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August 31 2014

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Rocket Man Opens LC:M

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Elton John & David Furnish

Three seasons in, and London Collections: Men has already set something of a tone with its opening events. Glad-handing with the Prince of Wales at St. James’s Palace, chewing over the trends with the PM at 10 Downing Street, and last night, breaking bread with Sir Elton John at his house in the country…the combination of grandeur and intimacy seems particular to the personality of British fashion, and its menswear in particular. After all, Savile Row, emblem of male style, distills centuries of imposing brick-and-mortar tradition into one single relationship: a man and his tailor.

The invitation to dinner in the Gallery at Windsor was extended to a fortunate forty or so by David Furnish, longtime supporter of British menswear, and GQ‘s Dylan Jones and Jo Levin. The night turned into a celebration not just of LC:M but also of Jones himself, who has just been gonged with an Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. (Journalist Hilary Alexander was also OBE-ed.) It was largely an industry crowd, bar a couple of John and Furnish’s BFs, like Louise and Theo Fennell, who’d driven over from their own country pile. Theo’s two-tone winkle-pickers looked straight out of Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent collection. “They’re mine, and they’re very old,” he corrected.

But Slimane came to mind again an hour or so later, when, dinner over, a band of Irish mid-teens called The Strypes took to the stage that had been set up in the Gallery. They played a set of fearsome garage rock that was astonishingly authoritative for kids whose parents weren’t born when bands like The Seeds and the Flamin’ Groovies created the same glorious racket first time round. The sound and style of The Strypes made them more than likely candidates for the Hedi touch. But, closer to home, Natalie Massenet was sounding slightly awed as she wondered, “Where else could you go out expecting to celebrate a fashion week and have that introduced to you by someone like Elton John at the end of the evening?” Best call it LC:M stardust.

Photo: Josh Lawrence

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