Friends and fun at the PS anniversary Open Day – Permanent Style

For the first hour-and-a-half of our Open Day last week, no one turned up. I sat there on a bench outside the shop, considering that maybe the ‘I am 15’ badge and the birthday banner weren’t so funny after all. Maybe they were just stupid. 

Then Chris from Drake’s turned up, and had a coffee, and chatted and had a photo. Then Ryan from Bennett Winch, Jake from Iwaki, Mike from Red Rabbit, and two readers in rather nice combinations. 

By 11am it was humming, and stayed that way all day. It had been an unusual idea to have an all-day party, rather than an evening one, but the format seemed to work. People just hung out, creating a rather easy atmosphere – always 30 or 40 inside and outside, always a pleasant chatter, always a queue for Jamie’s photo studio. 

I have to say, although Lucas and I worked our socks off – and were dead on our feet by the end of the day – Jamie was the real star. 

During those eight hours from 11am to 7pm he shot over 120 portraits, of readers and industry friends, designers and visitors. Some that have their photo taken all the time (Manish, Paul) were easy; others that were being shot for the first time were a little harder. 

But Jamie made them all feel at ease. He joked, he laughed, and directed in a way that felt like the suggestion of a friend rather than the order of a photographer. It was as much part of the atmosphere as the pastries and pastéis de nata

We had a few surprise guests: I spotted reader Simon – featured here in his reader profile – on the other side of the street, over from the US. I hailed him, we caught up, and he had his photo. 

Then there was the team from Vulcanize in Japan, who were brought over by Lindsay and Nicolas at Holland & Sherry. They graciously agreed to be photographed, and frankly put us all to shame with their poise (first image below).

Perhaps the thing that pleased me most was the variety, of styles and of everything else.

It was an international crowd, with quite a few women, a mix of ages, and clothing that varied from suits to T-shirts, and every shining facet of menswear in between: polos, chores, milsurp, chukkas, good trainers and elegant knits, suede bombers and cropped jackets. I was proud to have such a stylish variety of people celebrate the anniversary. 

On that, very briefly, thanks beyond measure to everyone that congratulated us on 15 years of Permanent Style. I received it with as much good grace as I could, given I’m that typical Englishman who’s never comfortable with praise – who has to constantly fight the urge to make a joke or otherwise undermine the sentiment. 

Sitting here, now, safe in my office and away from actual people, I can say thank you once more genuinely and wholeheartedly, for all your well wishes and your hopes for 15 more great years. It meant the world, and nothing could be better motivation for going on to being bigger and better. 

Thank you. 

These photos are some of our favourites but a small minority of the total – including them all in this article would have been too much. The full set is available on this page. Please have a look for your portrait there: you should be able to open it at full size and download it if you wish. 

Feel free to re-use and tag any images, just please tag @permanentstylelondon and @jkf_man. Thank you.

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