“I’m just chilling–it’s winter, there’s no point going out, is there?” remarks Gene Gallagher, fresh from a stint in the studio where he’s deep in rehearsals for his dad’s band. The 21-year-old son of Britpop legend Liam Gallagher and ’90s girl bander Nicole Appleton has been coaxed away from his drumkit–and the pub–by Chanel, who invited the musician to Manchester for its Metièrs d’Art show. How could he say no? With his brother Lennon and cousin Anais along for the ride, the second generation of Madchester icons saw it as a “really nice” opportunity to see family, fly the flag for Man City and take part in the safari of the front row.
“I’m glad Manchester is getting some recognition for being so cool,” asserts Anais, the 23-year-old daughter of Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews. “Not that it needs it–some of the greatest musicians and football clubs are from there–Man City all day, every day!”
The bright young things had a rich fashion heritage–as well as the Chanel store–to draw from for a night rubbing shoulders with the maison’s inner circle (see: Tilda Swinton, Kristen Stewart and Sofia Coppola). Gene and Liam frequently swap clothes, while Anais is still quietly devastated that her own father’s killer jumper collection got lost somewhere between Burnage and Knebworth. “He taught me that it’s OK to have a uniform and wear the same things everyday,” shares Anais, a budding photographer, who’s spent the past year snapping Noel in frontman mode.
If Noel is (by now at least) “very organized”, archiving his clothes or storing them behind glass in the British Music Experience, Liam is more of an impulse buyer–one who, like his son, “goes through phases” and falls for obscure trainer purchases from Japan. “His shoe collection is limitless,” shares Gene, who is handily the same size, and also campaigning to get his old man back in baggy jeans. “He tells me not to be a dick,” quips Gallagher junior, citing SpongeBob SquarePants as his fashion icon (“He wears a tie!”) and the “mod stuff” pushed on him by his parents as formative.
Both kids were introduced to Chanel by way of their mothers’ handbag collections. “My mum taught me to really love clothes,” smiles Anais. “The insides of her bags are covered with lipstick and scratches, the buckles are bent…” While Gene was never allowed to take Nicole’s treasures out the house (bar the occasional sunglasses swipe), Anais’s favorite bag to date is a cream shearling Ugg boot-style purse stamped with those interlocking Cs. “I’m an accessories person,” she says sighing, for her housemates are always “on at her” to edit down the pile of Margiela Tabis, Hai Mary-Janes and Chloé boots by the front door. On her mental moodboard this winter are the cast of Twin Peaks, Jane Birkin and Copenhagen’s resident street stylers. But, she maintains, “my style is laid-back and comfortable–I always seem to wear clothes that I could sleep in.”
Gene similarly downplays any notion of a signature look. “I don’t take a lot of time to calculate what I wear,” notes this straight-talking youngster, who has clearly inherited the trademark family swagger. “Sometimes I like to dress a bit funky, with a silly hat, but I also dress like a homeless person.” In reality, this means Stan Ray painter pants, a corduroy baker boy hat picked up from a cheap shop in Soho, and one of several YMC, Marni or Acne cardis he traded in for a brooch-dotted Chanel fleece jacket for the show.