Saturday, 23 July 2016

Dressing for the summer

In which G.M. Norton studies period fashion illustrations for some summer inspiration.


This week in Blighty, we’ve experienced something of a heatwave. Of course, we've also had thunder and lightning and the usual rain. But sunshine, nonetheless. 

While I find it relatively easy to dress in the colder months, dressing for the warmer months can be quite the hard slog, as it were. On the other hand, ladies seem to have the opposite conundrum and positively embrace sunshine while bemoaning winter.

In order to seek some inspiration from the halcyon days of yesteryear, I've been seeking out period illustrations from the likes of 1930's Esquire and Apparel Arts. Laurence Fellows was one of the more prominent fashion artists, with a distinctive style. Of course, other artists soon started to imitate his style.

These fine thirties fellows certainly show how it should be done.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Five word film reviews

In which G.M. Norton offers startling insight.


I’ve been watching a lot of films recently. As I get older, I’m finding that my concentration levels are becoming more and more abysmal. If I’m going to commit to sitting in front of the idiot’s lantern for anything more than half an hour, then I need somebody to accompany me.

Thankfully, I have my beloved for such things.

I must confess, she has only agreed to watch a handful of the films that we’ve now enjoyed together. For the others, she has said that she would read her book or “half watch” (no, I’m not sure either). But having been together for more than eleven years, I know that if she is sat next to me reading a novel, albeit on one of those popular electronic book devices, she will get distracted and then drawn into the film.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Shy and retiring

In which G.M. Norton hides behind Walt Disney.


I'm not feeling my usual self, chumrades. For a few weeks now, I've been hiding away from the world and getting lost in my own thoughts.

I get like this from time to time. There has been radio silence on the Twittering Device and very little activity on Instagram. Yet I can't completely hide. I still have the office job to turn up for, colleagues to converse with and a magazine to plan and develop. Despite feeling like this, I even stood in front of a few hundred people last week with a microphone in my hand for the Somme commemorations

Saturday, 2 July 2016

If ever there is tomorrow

In which G.M. Norton never forgets.

Yesterday, Friday 1st July 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme during the Great War. 
I work in Salford and as part of the city’s commemorations; I was honoured to be the announcer that led the tributes for the fallen outside the town hall. 

More than 650 Salford men, including members of the Pals battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers, were killed during the first day on the battlefields. A battle that took the lives of more than a million people from all nationalities.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Summer reading

In which G.M. Norton idly ponders whether Jerome K. Jerome would approve.


Well, it's officially summer. And by a strange coincidence (it's as if it was planned), the summer issue of In Retrospect is out now and available to get your filthy hands on.
Issue 07 is a real humdinger, chums. We have the best writers in the retrospective scene including those lovely people behind my favourite reads Crinoline Robot, Porcelina's World and Eclectic Ephemera.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Holy Cow! Bespoke leather key case

In which G.M. Norton gets well and truly leathered.


Like loose change, a bunch of keys have a nasty habit of jangling in one’s trouser pocket.

Although I often carry a satchel, like my enemies, I like to keep my keys as close as possible and that means on my person.

Apart from the jangling issue, there’s two other pet hates from carrying around keys; an unsightly bulge and the damage a set of keys can cause to the pocket lining. Honesty, keys rival that of a moth. In the last few weeks, two trouser pockets have developed holes and despite meaning to repair them, it slips my mind. Before you know it, I’m sauntering around town in them again and worrying that I’ll lose the key to my motorcar.
My trousers deserve more. I demand more. So that’s why I commissioned a fellow on Instagram to make a leather key case for me.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Making a Fougasse of myself

In which G.M. Norton draws a cartoonist out of the past. 


As a child, I harboured dreams of being a writer and illustrator. I was quite handy with a pencil and loved drawing. Fast forward 25 years and my only artistic endeavour now involves doodling on a notepad, while avoiding whatever dull task I'm duty bound to complete. 

Still, I achieved part of my dream and get paid to write. I've even gained the lofty title of Editor-at-Large for In Retrospect magazine (issue 07 is now out by the way, chums).
I must admit that until only quite recently, I'd never heard of Cyril Kenneth Bird before. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Style icon: Clark Gable

In which G.M. Norton gushes over Gable.

Clark Gable is one of those fellows that chaps would love to be and ladies long to be with. Fitting the classic aesthetics of tall, dark and handsome, he was a jolly fine actor too.

As a keen exponent of the pencil moustache and side-part hairstyle, I feel a close affinity to Mr. Gable. Cementing his name in Hollywood history with the acclaimed Gone with the Wind, my beloved and I would go on to name our eldest daughter after the female protagonist.
During the 1930s, Clark followed the popular styles of the time with wide lapel jackets and high-rise trousers with pleats. With his tall frame, broad shoulders and slim waist; he pulled this off with aplomb.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Competition: Fashion on the Ration at IWM North

In which G.M. Norton visits the new northern home for Fashion on the Ration (and has a super giveaway!).


Despite loving bygone eras, I’m enormously thankful to be living today. With my growing love of clothes, I’m not sure how I would have coped if I’d been around in the summer of 1941 when clothes rationing was introduced to Britain. Well, I suppose I’d have been trying to keep my military uniform looking as pristine as possible while trying to stay alive…

Clothes rationing didn’t just last for the duration of the Second World War, it went on for nine years, long after the war had been won.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. While men were forced to forgo turn-ups on their trousers, it also meant that fair maidens revealed a little more leg as hemlines were raised for the war effort. That was when they weren't slipping into trousers themselves, to carry out the manual jobs, that men across Blighty had left behind. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Smouldering Sirens: Sabrina

In which G.M. Norton remembers one of the biggest stars of the 1950s.


I’m afraid that if you were to search the internet for ‘Sabrina’, most of the results will be for a teenage witch from the 1990s. 

If you’re from an older generation or like me, have an interest in previous eras, then Sabrina will bring up something altogether quite different in the ‘search result’ of your mind.
If you’ve never heard of her before, Sabrina was one of the most famous British pin-ups of the 1950s, with an impossibly-proportioned 42½-18-36 figure. With those frankly absurd curves and flowing golden locks, Sabrina was what one might call a ‘blonde bombshell’, following in the dainty footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Jayne Mansfield.