Our good friend Matthew Spade has embraced both the coastal and the digital lifestyle and lives in Blackpool with his wife Hollie. He curates the rather wonderful @bestofpackaging as well his own instagram account under the nom de plume @mat_buckets. As you’ll see his interests are many from green thumbs to green Mercedes. But one thing that ties them all together is an appreciation of good honest design, something we very much share with him. We spent some time with Matthew and asked him to share an insight into his worldly garden.
Shop The Look
We’re big fans of your @bestofpackaging account on Instagram, are there any gems that immediately come to mind?
Pretty fun hey! I started this way back when, as a nice creative outlet, and way to share good stuff by other people. And that's how I intend to keep it. There’s been a few designs I’ve shared by design agency LAND, which are always ace, they have an identifiable look and run with it. Then there’s Yorkshire-based Refold, who does a lot of work in the craft beer world, which is consistently eye-catching. Finally, I’ve worked on a few freelance projects via BoP too, creating still life sets for brands such as Pepsi and Seedlip.
How would you define good design?
Something that stands the test of time, something that makes you smile or gives the feeling that you want others to experience it, something that has a memory attached to it, or just something that makes you think, "oh coooool". That could be anything from an illustration in an old comic book, to floor tiles in a modern ice cream parlour.
Blackpool must offer quite a few surprises in the world of design; can you share some of the highlights and some of the things that you’d rather forget.
Well I guess it does have its moments; the Tower Ballroom is absolutely beautiful, along with the Tower itself being a British icon and a massive feat of engineering. Then there are things like The Big One at the Pleasure Beach; it was once the tallest rollercoaster in the world. Not your classic design moments you may think of, but relevant and very Blackpool all the same. Our local park was designed by an architect who designed public parks all across the US too. Worth forgetting the shockingly boring eyesore buildings that were built in replacement of some seriously beaut original art deco buildings. Councils, eh!
The renovation of your house has been quite a labour of love and we’ve noticed that you’ve teased a few snaps of big diggers out in your front garden, what’s the plan?
Aha yes we sure have had the diggers out, I'm glad that's gone now though to be honest, felt a little like we were going to go straight through the front window at points. We set about renovating pretty much the whole house; in both restoring certain things as similar to the original as we can get, as well as putting our own stamp on things, with a whole new back garden, and currently we're working on our front garden. The plan for the front garden is constantly evolving, due to materials availability and planning logistics. Then there's the weather, which holds up massively too. You'll see soon though!
A day in Blackpool; where are you going to take us?
We'll start off with a very early morning walk in Stanley Park, then head off to Upside Down cafe for a decent coffee + one of their cereal milk cookies. Head over to the Grundy Art Gallery to see what's on, then for a wonder down the beach, grab some food at Wok Inn, then finish with a beer and some pub facing the seafront.
What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?
I can't pretend to say I'm super busy with work right now, but I hope to make some new inroads and continue building my body of work as a freelance creative, strengthen connections and build on the community within the lifestyle and design community, and hopefully start to travel again. To anyone reading this who might have some work opportunities for me, I’m ready to chat!
What first drew you to OS clothing?
Fabric, functionality and use of colour. I also love the way you guys carry similar features and shapes season-over-season. The side pocket on the Judo trousers is a great example of this.
What have you enjoyed the most from the summer OS collection?
The ink blue Hockey shirt. One of those pieces that looks so good in person too; not quite a jacket, but not your ordinary shirt - one you can tell will get better after repeat wear. The cuffs are a great design feature too, makes the shirt feel a little more special having a straight cuff finish.
You're clearly a big fan of Seinfeld, which character do you most identify with and why?
For style it's Kramer, for observations and humour it's Jerry, and for every single failed attempt at anything worth my time in life it's George.
We know you’re a fan of Pro wrestling and craft beer- which wrestler would you go for a beer with what beer and where?
You're making these question way too easy; that's always going to be Stone Cold Steve Austin for a juicy 8% IPA. And that's the bottom line.
Can you choose 3 of your favourite instagram posts with us and maybe a little background?
I recently created a local’s guide to Blackpool, which was a total blast to work on; not only did I get to show off a few of my fav close-by places but I had fun with it, making it feel very me.
Looking back, I’d say anything travel related which evokes a fond memory. I’d never have thought that I’d have turned a photo that I took of an old Mercedes in Berlin would turn into a physical print that I’d be selling, but so far I’ve sold over 100 worldwide.
And then, I couldn’t not include a post which I worked on for you guys back in 2019. Myself and Jordan Bunker headed over to Lisbon to shoot some of your SS19 collection; and yes it was soaking, yes our brollies got blown inside out, but it was one of my favourite trips I’ve ever done. I still wear the pieces from the collection today, they’ve just got better and better.
On that note we leave Matthew to his new projects and plans but we’ll be back to keep you informed of the man with more than one plan.
Photography: Hollie Spade