Donald Trump is not amused: the illustrations of Stanley Chow, British Ideas Corporation, 2016
Unless you have broom handles for legs, it’s become practically impossible to buy jeans in Britain. “Skinny” is now the nation’s regular fit, while “Regular”, well… you have to assume every pair has been dragged from the shelves of the high street and taken to the nearest incinerator. All of a sudden, everyone’s starting to look like Max Wall.
One location that’s stubbornly impervious to the enforced narrowing of fashion is Manchester. Here men, on the whole, still dress like they’re off to see Oasis at Maine Road. Perhaps it was an act of black magic conjured in the bowels of the Factory Records office one long night in 1989, but it’s like a spell has been cast on the city, meaning that the width of jeans will forever provide legs with much-needed space. It certainly pays to visit Manchester in the sales and stock up on wide-fitting denim.
Sale-time Manchester is a cracking proposition and it’s best to plan your day with the mathematical precision of Alan Turing. You will, naturally, appoint Night & Day Café on Oldham Street as your base and from here you’ll be sure to spot a wide selection of the city’s creative force. There’s Guy Garvey! And Graham Massey from 808 State! And isn’t that Marc Riley ordering from the cocktail menu?
Night & Day Café is also a casual introduction to Manchester’s contemporary art scene and the work of local illustrator Stanley Chow is well represented on its crimson-painted walls. A selection of his highly stylised portraits include Kraftwerk in Trans-Europe Express-era pose, David Bowie, Tom Selleck as Magnum, Breaking Bad’s Walter White and a superb rendition of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s 1952 painting “The Chinese Lady”, more commonly known as “The Green Girl”. If budget-restricted, you may even forego a pair of baggy jeans to secure one of Chow’s prints, available from thestanleychowprintshop.com from £10.
We speak to the artist who’s adored by the Manchester crowd and loathed by would-be US president Donald Trump…