Post-London Collections: Men, what did you think of it all? Maybe you missed the constant stream of Tweets the week’s beginning brought; perhaps your real job got in the way of checking Instagram every hour to witness the fashions.
In light of this you probably don’t think much (how could you?), so you might try making your digital way over to Youtube to watch the British Fashion Council’s daily round up videos, presented by three of the four London Collections: Men ambassadors: David Gandy, Tinie Tempah and Nick Grimshaw (Dermot O’Leary being the fourth).
Lovely clips they are too, with that Made In Chelsea lighting that makes everything gleam. But how relevant to British menswear really are the men – who also sit on the LC:M committee – presenting them?
Sure, Gandy is the world’s most in-demand male model (currently making walls look dapper in your local M&S), but having carefully watched him now for five seasons of London Collections, his style can be summarised in a series of suits and the occasional suede jacket.
Which of course is perfectly acceptable, fashion is about personal discretion as much as clothes, and you shouldn’t need to wear the clothes or be a hardcore fan to sit on the committee. Gandy’s name alone has no doubt brought countless positive attention to the capital’s menswear industry.
Respect, appreciation and encouragement for the new however, would be presumed key, something Mr. Gandy’s kerfuffle on Alan Carr’s ‘Chatty Man’ last year proved lacking.
“Drivel-spouting David Gandy” is how the Independent’s fashion editor, Alexander Fury described him, as the Essex model made degrading comments about Sibling and Craig Green, the latter just two seasons into his career. Coincidentally, Fury also sits on the committee.
Grimshaw’s day job as a prime time Radio One DJ – plus his well documented social life – presumably were key factors when he was made an ambassador, the most recent appointment of the four. That he mixed in fashion circles anyway, showing a genuine interest, the icing on the cake.
Watch the videos here.
But Clash wonders if there might be something lacking, or perhaps someone missing.
In a piece on The Guardian’s website last week, the case was made for hip-hop’s increased relationship with the men’s fashion industry. “The genre inspires a dress code that is unapologetic and confident in its stance,” Topman’s creative director Gordon Richardson told them, here.
Similarly, GQ Style’s fashion editor Victoria Higgs told Clash earlier this year: “Musicians are particularly attracted to what’s happening in London right now, as those designers are the most forward thinking and more youth focused.” You can read the full piece here.
Our eye falls then to Drake. Canadian rather than British (would an international ambassador be such a bad thing?), via Instagram alone he is seen pictured in Casely-Hayford, Astrid Andersen, Christopher Shannon, Palace, Shaun Samson and Martine Rose; for the April launch of his own brand ‘October’s Very Own’ collection at Browns Focus, he picked a Burberry Prorsum coat.
Liam Hodges, who just this week presented with the MAN initiative for the first time, dressed Drake earlier this year. “He called in the stuff for his tour but needed the jackets re-made in a lightweight version as there’s so much jumping on stage, a winter coat was just too much.”
A “really good point to reach”, the exposure would be hard to reach via any other means.
Elsewhere the Financial Times’ critic Charlie Porter (a NEWGEN Men panel member), Drapers’ fashion editor Graeme Moran, and designer Henry Holland have each proven to be ideal representatives, Porter especially, actually wearing the clothes presented on the catwalk.
But there’s something about Drake. Naturally he has a stylist (as we’d presume Gandy, Grimshaw, Tempah and O’Leary all do, if only for a nod of approval), but as anyone who’s worked with musicians – or anyone, really – will know, people generally speaking will not wear something they don’t fully agree with.
Like Drake, A$AP Rocky has proved a perfect model for London designers, even attending the Paris showrooms. Pretty much matching Drake’s wardrobe list, it’s numbers where the two differ: A$AP’s 724,657 Twitter followers are practically dwarfed by Drizzy’s 15,270,311.
Bite me, you might argue, but in an industry in which even model’s social stats are considered ahead of certain jobs, these things (maybe unfortunately) matter.
Displays of a keen lint roller usage don’t hurt (because Drake we all saw you courtside), while how many other ambassador’s have had a dress up app created in their honour?
So, just a thought.
Words: Zoe Whitfield
Image via Casely-Hayford Facebook.