FASHION WRITER, THE SCIENCE OF APPEARANCE FOUNDER
Written + Photographed By Kelley Mullarkey | Video Produced By Sean Stillmaker
The language of clothing is compelling, persuasive, fascinating and undeniable. Words such as suit, trousers and tweed convey a sense of identity instantaneously alongside their obvious tangible nature. They trigger a perceived notion of refinement, success and intelligence. Society and the media have taught us to picture a type of person rather than just a set of items when those words enter our minds.
Quintessentially smart, driven by well-tailored jackets and strong lines, Neil is a poster child for sophisticated dressing and the revival of menswear that’s seemingly sweeping us off of our feet. More than ever men are looking to fashion as a way to build upon their aesthetic and the impression they bring forth in their professional and personal lives.
Fashion for males, whether gay or straight, these days is about more class less kitsch.
There’s significance in the way we dress for each other and ourselves. We establish individual distinctiveness and character through fashion. Style is merely an extension of who we are and how we showcase this to the world on a daily basis.
Committed to the art of architectural fashion where detail and craftsmanship triumph, Neil, a menswear copywriter and genius behind The Science of Appearance, isn’t so much concerned with labels or brands but with how personal style adds to the uniqueness and authenticity we all possess.
Off a quaint street not too far away from London’s Olympic Park, rests Neil’s flat. When Sean and I arrive, Neil greets us in a humbling manner in his signature pair of Rick Owens black jeans. Cordial and welcoming, Neil humors us with his infectious witty banter as he turns on the kettle. In no time the three of us are situated in his living room discussing Usher’s interview with Oprah, which is currently occupying the TV screen next to us.
Taking a sip from his coffee mug, Neil switches off the box and elaborates on his personal style.
“My love for style evolved very organically. It came from the realization of discovering what clothes can do.”
Like most of us Neil battled body image issues as a teenager and did not understand how to dress for his body type.
“I was extremely overweight as an adolescent. I used to just think I’m big and I just need to wear big clothing. When you’re larger there’s this tendency to just cover everything up underneath with loads of fabric and ill-fitting clothes.”
After making the conscious decision to change his lifestyle, Neil began to realize the power and sense of self-pride that comes with wearing something truly special that fits well and accentuates the body.
“There’s a psychology behind dressing. It’s partly about rebelling and taking matters into your own hands. With the clothes you choose to wear you’re allowed to express exactly how you’re feeling – you’re attitude towards the cultural climate, your likes and dislikes. It’s provoking and honest.”
Part sheer luck, part hard work, Neil strangely found himself a career within fashion, the last place he ever expected to plant his creative roots.
After graduating with a degree in drama and theatre studies from Royal Holloway University of London, Neil had absolutely no clue what he wanted to do. While working as a swimming instructor one of his student’s mother, who worked as an industry stylist, suggested he get a blog and a Twitter account to put his voice out there.
“I tell everyone I meet these day to get your opinions out there. It’s your way to become someone desirable for hire. You have to showcase what sets you apart from the rest,” Neil reiterated the advice she gave him.
Neil is a sharp shooter. His sartorial side is a cocktail of cleverness and knowledge with a curiosity that matches his unmistakable dynamic personality and ever growing life perspective.
One chance of fate (and a lot hard work) led Neil to an internship with Matches, which then led to another twist of fate down the road that placed him at an interview at Selfridges where he currently holds a position as the lead menswear copywriter.
Mixing intrigue with his devotion to learning Neil makes fashion more convincible as being attainable rather than a luxury. He creates a dialogue between fashion and necessity that's appealing.
“Fashion, more importantly personal style, is about mastering the basics and dressing for you. Most people that don’t have the unconventional ultra skinny body type that the industry loves, fall short because they do not have the proper resources to educate them on what to wear. That’s what’s so great about blogging, everyone can relate. Everyone can discover a resource that helps aid them in dressing to feel great.”
Building his comprehension of style upon a foundation of textile consciousness, discovering new designers and encouraging others to embrace the power of dressing, Neil brings nothing but good vibes to the industry.
In his devastatingly elegant Vivienne Westwood blazer and Topman tie, Neil makes even our entertaining hick-up of getting accidently locked outside his flat look like some sort of glamorous adventure.
Unassuming, inoffensive and classically traditional, Neil’s style is where men should be looking to for guidance. As images and conversations remain fleeting, Neil’s vision is steadfast, fastened together by sartorial love and the power of self-esteem it provides.