A new exhibition at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool is one of my must-sees early this year (it’s on until 19 March). North: Identity, Photography, Fashion includes the photographs of Shirley Baker, Alistair McLellan, Elaine Constantine, Corinne Day and Nick Knight. Together with work by designers Paul Smith, Raf Simons, Peter Saville, stylist Simon Foxton and many more. I grew up in Blackpool and studied in Manchester and even though I’ve now lived in London longer than I lived up north, I’ll always be a northener at heart. Maybe I’m a bit biased, but I do think the culture and style of the region has been incredibly influential and is well worth celebrating.
Arguably some of the best bands, ever, came out of Manchester and Liverpool – and helped to determine my teenage style choices. It was the 1980s, when I lived in an ‘old man’s’ overcoat, Doc Marten’s and second-hand denim and spent more time at the Haçienda than I did in the lecture theatre. As co- curator Lou Stoppard has said, ‘Things that shape you when you’re young never leave you.’
Time to hit the north.