Thursday, 1 September 2011

Style Icon - David Gandy

My published editorial - 
David Gandy, the fashion phenomenon, picked from obscurity and presented to us as the god like face of one of the world leading luxury fashion power houses this year celebrates 11 years in the making as a model, an icon and a fairy tale story of epic menswear proportions.
The fairy tale began as a boy, when ironically he was bullied at school for not being fashion forward, or one of the In Crowd and for having a bit of a speech impediment. It wasn’t until he graduated from university in 2001 that his life changed from Essex boy ugly duckling to international heart throb and iconic mega star. While David was busy enjoying himself in his dream summer job at car mag Auto Express (he’s a huge car geek for those of you who don’t read his Vogue Blog) his friends secretly entered him into a male modelling competition on Richard & Judy’s This Morning show. Not surprisingly David won and landed a contract with Select Model Management.
His first few years were not a shinning success, but eventually someone (that clever Italian duo) saw in David Gandy what we all thankfully do and a star was born. Dolce & Gabbana selected Gandy to front their ad campaign for their new fragrance Light Blue Pour Homme and subsequently he has become a brand name in his own right.
He’s had rapid success within the brand becoming the international face of menswear as well as working with some of the world most notorious super models like Naomi Campbell. He also worked on many other campaigns from Ermeregldo Zegna, Zara, Harpers Bazaar, Glamour, GQ Style and worked with some of the worlds top photographers like Mario Testino. Forbes Magazines even ranked Gandy as the third most successful male model in the world – quite an achievement for an unfashionable high school kid from Essex.
But what of Gandy’s own style? Well, his handsome smouldering good looks and perfectly tuned and sculpted body certainly help, but he also has a calming masculine confidence and charm which mirrors a style that is simple, elegant and impeccable.
His wardrobe has a strong emphasis on strong correctly tailored clothing, be it a jacket, suit or casual shirt and jeans.
His reliance on tailored clothing to accentuate his superhero-esque physique with it’s clean lines and silhouette is most apparent in his favoured staple, the two piece suit. However, for Gandy and any gentleman of good taste and a sense of style the attention is in the detail. He always adds something to give his outfit a signature David Gandy stamp of approval, whether it be a waistcoat or a scarf layered into the jacket. He also isn’t afraid to blur the edges of conventional menswear mixing formal separates with jeans or a simple (fitted) white T’s.

He’s also a man who values the importance of layering in his casual wear too, be it tweeds, woollen sweaters or leather bomber jackets it’s all done with an impeccable edit.
After an accolade like that, what’s not to love? Home grown, handsome, Grecian proportions and a personal style fit to challenge the best style icons history has to offer.
By Sam Outing

Style Icon - Pharrell Williams

My published editorial - 
Pharrell Williams comes from the school of multi talented successful black Americans musicians of his generations. A singer, rapper, record producer and composer as well a fashion designer, Pharrell has proven he’s a blinding success and passionate individual.
Along with friend Chad Hugo the musician they make up the record producing duo The Neptunes, who’s funky urban beats focus on hip hop and R&B and together with childhood friend Shay Haley, they complete the hip-hop-funk band N.E.R.D with Pharrell as the lead vocalist and drummer.
More recently Pharrell helped make up the band Child Rebel Soldier, but N.E.R.D put him on the map and made him a key player on the modern music scene releasing their debut single “Frontin” in 2003 and album “In My Life” in 2006. Along with the great and good of the genre (Jay-Z and Kanye West to name a few) he changed the face of pop-culture at the turn on the century. Money, sex, confidence and self worth along with relaxed cool and bling became the new world order and Pharrell’s young fresh face and handsome naughty puppy like looks helped prove him unstoppable.
But as far as icons go, in the style stakes Pharrell may not be an obvious choice. However, there is a lot to be said for flawlessly pulling off the perfectly put together ‘street’ look with ease. He has proved an icon of many young men who want to emulate ‘effortless cool’ which, if done correctly is seamless and by all account Pharrell has it down to a tee.
On the whole like another of our Style Icons, Kanye West, Pharrell has matured in his own tastes. From the baggy jeans and XXL crisp white t-shirts when hip-hop was at an all time high a few years ago to a now more discerning and formal wardrobe – the modern American gent – Pharrell seems to have mastered a style and taste of his own.
What gives Pharrell’s street-chic style its edge is the attention to detail and focus on bold colours and patterns. His use of layering and accessories like scarves, hats (baseball and trilby) and bandanas don’t distract form his looks, but enhance it giving a fresh depth and creativity to his style.

These stylised tweaks only add to the creativity of his music and ooze a confidence and charm that makes him stand out of the every day guy pimped up in hip-hop street style fashion that today often looks dated and out of touch. Partly what makes Pharrell so successful as an icon is how accessible his style is. Easily mimicked and translated into your own sort of ‘street wear’ it’s all about looking cool, relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Saying that, he’s mastered dapper formal dress too proving a true icon is comfortable and effortless in anything. It’s the confidence and the ability to be able to construct a meticulously put together outfit that’s key.
This creativity and flair for fashion is evident in Pharrell’s own work as a fashion designer. Teaming up with the Japanese design craftsman Nigo, founder of The Bathing Ape/Bape brands Pharrell produced two lines of clothing called Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream in 2005 which have gone from strength to strength, even gaining cult following in the US and British markets.
In 2005 Pharrell was  voted the Best Dressed Male by Esquire magazine cementing his credibility and confidence as a force to be reckoned with.
By Sam Outing