Williams's clothes line inspired by Irish grandfather


ROBBIE WILLIAMS was supposed to become a father yesterday. His wife, Ayda Field, is heavily pregnant and confined to London. “We thought the baby was going to have to be induced today,” he told the fashion press in Dublin’s Brown Thomas yesterday afternoon before his concert in the O2 last night. The singer was in the store to launch his new Farrell clothing line.

A crowd congregated outside the Grafton Street store at about 3pm to try to catch a glimpse of him, but only press and some menswear customers were allowed to meet the star.

The clothes have been inspired by the style of his grandfather, Jack Farrell. “It’s the working-class peacock,” Williams said, describing the brand.

Farrell was from Kilkenny. “His parents were navvies that went over to Staffordshire. He was in the second World War and later worked in the pits and was a working-class man from a working-class family. He came from an era where the working class had their own tailors,” he said.

Williams was frank about his involvement in the clothing line.

“I’m not a designer. I’m not going to lie to you and say that I am. The thing I do for Farrell is DJ clothes. If a DJ goes ‘I like this record’ and he puts it on, people go ‘yes I like that record too’. In every piece there is a secret stash pocket. I don’t know what you’d put in there, but I wish I had it from about 1991-1997,” he added.

He also revealed he’s found out about “a dirty little secret” in the fashion industry, which he shared. “It’s called ‘inspiration pieces’, which means we take an old piece of vintage stuff and knock it off.”

“You mean we make it better,” interjected fashion designer Ben Dickens, who works on the clothing line with Williams.

Williams certainly knocked off some of Victoria Beckham’s vocabulary. “I know what [clothes] make me feel empowered,” he declared. This was redolent of the former Spice Girl turned clothes designer, who kept repeating that she wanted to “empower women” during her recent trip to Brown Thomas.

The fashion line includes shirts, sweaters, cardigans, blazers, trousers and coats, with prices ranging from €50 to €500.