ben.
In Glasgow, over the past few years, we have been involved in a number of local projects, in particular with Che Camille, Glasgow Fashion Week, the Rainbow Room, and the Glasgow School of Art and Cardonald College during their annual graduation fashion shows.
Your site is similair to The Satorialist. Was this an inspiration for you to start your own version in Glasgow? Were there other underlying factors that influenced you to do this?
The Satorialist is the leading voice in street style blogs and has remained a major influence in our work. We look to the Satorialist as the quality we strive to achieve. Scott Schuman, the man behind the blog, is a great photographer because he manages to capture both the individual and the city in one image. There is a warmth and a genuine feel to all his images. Jonathan attended the opening of the gallery showcasing the best photographs from the Satorialist a number of years ago in New York. Since then we’ve both been hooked. We also follow Jak and Jill, another notable fashion blog and Garance Dore – The Satoralist’s girlfriend.
We aim to make Les Garcons very unique in its particular focus on Glasgow whereas The Satoralist has become a blog that catures the style of many cities from Florence to New York. The blog intends to reflect Glasgow’s style, to document what people are wearing, to showcase trends and to capture the energy of Glaswegians through their clothes and their style. We’ve always admired how people put clothes together in interesting and unique way, as opposed to how a stylist or brand dictates how a piece should be worn. For us style is a reflective of yourself, it’s a way to exhibit yourself to others. We believe that how you are dressed can influence how you feel, in particular, if you are wearing a well tailored suit or an elegant black dress. Often it’s the outfits that don’t scream ‘look at me’ that really stand out – clothes that are simple, chic and timeless.
When on the look out, what makes a good subject and what tips can you give people who would like to be featured by you?
We really like a complete look: an outfit that has been put together well. On the other hand, we really enjoy finding people who put clothes together in a creative way – combinations of different pieces of clothing, which you wouldn’t expect, yet work well. It can also be the way that person presents themselves, beyond what they are wearing. The way that person walks, or acts, or a certain something which captures our attention. Or it can be simply that the person is wearing a unique piece of clothing, something we don’t see often.
We get the occasional negative comment on a photo criticizing the way someone looks because their make up isn’t done right or their hair is a mess – if we’ve selected that photo, it’s often because there is something unusual or inspiring about it. People are human, and that’s why we love photographing them. The blog intends to showcase Glasgow – flaws and all – in order for it to be a true representation of the different styles within the city. We want people to look to Les Garcons for inspiration, and for an insight into how Glaswegians are dressing.
What are your opinions of fashion in Glasgow in comparison to the rest of the country?
Glaswegians have a reputation for really dressing up and going for it, which we love. Fashion is about being creative – having fun. We feel that in Glasgow people embrace that ethos whole heartedly. The other thing about Glasgow relates to its size and the easy access to shops. Having boutiques in the West End and South Side combined with the major stores in the city center, all (relatively) close together, means Glaswegians have a variety of places to shop. This is definitely key ingredient to the city’s style.
I believe one of the reasons, Glasgow is such a vibrant and creative city, is due to The Art School and how it attracts such an interesting breed. Do you have your eyes on any emerging stars or stylists, from here, which you believe will do well in the future?
Jodi McCann has some really interesting peices in Che Camille which was showcased at their Valentine’s fashion show. William Chambers Millinary has achieved a lot of success in the past few years. William is an advocate of Scotland’s current, highly-esteemed position in the fashion world and is keen to establish himself in Glasgow, a city renowned for its nurturing of innovative young designers. Chamber’s designs are well made and of a high quality. Pop star, Roisin Murphy, wore one of his hats on several dates of her European tour last year. Rebecca Torres is a Glasgow based designer, her fashion label ‘TORRES’ hosted it’s first collection in April 2008 and is very impressive. She’s definitely one to watch. Tommy Ga Ken Wan, a friend of ours and fellow photographer, is an inspiration. He strives for cinematic pictures and he always delivers. Cara Fairbairn makes jewellery, and has in a short space of time managed to create a brand identity, which normally takes a decade. She is really on the ball and will definitely make a name for herself on the international stage.
Some people may see your site as vain or pretentious. In regards to that, how would you defend the site?
We are trying to reflect what people are wearing on the streets and in the clubs. Some people may find this pretentious but we think of it more as a way to capture what’s happening within Glasgow – nothing less, nothing more. Yes, there is an element of narcissism and vanity but being interested in fashion and clothes does require a self-awareness. However, we prefer to keep in simple – we are two Glasgow guys that take photos of the city’s sartorial happenings.
Blogs come and go with varying success, however, In such a small period of time, you have gained an impressive and large following. What ingredients, do you believe have led to your success?
I think it’s down to our passion for it – we’ve spoken about doing it for years yet due to living and working abroad, Jonathan in New York and Daniel in Toronto, the project was put on hold. We feel that the success of the blog is due to a powerful combination of the internet and word of mouth. The beauty of Glasgow is its small size, the fact that everyone really does know everyone. We have tried to use this to our advantage in order to tell people about the blog. On top of that, Glasgow was one of the few cities in the so called ‘blogosphere’ without a street style blog – we wanted to fill that niche.
What are your goals and ambitions for the future, with the site?
We’d like to expand the ‘A Glaswegian in…’ section. We’d like to show whats happening internationally from a Glaswegian perspective. We’re also partnering with a lot more Glaswegian establishments such as The Arches, Che Camille and House of Fraser to support home grown business. We’re looking to organise an exhibition, showcasing the best photographs from the past few months in a gallery, hopefully opening at the beginning of the Summer.
And finally, what do you predict, will be this years popular trends? I’m hoping for tie-dye clogs.
Though we’re not huge fans of ‘trends’ per se, you’ll definitely see us in more classic 1950s styles – turn ups, denims, buttoned collar, and a suit perhaps. We believe that style is something that lasts longer than a fashion season and is less prescribed. There are a couple of things we’ll still be wearing in years to come – decent denims, pair of converses or Docs, a quality shirt, sturdy leather bag, cashmere jumper, some basic t-shirts and a good watch.
Thanks very much guys. Be sure to spend some time browsing through their site here.