London V. Manchester- FashionMay 29, 2010
Coming after my blog posts about London, I think the best approach to this would be to acquaint ourselves a bit better with Manchester overall. However, before I go into depth about that, I’d like to make some more simple comparisons between the two big cities of the UK.
My time here in UK has ended, after spending about a week in London, and 2 nights in Manchester, I’ve come to the conclusion that Manchester is a lot like Milwaukee compared to New York City (not Chicago because of the size).
Manchester has the same unmistakeable appeal of and dedication to its small, or not so small, privately owned businesses as Milwaukee does. Londoners are a lot more about cheekier in their demeanor and wealthier for the most part, and they like to show it off. Manchester was built on the backbone of the working class, and its citizens seem to view, and pride, it as the revolutionary black sheep of the UK. It prides itself as having its ideals and identity existing outside of the aristocracy rather than in accordance to it. Manchester definitely still has all of the bells and whistles of a big city, but the history and people are what make it different from London. I once wondered why Londoners told us as a group through passing conversation that Manchester is “shit” and vice versa, but I think I understand now.
“There is more to Manchester than shopping, bars, and clubs. Manchester is a city of radical thinkers, mavericks, and trendsetters. It’s the people that give this city its edge. They have always fought for their rights: challenging, resisting, contesting, insisting. Peterloo did not crush this spirit! And the Suffragette struggles were fueled by it. (suffragette city?)Manchester attitude, the swagger on the street, colours the cultural landscape. It inspires designers, artists, musicians, writers to harness and express the tangible pulse that surges through the city.”- a display plaque from Manchester’s Modern Art Gallery Museum.
London definitely has its areas of shopping, and so does Manchester. Manchester has thrift stores and market places like London’s Brick Lane to buy clothes as well as busier areas similar to London’s Oxford Street to go to places like TopShop. So Manchester is similar to London in these ways, but what makes Manchester different? It has one type of shopping destination that makes it unique: Afflecks. (no, not Ben Affleck, but I did keep my eyes out for him). Afflecks is one huge building that designers can open their boutiques in and sell their original designs. It’s like a gigantic hub of fashion innovation and creativity, which is so paralleled with the culture of Manchester. The second I walked in, I smelled the aroma of warm, scented candles. It wasn’t a perfumed smell like those in Harrods; this smell felt more organic, and so did the clothes.
We fight in honourable fashion for the good of mankind; fearless of the future, unheeding of our individual fates, with unflinching hearts and undimmed eyes.