Thursday, 31 December 2009

Firecracker will be back next year with a Bang.

Dear Readers,

09 has been my busiest year so far as a photographer and I plan to make 2010 even busier.
With my shoot for Hooka being posted early January, one of my pics being featured in a forthcoming Vogue issue and a shoot planned for Dazzed and Confused magazine, it's already looking good.

I am currently seeing the New Year in with friends and family in Ibiza but as soon as I get back to England, I will be posting my Spring/Summer 10 style predictions which was written for the current Gossip magazine.  I am also finalising plans for various shoots including Lola Love's S/S 10 collection.
With 2010 looking set to be a fashion corker for both myself and Liverpool, I am certain this year will be one of massive expansion furthering our status on the UK fashion map.

Happy New Year everyone.

Matt. x

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 goes live later this week. See amazing shoot and exclusive interview here.

Hello Readers. Its been a while since i blogged on here (well a whole week), however I've got a good one to come back with. 

I've taken this shoot from the's forthcoming website and the interview from the for forthcoming 2nd issue of Select Magazine (click here) Liverpool's freshest property and lifestyle Magazine. 

Photography and Digital Manipulation-Matt Ford.
Make-Up and Hair- Hannah Ellen. 
Model-Hollie Swain @ Boss Models. 

Click to enlarge images.

With a family history of entrepreneurs, the creators of are set to take the Internet fashion world by storm.

Reinventing and simplifying the concept of the clothes swap shop industry ‘MFJ’, without planning to be is the perfect company to maintain your wardrobe in the uncertain financial times we live in, targeting every aspiring fashionista.

While on a shopping trip back in March to the famous Brick Lane market in London, Sam and Lauren came up with the idea of re-selling clothes online to a national audience. After years of people begging, borrowing and stealing Lauren’s extensive collection of dresses stored in her Nan’s attic, she realized there was already a market.

Many of the dresses were originally owned, as Lauren tells me, “by my grandmother, one of the most stylish women I’ve have ever known. Still to this day, at 76 she insists on wearing classily tailored clothes and elegant looking red lipstick.’’

Lauren confirms her grandmother has been a major inspiration for her wanting to work in fashion. Sam recalls when she was just 8 years old she was already customizing her own clothes, so moving into fashion has been an inevitable move that’s always been on the cards. 

Sam and Lauren wasted no time and started planning ‘MFJ’. With eBay being the most common source for buying and selling vintage and pre owned clothes, they set out to see if the could improve on the way it works. With MFJ there’s no waiting for bidding and not knowing if you will make the purchase, there’s no uncertainty of receiving your item or if it will be a nothing like the picture on the net. 

The concept is, for selling items, send MFJ a picture and description, they value it (within 12 hours) and then you post it. As soon as you have received your valuation, you will be able to spend your MFJ credit on anything on their site. Once they have received your item, they will photograph it themselves adding a detailed description and upload it right away thus insuring people are buying exactly what the see.

MFJ doesn’t end there. Each month there will be a designer focus. By supporting young talent including Tanya Maxwell, who has been stocked in Cricket, Manjit Sanja (Doghouseprint) - known for his amazing digital print Tee’s and Natasha Petafi-stocked on ASOS. Most of these items stocked on MFJ will be exclusive to them.

“We are always looking for established and up and coming designers to showcase on our site.”

When asking what kind of items you might find on MFJ I’m told that the possibilities are endless. They stock everything from unworn items that are still on sale in their original stores today to one off vintage items from the 40s. They have everything from shoes and hats, dresses and even children’s clothes. They plan to expand the website to sell men’s clothing over the coming year.

Matt Ford.

My Fashion Junkie will have their soft Launch first thing in the new year. Then 2 weeks later will have an official launch Party and Website Launch.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

''To tan or not too tan.'' Article by Firecracker contributor Hannah Ramsey.

After reading my ''Style in the City'' (click here to read) article for Select Magazine. Hannah has come up with this follow on piece. 

Thanks Hannah.


 To tan or not to tan?

It is an ongoing battle between tango or pasty, sun kissed or pale – Year round, is it tan or no tan? For me, the answer is definitely tan. I’m one of the many Brits who flock to sunnier climes in the summer with the intent of darkening my skin by a few shades, and indeed one who would come back home feeling quite defeated if I didn’t succeed in making my mum and a few friends look like ghosts. 

But with all the media coverage surrounding tanning, why is it still preferable to be bronzed? I imagine it’s purely because we feel better with a tan just like you do with a new haircut or a new outfit. But for some people it gets more serious, when having no tan makes them feels like they’re naked and going on the sunbeds becomes an addiction, commonly known now as “Tanorexia”. It hit the news not so long ago, a story about a girl just 10 years old who got severely burnt after spending 16 minutes on a sunbed, and recently many councils have banned sunbeds for fear of the long term damage they can cause including cancer, melanoma and of course premature ageing. Lorraine, 30, from Liverpool admits she used to “hammer the sunbeds” when she was younger, before the days of Fake Bake and St Tropez but stopped eight years ago after going to check on some worrying moles at the doctors. “It’s just the fear of the unknown really, who knows what they could have developed into” she explained.

But just look at Liverpool’s own style setters Coleen and Alex. Never ever ever have I seen either WAG embracing “pasty” and followers of their style are probably followers of their skintone too. But even with tans in fashion how far is too far? This summer it was thought that deep tans were “out”, healthy glows were “in” and apparently Jennifer Aniston was ‘obsessed’ with spf. Maybe that is the way to go - we definitely wouldn’t look so alien if we didn’t stray so far away from our natural skin tones. But if we insist on a form of tan, lets not forget faking it. If you get it right, as well as avoiding the typical Liverpool “terracotta army”, “oompa loompa” and “orange scally” tags, we are lessening our chances of skin cancer which must be a good thing. Lorraine adds “After I stopped using the sunbeds I used Fake Bake and the like for a while, but it should be cheaper to encourage young women to use fake tan instead of sunbeds.”

And for those who could lie there for an hour with no sun cream on and still not change colour, just look to Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts. She did dabble with the tan a few years back but these days she embraces her pale complexion using it to her advantage and now has her own make up line for fair skin, Dainty Doll, showing that you don’t have to have a tan to look good. Lorraine now doesn’t use anything at all either, saying she “gave up on fake tan too.”

So the debate rages on – maybe a tan’s good, maybe its ‘so last season’. I guess I may always be a devotee to a tan of some sort; I’ll just befriend the spf like Jennfier Aniston. But what advice does someone who has experienced effects of the sun first hand have - Is it worth it? “Definitely not, just don’t bother at all, it’s scary. I own a corsetry business and all my clients want to go crazy on the sunbeds before a night out but I tell them all off - In a nice way of course!”

Hannah Ramsay

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Style Awards With Juice FM. (report and photos)

Well if you haven't heard of the Liverpool Style Award, then here is a quote taken from their website to tell you all about it....

''Welcome to the Liverpool Style Awards 2009 
107.6 Juice FM presents the Liverpool Style Awards 2009 with Tracey Bell.  The Liverpool Style Awards is now in its third year and this year is shaping up to be the most fantastic yet – celebrating Liverpool and the re-invention of the most stylish city in the world.
The 18 categories of nominations reflect the life, culture and style of Liverpool celebrating the city’s position as Style Capital and a city that has achieved a near complete reinvention in the way it looks and sees itself.''

This year Juice FM decided to hold the event in the Hilton hotel in Liverpool 1. The brand new Hotel it self has been shaped and inspired by Liverpool culture. The perfect venue! 

The night was an amazingly thought out and glamorous evening. That I'm sure many of the guests would agree was an event highlight of the year and a fantastic way to end another high achieving year for the city. 

The Entertainment  consisted of LIPA's choir performing for the awards intordution opening followed by singer Alex Gardner (Paolo Nutini's recent support act) and the ''Liverpool fashion through the ages'' catwalk performance.

Then after the elaborate opening was over the awards began. Presenters Natasha Hamilton and Juice FM's Adam Weighell stated handing out the Awards, two of which were received by 2 of my favourite clients. Voodou For Best Salon and Kirsty Doyle for The Business Enterprise Award.

Click to enlarge.

Alex Curren.
George Samson. Britons Got Talent Winner.
Amanda Harington and the Blonde Dollies.

Hollyoaks Gerard McCathey and X Blue Peter Presenter Zoe Salmon.

Alex Gardner and his Band

Girls Can't Catch.

Kirsty Doyle-Business Enterprise Award.

Justine Mills-Cricket- The Boutique Fashion Award.Ally Mac. Up and coming Award.

Hollyoaks Kent Riley.

Natasha Hamilton.

Cast of the Take that Musical.

Rob-Voodou-The Salon Award.


George Samson Performing.

Kids From Fame. (LIPA)

Chelcee Grimes.

The Awards were then topped off with perfomances by Chelcee Grimes, Girls Can't Catch and George Samson.

Then it was time to put the camera down and pick up a drink at the after show party....


Gossip Magazine (male + female) Fashion Shoot.

Photos-Matt Ford.
Stylist-Hester Brody.
Hair & Make-up Hannah Ellen.
Models Alice & Danny @ Industry People.
With thanks to the Met Quarter.

Gossip Magazine is Liverpool's pint size hit of fashion, hair/beauty and all sorts of celeb bits and bobs.
The shoot is for issue 4, the Christmas issue.
The fashion shoot, taken in ROCOCO cafe at the top of church street (by the Big Barclay's)

Gossip magazine can be found in all the city centre train centres at Rococo cafe and many other venues across Liverpool. 

Click to enlarge.

Alice- Dress £255, Malena Birger @ Flannels.
Shoes £159, Kate Kuba.
Headband £135, Jennifer Behr @ Benna. (in Kirsty Doyles Boutique)
Danny- Suit £399, Shirt £89, Tie £49, Shoes £179 all Hugo Boss.

Top £243, Skirt £243 both Kirsty Doyle.
ChunkyBeaded Silver Neaklace £80 LK Bennet.
Multi-strand necklace £30, Phase Eight.
Bag £170, Shoes £160, LK Bennet.

Dress £199, Hobbs.
Head band £390, Jennifer Behr @ Benna.
Ring £145, Noir @ Benna.

Suit £499, Shirt £149, Tie £49 Hugo Boss.

Alice- Dress £220, Phase Eight.
Givinchy Bracelet £185, Paired with Chanele Bracelet £450.Both Vintage @ Benna.
Danny- Suit £399, Shirt £89, Tie £55, Hugo Boss

Alice- Dress £660, Rachel Gilbert @ Flannels.
Vintage Bracelet £150, Benna. 
Paste Bag £450 Benna.
Danny- Suit £895, Prada @ Flannels.
Shirt £90 Paul Smith @ Flannels.
Tie £49, Shoes £179, Hugo Boss.

All the items in this shoot can be found in the Met Quarter.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Street style. Dec 09.

Just found these images left over from when I did the street style for Topman. Obviously the girls ones weren't needed but they're too good to waste.  

Kayleigh Winters. Model. Style Icon- Sienna Miller.
Leather Jacket and check shirt-Topshop. Legging's and tight dress - American apparel. Dolly shoes-Primark.

(click to enlarge)

Rebecca (left) and Olivia. Fashion Students.
Rebecca's style Icon-Kate Moss. Black dress and Jacket-Topshop. Shoes-River Island.

 Olivia's style Icon-Alice Dellal. Clothes from H&M, Topshop, American Apparel and Vintage.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

'Style in the City' (article taken from my monthly select magazine column.)

Style in the city

Liverpudlians claim to live in one of the most stylish cities in the country, an attitude often acquired from having been in the global spotlight of the Beatles and its overwhelming appreciation of its Wags, but does it live up to the reputation?
Liverpool has a uniqueness and confidence that leaves other cities in the shade. “Less is more.’’ I beg your pardon? Heels, hair, makeup and dress length (or lack of) are all in excess in our city and its not about to change but this doesn’t always constitute style.

Not that long ago Liverpool was famous for its unnaturally orange ladies, and it was well known in the fashion industry that we were the biggest buyer of Lacoste track suits in the world. All this made me lose hope.

Now with the arrival of Liverpool One which gave the city an 18% increase in shoppers over the last year with its retail space due to be at 98% capacity for Christmas, a super sized new Topshop claiming its position on Church Street plus home grown designers like Lola Loves, Kirsty Doyle and Claudia Pink all opening boutiques in coveted retail spaces. Now we are able to make wise and confident style choices plus we’ve some very talented creatives to guide us through it.

Dare we forget the more demure, unsung female professionals, with a slick ability to mix a luxury Zara tux, with a tailored pair of D&G trousers. This style tribe has helped us acquire shops including a second Flannels and GIVe by George Davies, amongst others. So now Liverpool is even more able to cater for high end fashion shoppers as well as feeding younger thrifty shoppers, always hungry for the next trend.

Colleen’s “pure scouse” style appeal helped to contribute to the constant media obsession with other scouse wags, such as Abbey Clancy and Alex Curran for their lavish style and now in its 4th year, we also command national press attention with coverage of Liverpool Fashion Week. Of course we’re not going to get column space like London Fashion Week, but can we now be justified in our outlandish claim? I certainly think were back on the map.

Liverpool’s thirst for being stylish and its financially proven addiction to shopping has made us one of the few, if not the best, success stories during the credit crunch.

The future is bright and thank god it’s not orange.

Matt Ford. 

To visit the select Magazine website Click here.  

Please leave any feed back on this article in the comments box. Thanks. 

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Whistles Liverpool 1 launch party pics.

(click to enlarge)

The Liverpool Fashion Glitterati were out in force last night for the official opening of the Liverpool 1's Whistles store.
Thanks to Jane Shepherdson the former Topshop director of 15 years buying a 20% stake in the company 18 months ago, the brand has now lost its 'yummy mummy' reputation and has gained it self the notoriety of a more sophisticated clientele with its cleaner silhouettes.

Benna-Benna Jewellery. Kirsty Doyle-Met Quarter and Jane Shepherson-Whistles Chief executive.

Abi Harding-Zutons and Candi Payne.

Fellow Liverpool Fashion Bloggers Lauren McBride and Alex Folly.

Lauren and Sam from My Fashion Junki LTD (They are a forthcoming web based company that will have an amazing shoot and introduction on here and in my fashion column for Select magazine within the next few weeks. On the right Gemma from Mercy Design. (thanks for getting me this gig gem. x)

I caught this girl snapping her self with a Whistles coat on, I wonder if she bought it.

And now for some stylish people I found at the event.....
 To visit the Whistles Website Click here.

Matt x

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Street style/Industry style. (fashion designer John Maines.)

If you saw the designer focus post i did last week (click here) then you will have seen the tartan shorts and grey zip detail t-shirt deigned by this fellow. Well, caught unawares when he came to pick up his garments, I thought I'd snap this massively trendy lad even though he was still wet from the rain. Sorry John!

Boots: £60-River Island.
Ox Blood Jeans: £15-H&M.
 Mini Trench Jacket: £65-Topman.
Cardigan: £20-H&M.
Gloves: £8-Topman.