Best of British // Fred Perry: from tennis lawns to laurel wreaths through to reppin’ the mod squad

Working in menswear I’ve always been intrigued by sports and heritage brands – the culture they inspire (and even embrace) as part of their identity; however none so much as Fred Perry – and this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with my obsession with Paul Weller…
…and all things Mod…
paul-weller-fred-perry
…OK, FINE it has.
But a brand so closely knit with subculture, music, and an era I hold in such high regard (literally; the length of my skirt and the height of my hair reflect this daily) was always going to be high on my list.
Fred-Perry-Amy-WinehouseFred Perry is intrinsically British, and as much as my love of Mod comes from all things ’60s, FP really came to be the backbone of the Mod scene in the late ’70s with the release of Quadrophenia; when the button-down polo shirt with the infamous Laurel wreath was certified as one of the most iconic style emblems of modern Britain.
Jimmy Quadrophenia Fred Perry
But if I’m being honest, it was actually Lol from This Is England who inspired me to be a Fred Girl. With her kohl-lined eyes, sky-high quiff and button-up Fred Perry shirts she was a true style inspiration in a girl’s world of tight body con and slutty stripper shoes.
fred-perry-this-is-england
Now don’t get me wrong: I love a micro mini as much as the next gal, BUT I also love an element of quirky; a feeling of cool, plus I love a brand that has a story – and Fred Perry has many of them.
So many so that it’s easy to forget Fred Perry himself was actually a tennis player – allbeit  an absolute rascal of a tennis player with a reputation for womanising, and a disdain for the British class system (aaaaaand my affinity with all things Fred grows by the minute).
Fred Perry tennis player
The designer and musical collabs (Comme Des Garçons, Richard Nicoll, Stussy, The Specials and more recently Amy Winehouse), the limited editions, and the sub-culture continue today.
Amy Winehouse in Fred Perry
Fred Perry as a brand constantly pioneers new music, with a simultaneous nostalgia for it’s past; still staging initmate gigs in historical venues, bringing new audiences face to face with legends of music – and new generations alike – as demonstrated by the subculture website and the current link up with Manchester’s Dot To Dot festival.
The Specials and Fred Perry
My personal love for Fred Perry’s womenswear continues with a sneak preview of the A/W’12 posthumous Amy Winehouse collection (shhhhhhh, you lucky lot) where the main image is absolutely, undeniably based on ME (alright alright so I’ve now engineered my entire look based on it – whatever, chicken/egg/ blah): blonde beehive, leopard print, moody greys, and that infamous FP Laurel. Gorgeous.
amy FP collageThe women’s skinny fit polos and ’50s diner dresses are nothing short of perfect , and my Amy Winehouse Hawaiian shirt from the A/W’11 collection remains to be my most favourite thing in the world (including my cat).
Fred Perry Amy Winehouse Hawaiian shirt
So you see, you don’t have to be a die-hard scooter boy to appreciate Fred Perry (although chances are I will  prrooooooobably sleep with you, if you are) – just a rock ‘n’ roll spirit with an affinity for all things cool Britannia.
fred-perry-girl
From Blur to Amy Winehouse, Fred Perry is in the backbone of British music, and every season the collections speak for themselves in terms of timeless style and brand identity.
blur fred perry
And THAT is why Fred Perry is my number one brand.
*backcombs beehive higher, jumps on scooter and waits for a boy called Pinky*
*still waiting*
*oh*
For all things Fred Perry, visit fredperry.com
Oh, and see also this excellent blog we stumbled across whilst researching this piece: british-men-in-fred-perry.tumblr.com

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