Calling Dr Love: Dr Martens Opens in Belfast's Cornmarket

Wall art in Dr Martens store by Visual Waste

You only have to say Dr Martens to instantly have a mass of references to rich historical punk culture. Anarchy in the UK, skinheads, safety pins, Sex Pistols, youth culture are all evoked by the iconic sole and yellow stitching. 

As a vintage loving blogger I've been aware of the brand for a long time, I had my own pair of shoes when I was about 12, but never quite got past the initial breaking in point. That's the thing, Dr Martens are an investment, they're an evolving narrative on your feet. They have to be nurtured like a sourdough starter when you first get them, broken in, after all no pain no gain. The shoes will change, the leather will mold to you, the soles will start to bear the imprints of your steps and they will last for years. Bearing in mind how many I have seen in vintage stores, I'm lead to believe, like tortoises they might live for 100 years.

An actual (shock horror ) picture of me! I'm trying to get over my camera aversion!
Madden dress from Hellbunny

I was invited to the opening of the brand spanking new Dr Martens store in Belfast's Corn Market. The brand Dr Martens and Belfast do seem like a natural fit, both with origins in industry, manual work and of course Belfast's massive youth population. It was great to see the brand in an arena that was synergistic for it. 

Classic and new styles, studded bags, brogues from A/W 14 collection

The store opening was a fantastic event, gorgeous food by Love and Death Inc, little cups of fish and chips, burgers, ribs, had I a couple of extra hands I would have tackled them all. Farmageddon took charge of the beers with their own brew, which like the boots in question had a fabulous kick.

One of the things visitors to the store may be previously unaware of is the range of items Dr Martens have.

The tartan punk aesthetic is still strong, embroidered boots, my favourite saddle bag and the introductory chat at Dr Martens 

There is a considerable amount of clothes interspersed in store with the classic and contemporary boots and shoes. Dresses, bomber jackets, shirts and bags are all represented to create a really strong aesthetic for the brand. The launch was really in tune with Belfast culture, the wall design which runs up two floors, was done by Visual Waste, with punk rock legend Terri Hooley in pride of place.

Terri Hooley with Claire from French for Cupcake and the outside of the new Dr Martens store

Terri Hooley is a Belfast legend of the music scene, for those of you who are unaware of him, he is a punk legend. He ran the record store and label Good Vibrations which is also the name of the 2012 film about him. So it was quite a big deal for me and many others to be standing in the store which oozed punk vibrancy sipping on a beer and watching Terri Hooley play The Undertones' Teenage Kicks as part of his DJ set. Terri's face is also emblazoned on a fabulous pair of 1490 original boots which are in a glass case at the cash desk for anyone who wishes to get some punk boots.

I was asked to select a pair of Dr Martens and decided to style them. I wasn't sure what to go for, should I go for the brogue style, or the heeled Mary-Janes or go back to basics? In the end I went about as classic as possible, with the black 1460 8 eyelet boots. I wanted to style them with my usual tea-dress, and enjoy the full impact of the cultural statement the boots make. I do think they add a grunge element to pretty dresses and I love that.

Molly of course photobombs very ably, she's probably just so shocked that I'm actually in a picture. 

Dr Martens launch with Terri Hooley on the decks, the fabulous Beano boots and my outfit for the night. Pink tights and skulls were my nod to Vivienne Westwood's version of punk.

Dr Martens have launched a campaign asking all their wearers to tell them what they stand for. You can join in their #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign by taking a picture of you in your DMs and telling us what you stand for.

On the night of the launch the question was asked 'what does Belfast stand for?' The best answer was DEFIANCE, this was then added to the mural on the walls of the store.

In writing about the launch I had to think about what I stood for, I narrowed it down to three things:

Tell me what you stand for on twitter if you aren't all collapsed in shock that I've actually appeared in pictures!

Much Love

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