Paul Weller in Reed Sunglasses by Kirk Originals.
From his early days when The Jam burst out of Woking onto the London scene in their sharp black suits, white shirts, black ties and pointed 2-tone Jam shoes, style, aesthetics and images have been as essential an element of the ever changing moods of Paul Weller as the fire and skill of his guitar playing, music and songwriting. His songs and lyrics have captured the lifetimes, the tough times and the good times of the British way of life through the second half of the seventies and on into the eighties, nineties and into the new century with a unique voice that incorporates documentary, realist language with esoteric references, poetic flourishes and a spiritual feeling.
The Jam, in the city in mid-seventies London, among the brutalist buildings of the strange-town of Oxford Street made music that was fast, with razor sharp arrangements in a start-stop style like the the London traffic, with a vitriol and the anger of youth directed at the tabloid version of the world that the masses accepted as their lot. Paul Weller as their catalyst, The Jam were punk in spirit but modernist in attitude as the they sang about the young idea, that there was more to life than this and you didn’t have to accept your place in the scheme of things.
Splitting up The Jam at the beginning of the eighties, within weeks Paul Weller became the chief of The Style Council. Adopting an Internationalist agenda that exploded into colour, exploring cappuccino cafe culture, left bank socialist leanings and an open-minded musical agenda that incorporated, jazz, French chanson’s, electro rap, and acoustic soul made clear the whole point of no return, instead a future focus on a new stylish modernist identity. Light raincoats, loafers, and sunglasses worn with Navy Blazers, white denim, stripe t-shirts and bright knitwear were a distinctive part of the wardrobe that would come to be identified strongly with The Style Council but there was much more than to it than that. Lacoste polo shirts, Prince of Wales and pinstripe double breasted suits, espadrilles, polo-necks, cycling shirts and beanie hats, the Style Council b-sides even contained songs about window shopping.
Into tomorrow and the nineties brought the beginning of the solo years, as Paul Weller found himself musically, again, exploring his new interest in the acoustic pains of Neil Young, his enduring love of The Small Faces and playing the guitar. The nineties brought the peaks of Wildwood and The Sunflower albums along with Stanley Road, with it’s Peter Blake designed cover, and album after album has continued to flow creatively from Mr. Weller ever since. Consistently stylish the solo years have seen Paul’s style develop from the ribbed henley t-shirts with blue denim jeans and old school Adidas trainers of the early nineties upwards and onwards into Savile Row tailoring and classic John Smedley knitwear worn with good shoes, expensive leather jackets and coats. Never not shopping it seems and continuing the modernist path of a truly stylish Englishman of taste we were very pleased to say the least when thanks to Andy Crofts, his bass player, Paul Weller selected a pair of Kirk Originals Sunglasses from our Made in England collection.
Reed by Kirk Originals is an aviator inspired style that while informed by the past are a truly modern design, and are crafted like the best Savile Row suits completely by hand just a stones throw away from London.
Playing in London this weekend on the last date of his UK A Kind Revolution Tour, Kirk Originals salute the ever stylish Paul Weller.
Paul Weller photography and self portrait by Andy Crofts.
Andy Crofts wears Antibes in Chocolate from the Kirk Originals Archive.