Have you ever wondered who was behind Elvis’ signature style? Who made Johnny Cash into The Man In Black? And who helped all three generations of Hank Williams’ to become the stylish country boys they were/are? Well, the king of all things country attire is the one and only Manuel, also known as the “Rhinestone Rembrandt”.
Manuel learnt to sew from his brother at the age of 7, in his hometown Coalcomán, Mexico. Manuel moved to Los Angeles and worked for several tailors, but soon became bored with everyday clothing. With his flair for colour and glitz, he moved in to the world of costumes at Nudie’s famed western store, designing for the likes of Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger. After 14 years in western wear, Manuel branched out and opened his own shop in North Hollywood, eventually relocating to Nashville in 1989 to continue his association with the music industry.
From then on, Manuel’s original designs have become the trademark of American country music.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I dream about jacking everything in and moving to the heart of the deep south to live a more simple life. A life that doesn’t include iphones, tumblr, internships, high rent, high bills and city boys. Seen as that isn’t going to happen, it’s more realistic to escape London life by cranking up Hank Williams on my ipod during my commute home.
After another sleepless night listening to my neighbours drunk screaming then shagging, I spent my day thinking about ways to bring some country-peace n’ quiet in to this little home of mine…
And where does one go to find country inspired household items? Why, Esty of course!!
Country Music Lyric Coasters, £19.20 – while sipping on moonshine and Dixie Beer, make sure you don’t leave any marks by using these costers, each one with lyrics about booze by some of the greats of Country music.
Country Roads Art Print, £7.68 – Hang this above your bed, and after yet another argument with your boss/best friend/boy, stare at it while dreaming about those country roads taking you home (even if your home is only Newcastle-Upon-Tyne)…
Vintage Nashville Scarf Pillows, £41.50 – And while dreaming of those country roads, rest your pretty lil’ head on these Nashville motif pillows…
Don Williams 45 Record Clock, £5.18 – When it is finally time to wake up, make sure you wake up to this clock, made from a Don Williams record, aptly called “Lord I hope this day is good”.
Up-cycled Gramophone Horn Light Shade, £113 – I’ll bet y’all didn’t realise how dull your light shade was until you saw this old gramophone horn shade, did ya?
Walk The Line Johnny Cash Poster, £12.80 – Weather your single or love sick, this Johnny Cash poster with lyrics from one of his best songs, will look always be relevant.
Nashville Neighbourhood Coasters, £9.58 – Coasters that make you think you’re sipping whiskey in Nashville, rather than Nottingham.
Johnny Cash Recycled Record Bowl, £5.11 – And a bowl to eat you’re nachos out of, which will make you think you’re in Tennessee, rather that Tottenham.
Nashville Road Map Switch Cover, £6.39 – Every time you turn your light on or off you can look at all the places you wish you were instead of where you are now…
Dolly Parton Print by Beth Inglish, £17.89 – If we all grew up in The Smokey Mountains, perhaps we would all have the personality of the great Dolly Parton. Seen as we didn’t, and we don’t, the next best thing is having a painting of the lady to remind us all how to act, Southern Style.
Wooden Sign, £19.17 – Show your guests that you love them by hanging this sign made from reclaimed plywood on your living room wall.