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by Phil Thornton


One True Saxon

Now we at Swine arent miserable fucks for the sake of it, no we put time and effort into being this bitter. But we like to think were fair. When something meets our approval and that aint often well give it our wholehearted support but in the world of fashion its getting harder and harder. So, whilst we will grudgingly admit that much of One True Saxons catalogue has been consistently innovative and in tune with our own tastes, theres just something that doesnt ring quite right about the label.


Perhaps its the dubious Combat 18 style name; One True Saxon! What the fuck is a true Saxon then? Ethelred the Unready? It smacks of some dubious BNP concept of racial purity, as if someone thought that by naming the label as such they were staking their claim against the Americanisation black Americanisation of modern urban casualwear. Just as that whopper from The Libertines/Babyshambles used to pontificate against the wearing of baseball caps and staking his claim for Englishness by sporting a imperial red jacket (how very socialist), so OTS operates in a similar milieu. There are even chainmail warriors, bulldogs and oak leaves to hit home the Anglocentric pride of their vision.  


Then there was the whole Northern thing. When the label was launched, the marketing hype claimed that this was a northern label directed at northern folk and wasnt available in the south. Now everyones idea of north is dependent on where they live. In <?_xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> Argentina , the Brazilians are northerners, in Alabama , New Yorkers are northerners, in England even Cockneys would baulk at the thought of Nottingham being regarded northern. No, Nottingham is the midlands, the east midlands to be precise and whilst that is unquestionably north of Watford, not many people, other than the people behind One True Saxon, would claim it be in the north.


It appeared to be a parochial snub aimed at the countrys self-elected taste-makers and opinion formers and whilst Swine usually applauds such actions (were the self-elected taste makers and opinion formers round here OK?) why not just be honest and stake a claim for Nottingham instead of trying to associate yourself with past truly northern attempts to wind up the Cocknocentric fashion industry?


One True Saxon was formed by Paul Smith/R.Newbold refugees and in their promotional blurb on the Goodnorth.com site like to crack on that theyre a cottage industry type operation, a bunch of ordinary blokes…..taking pride in supplying good kit. Sounds a tad too Skinner & Baddiel meets Liam & Noel dunnit? Blokes? Kit?? The only people Swine knows who use such Loaded-esque terminology are almost always whoppers of the highest order.


So, well be fair. One True Saxon, despite its dodgy name, despite its spurious claims to northern-ness, has been one of the few labels that have been worth watching over the past 7 or 8 years and, to begin with, we were only too pleased to see a label making classic under-stated casualwear that didnt stretch our finances too far or mark us out as a bunch of designer obsessed idiots interested only in perceived status and logomania. We didnt really buy it after a year or two and when the teds got on it, it was never gonna last but yknow fair dos and that. Saxonville or Saxondale? You decide!



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