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Four Fearless Nottingham Style Icons Walk Us Through Their Inspiration

7 June 22 words: Addie Kenogbon
photos: Dani Bacon

For many, the clothes people wear act as a way to express their personality, serving as a first impression to people they meet. However, with a society that’s rife with judgement and pressures for people of all ages to conform, having the confidence to go against the grain and challenge societal norms through what you wear is no mean feat. We caught up with a few Nottingham style icons to see how the clothes they wear help them be fearlessly, unapologetically themselves, while proving great style needn’t have any rules…

Kim Thompson

Seventies Blaxploitation movie main character

How would you describe your style?
Seventies Blaxploitation movie main character, with a dash of clown.

How does what you wear help you express your personality?
I work as an illustrator and there's definitely lots of correlation between the way I style myself and the bold colour, retro aesthetic, and film references in my work… but I'm also secretly quite shy! Dressing up has always been a way for me to 'step into character', feel good and represent myself with confidence.

What's the one clothing item you own that always helps you feel confident?
Not so much clothing, but I swear by a good red lip and some big retro sunnies - a classic low effort accessories combo that instantly lifts any outfit and saves me the time it takes drawing on my eyebrows!

Jim McBride

Seventies New York cop on unpaid leave

How would you describe your style?
Seventies New York cop on unpaid leave, friendly mobster or retired cowboy lost at the disco - it depends on the weather and the mood.

How does what you wear help you express your personality?
Music’s huge for me, and the fashion that goes alongside it has always been incredibly important. I’ve always loved that aspect of music, from punk to mod, to the swinging sixties and disco. It’s also been a huge part of my partner and I’s relationship over the past eight years. There’s nothing like faking it ‘til you make it and heading into town to turn some heads on a Saturday afternoon after bagging some steals from a charity shop, then settling in at the pub for a few pints dressed like you’re ready for a twenties wedding. I guess there’s also an ethical undercurrent to it as well, as dressing like you’ve been swiped from another era usually means fast fashion does not float your boat. I haven’t bought a new item of clothing in years - and I buy a lot of clothes! 

What's the one clothing item you own that always helps you feel confident?  
I’ve got a great seventies beige three-piece suit with huge flares and lapels. I wear it to a lot of the big times! Bagged from Hopkinson for like £30 in 2018, it looks almost identical to the suit Mick Jagger married Bianca in in 1971, the lapels are just slightly less mega. Annoyingly, I wore it during lockdown a lot because it happens to be incredibly comfortable, so it’s almost become my pyjamas. Still slaps though.

Megan Crook

Eighties toddler. Kids TV presenter

How would you describe your style?
Eighties toddler. Kids TV presenter.

How does what you wear help you express your personality?
Colour is life. For me, it represents vitality, but I also hope that by wearing colourful, cheerful outfits, it lets people know I’m friendly and approachable. How we dress can really impact how we feel about ourselves - we all deserve to feel fabulous in our clothes (and in ourselves), so I make garments to encourage that.

What's the one clothing item you own that always helps you feel confident?
I have a cross-front, skin-tight jumpsuit in green and yellow leopard print that I made a few years ago and I always feel sexy AF when I wear it. I love it with a bright orange faux shearling aviator jacket. It’s a chef’s kiss outfit moment!

Vince Porter Sharp

What is style?

How would you describe your style?
What is style? It seems to be a way for certain individuals to establish a club designed to exclude those considered to be on the 'outside'. My philosophy is wear what you want and don't be intimidated by those who tell or advise you what to wear. 

How does what you wear help you express your personality?
What I do know is it takes confidence to wear anything considered beyond the current 'normal', whatever 'normal' is in terms of attire. It takes time to become confident in wearing what you'd really like to. There are so many outside pressures driving you to conform, to be part of a certain group. Be brave, gradually, and you'll eventually become confident and not care about what anyone has to say about your appearance.

What's the one clothing item you own that always helps you feel confident?
I am very, very happy wearing a frivolous hat. Wide brim, high crown, sometimes with a few bits and bobs of tat attached to liven it up. I am always inspired by Nottingham's own Albert Brown. Once you can wear a good hat at a jaunty angle (see Gregory Issacs) you're on the way to confidence in terms of your clobber. 

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