Certain style people can be a little sniffy about Boateng’s work, also his attitude and confidence levels. These people were not in evidence last night at his enormous film premier like fashion show at the Odeon Leicester Square to celebrate 25 years of doing his tailoring thing. The place was mobbed by Ozwald lovers. He was not only showing two seasons worth of menswear (unprecedented move), but his film, A Man’s Story, about his work.
Characteristically it proudly highlights both who Boateng has dressed, and exactly where he’s come from. One noted the press release list of celebrities to attend begins with the name Ozwald Boateng. Ranking celebs were in the audience; I had a Destiny’s Child, Michelle, sat behind me, and Amber Rose and Kelly Hoppen were also on board.
Ozwlad’s house tailoring always has the attitude turned up in one element or another, even when he’s doing classic. His signature flamboyant and exotic cocktail wear is frequently deemed ‘not for everybody’, but then who wants eveningwear that is for ‘everybody’? He occupies his own space and he does it masterfully. An Army of Boateng men paraded on the stage in a protracted onslaught, to the point where comment on specific style became impossible. Blanket bombing with a pure Ozwald stance. He’s not budged much on what he does, and he’s survived a quarter of a century doing so. Gotta admire that, especially in this game. We interviewed him back stage afterwards where he explained his ethos and his plans for expansion. From where I was stood, it all sounded very possible indeed.
Men’s day of LFW is getting better and better, despite the rude sods in Milan starting their fashion week while we’re just about getting our biker jackets polished and short-shorts pressed.
The day begins with the accessible yet cutting edge tour de force that is Topman, a show not to be missed especially if you were covering the event for a hugely popular magazine’s web site. Ahem.
To catch up on lost time (how had I lost time before the first show? Morning euphoria feeding the birds in garden if honest), I mounted a Boris Bike, a current obsession, and made good speed from Holborn to the Royal Opera House. I was now in pouting distance of the venue. Alas there is a drawback with the bike system. Despite the ‘simply cycle then breeze sans bike’ ethic, if the docks are full, you is left holding the baby. Or bike at least. I circle the opera house while the show went on. It’s a horrid feeling that, known only to badly organised fashionistas. Empty and having missed something ne’r to be repeated. I made up watching the video with the nerds back stage, then interviewed overlord Richardson and managed to catch up with the gist of things
This is my official copy, almost like I was there..
“It’s interesting that a high street brand is championing cutting edge tailoring so proficiently. The Mods that bowled convincingly down their runway looked like the proverbial ‘ace faces’, in pert little double breasted affairs, some with trench-parka hybrids, some with psychedelic round sunglasses, all to an Andrew Loog Oldham version of Play With Fire. Heavy weight styling the Topman crew. However, now that men’s trends and Topman seem inextricably married, and that shorts have gone mainstream this summer, will men dare do as prescribed and don what appear to be high waisted shorts in 2011, almost French knickers style? The suits I condone, the shorts I can’t wait to see. On someone else.”
Slightly jarred by own ineptitude I slipped down to Simpsons on The Strand.
Esteemed couture house Hardy Amies set up a garden based presentation there, and a dignified affair it was too. Creative Director Oliver Benjamin explained that it references Amies love of hanging about in his garden in Somerset or somewhere. His collection that included a very fanciable ice blue linen suit with what amounts to Neopolitan construction, (shoulders with no pads like a shirt), is light, classic and quite a departure from what people might expect from HA. “It’s lifestyle not just tailoring” he tells me. “softer, elegant, modern”. Savile Row is looking properly old school Hollywood suave this morning.
Not wishing to make life easy I took another BB to Grazia HQ and filed copy the old style way, by typing it at a desk. Then back aboard a BB to Somerset House.
So often that fash/street crossover fails, but not with Scouser Shannon, who nails it deftly. To a sound track of Money Mad by The London Posse and Dillenger tracks, his ghetto influenced string vests melded with sweat shirts in white are a double clever motif and wearable too. More street style is exhibited with his grasp of repeated prints and letter patterns, pure Mosch’ heritage style , but done with aplomb. CS print in cunningly, fanciable colour ways, with white as a foil to various pastels and lilacs made us wish was 25, as would be dropping that look (again). The shorts version mind. NB. White Timberlands and deck shoes were the footwear lick on Chris’s catwalk. Shame Shannon doesn’t give interviews anymore, I can’t think why.
JW Anderson managed to concoct something rather sensitive, wearable and dare I say it nice, from disparate elements ranging from what looked like rave pattern imagery, Liberty prints, Swarovski necklaces and rock-a-billy petrol pump attendants. There were even some knee length shorts teamed with dark socks reminiscent of Beavis and Butthead. A remarkably poignant spectacle that all made sense once the lasers and dry ice were in place for the final walk out. Charming Jonathan explains the whole amalgam rather better on a video I shot of him.
THIS IS TAKING AGES AND THE REAL WORLD IS IMPINGING AGAIN.
JUST GONNA PUT THE END UP IN ANOTHER POST, RETURN AND FILE THE GAPS.
Wednesday was mens day at LFW, despite the fact that Milan so rudely starts doing its women’s show before we’ve finished. Some people, I ask you.
I was there, making a nuisance of self, and ‘reporting’ on bits and pieces.
Bevan of oki-ni keeping it real.
Gotta nail some pressing style issues before can fully avail you of the proceedings, so for now please make do with an interview with the ever dapper Mansel Fletcher (Esquire) and a still of LFWs best dressed man Bevan Agyemang (oki-ni).
Before we get ourselves immersed in the style caper that is LFW mens day later in week, thought we should note this smart use of Corduroy, a fabric tipped to ‘important’ this winter. Depends what you do with it. Cut and colour have gotta be right. Styler Anthony always gets it right. Black corduroy narrow Hart suit with classic Wayfarers and no tie. Spot on. Rollies though Ant? Not very Rat Pack are they?