Monday, 21 February 2011

Thom Browne - Paris Fashion Week AW11

American designer Thom Browne threw down a sharply tailored gauntlet at the Paris men’s show’s last month, which London designers are going to find hard to beat at upcoming Men’s day at London Fashion Week. As a favourite of mine, I thought I’d give you a taste of what we’ll all be craving come autumn.

Browne, with his contemporary take on formal dandy style has once again proven he’s a cut above the rest with a nostalgic A/W collection, which includes all the expected seasonal traits and a powerful English country gentleman feel.

The show lived up to his previous runway collections; eccentric, dramatic and fanciful. The collection, entitled The Turkey Banquette was set around a large  banqueting table that the models paraded around adding to the sense of grandeur and entertainment Browne enjoys and pulls off so well.

As well as the anticipated Thom Browne trademarks of a grey palette, shrunken distorted tailoring and his red, white and blue stripes which Browne has perfected and reinvented over the seasons, the new collection also has a Dickensian dandy, Bourbon French feel. Browne pulls off this sense of luxury with a bright colour palette and a quirky humour, reminiscent of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter in the 3D adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

Browne blended burnt browns and burgundy’s with flashes of blue, green and sliver which complimented the plaids layered over plaids in various sizes, colours and textures. There was a huge emphasis on tailored layering with the full length top coat taking centre stage.  Being A/W there was a heavy reliance on knitwear and accessories; from giant mittens, scarves, bobble hats to the Thom Browne staple, the on display sock.

As much as the collection was a wild fantasy of Browne’s creativity, it’s very wearable and a hugely successful collection for the high street to mimic. London designers have a lot to answer for next week if they want to top Thom, but something tells me we’ll pull the A/W must haves out the trend setting hat.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Leslie Jordan: My Trip Down the Pink Carpet

Last night to see camp comedy at its best!

I arrived at the press night of Leslie Jordan: My Trip Down the Pink Carpet at the Apollo with enough cynicism inside me to sink a gay cruise liner.

But, while the performance wasn’t one for the weak hearted, homophobic or hight-ist (in stature he’s a wee morsel of a man), Jordan proved he has enough razzle dazzle in him to out gay Graham Norton, John Inman and The Village People combined, and it actually proved to be a pleasurable experience and a highly entertaining night.

A relatively unknown comic until his Emmy, won for his appearances in the US sitcom Will & Grace, (which he willingly mentioned several time within the opening 10 minutes) his show tells us his life story as an obviously gay man even if he didn’t know it yet, growing up in the American Bible belt and fleeing to Los Angeles “with 1200 dollars sewn into my underpants, a tiny suitcase and DREAMS!”. Jordon’s performance is a balanced mix of witty, bitter camp humour you’d expect, mirrored by poetically sentimental and emotional tails from his youth, infatuations, and time in rehab.

You can almost forgive his arrogance, self proclaiming he’s “the gayest man in the world” and after getting used to his gushy American dramatics the performance becomes more pleasure than pain.
His charms grow on the majority of the audience, who empathise with his public and personal battles with homophobia admitting he had been, “riddled with internal homophobia” for most of his life. Also as a man, who given his age has lived through the gay rights moment and lived to tell the tail.

I highly recommend you see Leslie Jordan tonight, even if it’s just to hear his hilarious horror stories, from Boy George to Tennessee drag queens in Chattanooga.

Tickets: 0844 412 2962

Friday, 18 February 2011

Topman Control

My editorial - Published on

Trend setting Music for the Sartorial Topman

Topman topped the charts with  the first of their private gig collaborations with Channel 4 for the second series of Topman CNTL MX, presented by Huw Stevens, the witty Radio 1 presenter and guest controller and Inbetweeners star James Buckley who chose the bands for the night.

It was a great night of live performances from Pulled Apart By Horses and the main act Miles Kane who certainly wasn’t as intense or raucous as PABH but he stole the night with his distinctive Liverpudlian drawl, snappy style and rhythmic modish rock line up. Other artists of the night included States of Emotion, video feeds from Cock n Ball Kid from the USA and DJ Sian Anson from Rinse fm.

What was most striking was the entwined relationship between the hard hitting and arousing music of the live bands, who are all rising starts on the music scene and the revival in their collective sense of style which was aptly mirrored by their diehard fans.

Miles, who is becoming a bit of a style icon with his sharp tailored suits and scruffy bowl hair cut set the tone for the nights dedicated followers of fashion. The audience was a sea of skinny shrunken suits and drain pipe jeans with a real emphasis on 60’s fashion trends and the Mod style. A style which Miles seems to embody – from his raspy intense voice and retro Brit rock vibe of the band who were all dressed like 60’s throw backs, think early Beatles or The Kinks for inspiration.

This all added to the vibe of the night, which along with the on trend groupies and the bands, was fresh, vibrant and very sartorially cool. It was the perfect combination of on trend fashion and some of the best of British, and cutting edge music. Something felt real and exciting like you were witnessing the next big thing.

Other current trends were out in force too; the granddad sweater, Barbour’s and the unmistakable turns ups showing off ankles or colourful socks, but the Mod, as it did in Milan last month ruled the roast.

If the Miles Kane and his fans are anything to go by fashion is harking back five decades and its twist on traditional menswear. Style that mop top and pour yourself into some ankle swingers and rock out to retro.

To get the Miles Kane’s look, look no further than Topman, with its impressive selection of affordable and sharply cut suits all under £120, and a great selection of on trend cardigans, chinos, worn denim jackets, cravats and neck ties to perfect your look. By Sam Outing.