Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the most beautiful woman ever

It’s been another busy few weeks which involved gawking at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s never ending legs, a charity fundraiser with the British Fashion Council and I even managed to squeeze in a few days holiday!

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If you’re looking for denim inspiration then listen up. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was back in town for the launch of Europe’s first Paige Shop at Selfridges’ Denim Studio. As the new face of the brand, Rosie flew in from her adopted home LA with Paige owner, and former model, Paige Adams-Geller. Rosie looked stunning (as in the most beautiful woman I think I’ve ever seen in the flesh) choosing to wear the eye-catching Indio Zip ultra skinny in blue galaxy coating.

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I was also delighted to attend the Future of Fashion charity event in aid of the Prince’s Trust Million Makers scheme held at the Café Royal’s Pompadour suite (not too shabby for Monday eve!) in conjunction with the BFC and Parsons School of Design in New York. Alexis Knox was on the decks while Former T4 presenter June Sarpong welcomed guests to celebrate the book launch of ‘The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers by Simon Collins’. The beautifully illustrated tome features sketches and interviews with famous alumni including Proenza Schouler, Donna Karan and Alexander Wang.

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In between filming for This Morning, I got to indulge in some new fashion finds. 29 year old Joshua Kane is without doubt one of London’s most exciting young tailors and he’s quite the character to boot. Having cut his teeth as a designer at Burberry Prorsum, Jaeger and Paul Smith, Joshua is rapidly establishing himself as a ground-breaking tailor. His recently opened first tailoring shop in Old Spitalfields Market is a must-visit for any fans of a fine suit.

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It wasn’t all work and no play however as I managed to escape to Barcelona for some much needed R&R!

Darren x

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Hillary Clinton was an extraordinary guest to meet

Hillary Clinton for President! I never imagined I’d get that excited about meeting Mrs. Clinton (or Madame Secretary as she was to be addressed) but when she came into This Morning last week it seems no one in the building could contain their excitement, me included. With serious looking security agents dressed in black suits and speaking into their sleeves all over the place, it was like something straight out of a Hollywood movie, so it was hard not to be enthusiastic.

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Hillary proved to be the most extraordinary guest with such charisma and personality. It was great to see her banter with Eamonn and Ruth. For our fashion item that morning, we’d taken our lead from her love of the “pantsuit” and I managed to have a quick chat with her afterwards about her style. She was wearing a gorgeous fit and flare speckled coat, which she told me was Louis Vuitton and the look was “the next stage of the pantsuit”… she liked “how it nipped in at the waist and flared over the tummy area”. She looked great!

I also popped along to House Festival with Grey Goose Vodka out in Richmond. I’d never been before so had no idea what to expect but OMG, it’s my new favourite festival! Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Hozier, De La Soul and Kelis were all performing on what was the hottest day of the year so far.

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The Irish Derby also took place at the weekend in the Curragh Co. Kildare so I was back on home turf for that. Millie Mackintosh was judging best dressed (with the winner bagging a prize worth over €20k!). She looked super classy in a pastel pink Victoria Beckham number. I broke out a navy double-breasted check suit from my latest Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland SS14 collection. It was a great day but I didn’t win a penny!

Darren x

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The latest in men’s fashion at London Collections: Men, a trip to the seaside, a new store launch…

The latest in men’s fashion at London Collections: Men, a trip to the seaside, a new store launch, it all happened this past week.

I had A LOT of fun over London Men’s Fashion Week, otherwise known as London Collections: Men (LC:M). Quite apart from the copious amounts of champagne, cocktails and canapés swishing around, LC:M is a whole lot more enjoyable than it’s female sibling London Fashion Week. Is it just because men tend not to take it all too seriously? Who knows…

Decked out in Topman at the Topman Design show

Decked out in Topman at the Topman Design show

Officially kicking off on Sunday, it was a packed three-day schedule of shows and parties, so I’ll stick with the highlights. Topman Design always pushes the boat out in terms of design and the show space. Their latest was a psychedelic collection of 70’s influences, pushing flared faded jeans and trousers. Although, I’m not sure I’m ready to ditch my slim-fits just yet. One of my favourite Brit designers, Katie Eary who previously worked with Kanye West, also had a distinct retro vibe to her latest offerings.

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At the Esquire & DKNY MEN official opening party, Grimmy was spinning the tunes with Jessie J (wearing a gorg pink jacket and matching shorts combo), Lindsay Lohan, Mollie King, Reggie Yeats, Jourdan Dunn all hitting the dance floor. Jessie J couldn’t resist showing off her ‘selfie skills’ (she won an award for them apparently!) to fellow singer Wretch 32 and myself.

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I’m a massive Tom Ford fan so you can image my excitement when I was invited to attend his presentation. Tom chooses to eschew a runway show, instead opting for a more intimate presentation where he personally talks through each look. He was as charming as ever but more casual than I was expecting wearing a pair of jeans, boots, shirt, layered with an outdoor style jacket (all Tom Ford of course!).

Joe Dempsie and me

Joe Dempsie and me

To celebrate the close of LC:M, GQ Style teamed up with British brand Dunhill to host a cocktail party at the brand’s flagship Bourdon House in Mayfair. It was a beautiful evening where along with the likes of David Furnish, David Gandy, Luke Evans, Nick Grimshaw, Jesse Metcalfe, Oliver Cheshire and Pixie Lott, we sipped cocktails al fresco and toasted what was another brilliantly successful LCM. I also got to catch up with Game of Thrones star, the very affable, Joe Dempsie who had me laughing, a lot!

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In between all the LC:M madness, I made my first trip to the Essex seaside with This Morning where we had great fun filming my sunglasses surgery. Never a dull moment, it was straight back to Dublin where I cut the ribbon at the launch of TK Maxx’s brand new flagship store.

Now, I’m off for a nap!

Darren x

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Hanging out with Laura Whitmore and Michael Flatley on This Morning

Tuesday’s This Morning suddenly got very Irish with Michael Flatley, Laura Whitmore and myself all on the show. I’m a big fan of Michael, he’s such a talented performer so it was great to finally meet him having watched him pound the boards several times in the past. It’s hard to believe River Dance celebrated its 20th anniversary in April.

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By the way, if you’re looking for a summer hat but don’t know which style to choose then watch back my masterclass in hat shopping for every occasion, copy the link below. We featured some great head-toppers!

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/style-beauty/summer-fashion-hats-darren-kennedy

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The first ever Pride of Ireland Awards were held on Tuesday evening in Dublin’s Mansion House. Una Foden was on hosting duties and guests included Christine Bleakley, Louis Walsh, Carol Voderman, Imelda May, and Shane Filan. Unfortunately my flight didn’t land in time so I missed the show. But it turns out I should have travelled over with Carol Voderman who piloted her own aircraft over to Dublin… what a woman!

I finally got to escape this weekend for some much needed R&R at the Powerscourt Hotel. Powerscourt is one of the most scenic and historic estates in Ireland, located in County Wicklow, which is aptly called the Garden of Ireland. I even made some equine friends!

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Two days of blissful respite and glorious sunshine mean I’m feeling fighting fit and ready to take on the world this week. Hope you have a great one!

Darren x

 

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My night at the BAFTAs

It’s only Tuesday and already it feels like I’ve put in a full week… but in good way. In the past 7 days, I’ve taken six flights, all in the name of work, but it’s been an exciting week (btw if you need tips on traveling light, I’m your man!). Arriving back in London on Sunday morning, I went straight to a photography studio in Shoreditch where I was doing a shoot for super cool US publication Flaunt magazine. The LA-based monthly covers cutting-edge fashion culture and entertainment, and this September they’re celebration their 15th anniversary so it’s very cool to be a part of that special edition.

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As soon as we wrapped, I headed straight to the Corinthia hotel who hosted the official BAFTA style partners, such as MAC and Carat London, in a glamorous suite where the nominees and awards presenters were preened and beautified (with a glass of bubbly in hand of course!). All suited and booted, it was off to the Theatre Royal for the awards ceremony. The red carpet was a frenzy of paparazzi light bulbs and fans screaming as stars such as Jamie Dornan, Davina McCall and Breaking Bad’s Arron Paul started to arrive. Inside Graham Norton kept us all suitably entertained as he hosted proceedings with typical humour and warmth.

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With the awards wrapped it was off to the Grosvenor hotel where dinner was served and more importantly the afterparty took place. Marvin Humes was on the decks and banging out some great tunes. I had great fun catching up with Laura Whitmore, Amanda Byram and Gizzi Erskine. But the highlight of the night for me was getting to chat with broadcasting legends Sir Bruce Forsyth and the very fabulous Cilla Black who received the ‘Special’ Award for her career which has spanned the past 50 years, what a women!

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In terms of style, the red carpet was quite tame but I thought everyone put their best foot forward. My best dressed on the night, with out a shadow of a doubt, goes to the very gorgeous and lovely Rochelle Humes who gave a master class in less-is-more styling wearing a monochrome gown by Safiyaa London. The dancing went on into the wee hours but it was carriages early (relatively speaking) for me as I was up early to join Phillip and Holly on This Morning. Fun times!

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My second collection is out now – what do you think?

This week I got one step closer to a BAFTA, not actually winning one (yet!) but I hosted The BAFTA Red Carpet Masterclass at the Corinthia Hotel in central London.

An inspired event where guests got the inside track from the experts in the know at the styles and trends we can expect the stars to rock at this year’s Awards on the 18th May at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. All of the official Award’s style partners were there including MAC Cosmetics, House of Fraser, Mark Hill, St Tropez, Carat* London and of course the Corinthia Hotel.

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The highlight for me was hosting a panel discussion with up and coming actress Ophelia Lovibond and BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry who is pretty incredible – not only did she top the Guardian’s list of the UK’s most influential people in film but she has walked the red carpet over 100 times with everyone from Prince William to Brad and Angelina (jealous!).

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Other exciting news this week, it’s with great pleasure that I introduce the second Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland collection. On the back of a hugely successful first collaboration for Autumn Winter ’13, I’ve teamed up once again with Ireland’s finest tailor to design an exclusive men’s suit capsule collection for Spring Summer.

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The new DK x LC collection is a beautifully crafted capsule of six suit styles in the finest Italian fabric, mixed with the quintessentially classic tailoring Louis Copeland is famous for. I’m involved in every aspect of the design process from the very beginning and I have learnt so much, so on a personal note it’s been such an enriching experience. So far the reaction has been fantastic so needless to say that I’m chuffed!

You can check out the video below or on YouTube by searching “Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland SS14 Collection”. Happy viewing!

Darren x

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Going back to my home Dublin for the Irish Film & Television Awards

From Fassbender, Farrell & Philomena to celebrating the crème of Irish Fashion Talent in the UK during the historic President’s State Visit, it’s been one hell of a week.

After Friday’s This Morning it was a quick dash to Heathrow as I travelled to Dublin for the 2014 Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTAS), which took place on Saturday evening. It’s always a fun night catching up with old friends and colleagues. Michael Fassbender, Andrew Scott, Colin Farrell and Fifty Shades of Grey hunk Jamie Dornan provided the eye candy with the former Calvin Klein model, and Jamie was awarded Best TV actor as well as Rising Star for his role as a serial killer in the drama The Fall.

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Fassbender, who was in good spirits, took home the IFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 12 Years a Slave. One of the big winners of the night was Philomena which won three awards. Accompanying Steve Coogan was the real Philomena Lee, who for my money was the highlight of the night. Ever humble she said, “I love being home in my country… we never even thought we were going to get invited to this. We are so lucky. We’re so proud to be back to Ireland.” What a lady!

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In the fashion stakes, Laura Whitmore, who was on co-hosting duties, looked stunning in a full-length white dress with red floral appliqué from John Rocha’s SS14 collection. Most of the men wore traditional black tie, which I eschewed, instead wearing a three-piece check suit from my first capsule collection of suits with tailor Louis Copeland.

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On Wednesday, as part of the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins’ historic State visit to Britain, I was honoured to attend a private lunch at the Embassy of Ireland to celebrate established and emerging Irish fashion talent in the UK. Sabina, the President’s wife, was the guest of Honour and it was a real treat to be there. Among the small group was Simone Rocha, Orla Kiely, Louise Kennedy, Paul Costelloe, Sorcha O’ Raghallaigh, Daneille Romeril, and Central St Martins course director Louise Wilson. The four-day State visit, the first ever of an Irish President, is to reciprocate the Queen’s visit to Ireland in 2011. What a brilliant week. It really felt like we were a part of history in the making.

Now I’m off to catch up on some zzzzzzzz’s.

Darren x

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A Holly Willoughby and Christine Bleakley sandwich, taking a bite out of the Big Apple and hosting the inaugural IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards

With Christine Bleakley filling in for Phillip Schofield for a couple of days on last week’s This Morning, I found myself in a veritable sandwich of pure loveliness when I presented fashion on Tuesday’s show. I always have great craic on the show and Holly and Christine really got into our feature on this season’s skirt shapes and how best to wear them. From midi to mini and peplum to pencil, skirts are this season’s hero piece. It transpires that Christine hates anything that comes above her knees, which surprised me as she has a cracking pair of pins on her!

Both ladies were looking gorgeous in complimentary shades blue/navy. Holly wore a dress from Whistles with Jimmy Choo shoes and Christine was wearing a dress from Suzanne Neville with YSL heels. I wore a light flannel green suit from London label Mr. Start.

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Later that week I joined up with Gok Wan for the Specsavers Style Panel at the Trafalgar Hotel where Specsavers showcased their new ranges for Spring Summer including some rather cool, new collections from Cheap Monday, Roxy, Quiksilver, Firetrap and Red or Dead. You gotta love your specs!

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I’ve been traveling a lot this past fortnight. I headed to New York City for a few days of meetings which was quite exciting. While I was there I got to hang out in the Google complex in the Meatpacking district, do some shopping in Soho and check out hipster central Williamsburg. It was a lovely sunny few days so I made the most of it and also got to catch up the ever-dapper Dan Rookwood, newly appointed US Editor of Mr. Porter, and the NYC contingent of Topman. Fun was had let me tell you!

After the Big Apple, it was back to Ireland where I was hosting the inaugural IMAGE magazine Business of Beauty Awards at Dublin’s Mansion House. The event celebrated the very best beauty practitioners in the world of Irish hair, beauty and aesthetics as well as the brands who have displayed the most innovation in the past year. There were plenty of familiar faces including the ever-gorgeous Yvonne Keating. It was a fun afternoon with the celebrations continuing well into the wee hours!

Yvonne Keating & Darren Kennedy pictured at the inaugural IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards in Dublin's Mansion House.jpg

That’s all for now, thanks for reading and make sure to keep up with me on my social media links.

Darren X

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My LFW highlights: chatting with Kelly Osbourne, backstage with Kate Moss and more

Surprisingly, I’m feeling fairly fresh today post London Fashion Week. If you ask me, the key to surviving LFW is not Berocca or coconut water, it’s quite simply about pacing yourself. And that’s exactly what I managed to do this year, surprise, surprise (slap on the back for me!).

The highlights for me were most definitely at House of Holland, Topshop and John Rocha. At House of Holland, Henry presented a luscious collection that had a decidedly more grown up feel to it but still maintained Henry’s signature eclectic edge and energy. Always a great FROW, I got chatting with the rather adorable Kelly Osbourne who was filming a segment for E!’s Fashion Police. As you can probably guess from this pic, we had a great laugh.

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I was also filming my London Fashion Week lowdown for This Morning so we got to go back stage pre and post show at Topshop Unique in the Tate Modern. Chatting backstage after the show with model Jourdan Dunn, she was telling me how she nearly missed the show after her flight from New York was diverted to Newcastle!

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Topshop boss Philip Green was there of course, with Kate Moss who was in flying form backstage before making a sharp exit.

Watch a clip from the show here:

John Rocha is always a gorgeous show and this year was no exception. The stand out piece for me was the delicious full-length red velvet oversized coat. At Amanda Wakely I bumped into Lisa Snowdon…clearly orange is the new black.

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And of course, with Valentine’s Day last week we had a V-day special Rate or Slate panel with TOWIE‘s Lauren Pope joining us looking super hot wearing a Peter Pilotto for Target dress.

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Lust List

Menswear designer Katie Eary has teamed up with Grenson to design this limited edition double monk shoe. Swoon!

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The best dressed from the pre-BAFTA bash, Erin O’Connor’s growing baby bump and meeting Katie Melua

On Tuesday’s This Morning, Holly, Philip and myself were joined by an all-star “Rate or Slate” line-up with Blue stylist Gemma Shepherd, Geordie Shore star James Tindale and fresh from the CBB House (and Lee Ryan’s thoughts), Jasmine Waltz. The guys were great fun but Jasmine was very coy when it came to Leeand wouldn’t give anything away about whether she’d seen him since leaving the house.

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With the BAFTAs just around the corner (Sunday 16th February), InStyle hosted their annual pre-BAFTA bash, celebrating the Best of British Talent, at Dartmouth House in Mayfair. It was a swanky affair with faces from the worlds of fashion, film, TV, and music. The big news on the night was Erin O’Connor who debuted her baby bump. She looked glowing and I am so delighted for her.

InStyle Best Of British Talent Party In Celebration Of BAFTA

Everyone was in high spirits and I caught up with Games of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, my favourite chef Gizzi Erskine, girl-about-town Zoe Hardman and the hilarious Caroline Flack (who was definitely one of my best dressed on the night). I wore a green light flannel two-piece suit from one of my favourite London labels Mr Start.

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On Wednesday’s This Morning, I visited Katie Melua at her gorgeous London home where I was given a guided tour of Katie’s walk-in wardrobe for the latest in my Star Wardrobes series. Katie has achieved so much at such a young age, having already celebrated a decade in the music industry. The release of her latest album has been a huge turning point for her style. She seems to be constantly on the road and at her happiest performing on stage. She hasn’t forgotten her roots and her mother was on hand to treat the crew and I to some gorgeous Georgian hospitality for lunch!

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Lust List

This week I’m lusting over Tom Ford’s Jennifer Pony Skin Tote. Colour, texture and a piece of Tom Ford lusciousness, what’s not to love!

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