Coming up for air after LC:M

Hey there,

It’s been such a busy couple of weeks/months and I feel I’ve neglected the blog a little, so apologies!

I’m just coming up for air after the latest season of London Collections: Men (Men’s Fashion Week) and it was the busiest yet. Lots of fun too of course! Parties aside, some of the highlights for me included the Richard James catwalk show. It was a riot of colour and print on classic Savile Row tailoring, a real delight for the senses. I was seated on the FROW next to Tinie Tempah and the latest LC:M ambassador Lewis Hamilton.

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For the time this year, the Jermyn Street St James’ area kicked off the second day of the LC:M schedule with an impressive open-air catwalk show. I was chuffed to be invited to curate the show with nearly 40 looks pulled from over thirty local brands including Aquascutum, DAKS and Tiger of Sweden. It was great craic and went down really well.

Afterwards I dropped into the Miami in London event in Soho House where the Miami tourist board hosted a chilled back Sunday brunch with cocktails and my pal Laura Whitmore on the decks. It was bring-your-pet-to-work-day for Laura who had her gorgeous puppy Mick perched beside her.

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There’s always lots happening at night during LC:M. I was well-behaved (for the most part) and enjoyed the DSqaured2 party at the Canadian Embassy on Trafalgar Sqaure, the Coach party with Nick Grimshaw and GQ’s closing party in the Scotch St James with Harry Styles, David Gandy and many more. I wore Bally head-to-toe for the party and feel in love with the green leather biker jacket.

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In between all that, I launched my new Channel on Youtube. As well as fashion, I go behind the scenes at some of the events I attend and do some fitness videos of my workouts. The feedback has been great and I’m really enjoying making them. Filming for Youtube is a bit different from TV in that it’s not as restrictive so I’m free to do whatever I please!!!!

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I’ll be back soon, hopefully with news of holidays :)

Darren x

My Oscars verdict and halfway through LFW

On Sunday night I had the pleasure to join in with E! UK’s Red Carpet watch-along party from the rooftop bar, Rumpus Room, at London’s Mondrian hotel where, alongside some lovely people including my friend Laura Whitmore, Youtuber Jim Chapman and BBC’s Scott Mills, we gave our tuppence worth on the most memorable red carpet arrivals as they happened live.

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Rosamund Pike, Reese Witherspoon, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore were all winners on the red carpet with their fine-tuned sartorial choices but it was Lady Gaga who stole the show for me with her tribute to The Sound of Music. Her performance was spectacular and paired back, letting her pretty phenomenal vocals take centre stage for once. I loved every minute of it and so did the audience given the standing ovation.

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Obviously it’s been a busy week on this side of the pond too with London Fashion Week AW15/16 currently in full swing. I popped along to the Paul Costelloe show which marked the designer’s return to the LFW schedule after being absent for the past couple of seasons. Orla Kiely recreated a library scene for her showcase which featured strong bold blocks of colour on sixties-inspired silhouettes.

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Kicking off a busy weekend, on Thursday evening I attended the WINQ magazine second annual Spring Ball at the opulent Rosewood Hotel with Grey Goose. I wore a light grey double-breasted Hackett London suit with brown leather monk-strap shoes and tie. Everyone let their hair down on the dance floor in what was a super fun night in aid of The Elton John AIDS Foundation, raising over £40,000 for the foundations valiant work.

D x

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My LC:M diary

Men’s Fashion Week, or London Collections: Men (LC:M) to give it its official title, has come and gone and I’m only just recovering. Britain’s finest designers presented their latest menswear collections for AW/15. This season LC:M expanded to four days from the previous three and the guys embraced it with gusto, me included!

The shows are fun but the majority of the action happens at night when everyone mingles at the various celebrations and parties. Esquire & Jimmy Choo threw a bash on Saturday night in a swanky private members club in Mayfair. Nick Grimshaw was spinning the tunes and had everyone up dancing.

One of my personal favourites is the Tom Ford presentation, rather than a full on fashion show, it’s a more intimate look at the collection with him talking through each look. Tom also hosted a dinner and closing party in London’s hottest nightspot Chiltern Firehouse on the final night of LCM. I’m a massive Tom fan so to get to meet him was something else. There was a great gang too – Alexa Chung, Paloma Faith, Douglas Booth, Leigh Lezark, Tinie Tempah, David Gandy, Graham Norton – so needless to say, lots of fun.

It all ended abruptly for me on Tuesday morning when I’d to catch the red eye from Heathrow back to Ireland where I’m filming my brand new series ‘The Unemployables’.

#WHATIWORE

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DAY 1 – Outfit 1

Grey windowpane check flannel double-breasted suit,

Burgundy brushed wool overcoat. All ‘Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland’.

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DAY 1 – Outfit 2

Wearing head-to-toe Hackett (with my buddy Jim Chapman).

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DAY 2

Ombre wool Jonathan Saunders jacket from Bicester Village, white Shirt from H&M, black Jeans from Topman, and leopard print Valentino Rockstud trainers which I was lucky enough to source from ShopStyle.co.uk despite them pretty much being sold out everywhere. Running from show to show, these were an absolute saviour!
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DAY 3 – (which also happened to be my birthday so Laura Whitmore took me for tea & cake in between shows)

Black roll neck sweater from Uniqlo,

Padded black leather biker from H&M,

Navy check trousers from Louis Copeland,

Nike Trainers.

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DAY 4

3-piece bright blue pinstripe suit, ‘Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland’,

Burgundy shoes, Stemar,

Polka dot tie, M&S.

 

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So excited about my new capsule collection of suits

The are few things in life that get me more excited than a wardrobe full of new clothes. Add to that, said clothes also happen to be my own designs and you’re getting close to how I’m feeling!

The new ‘DK x LC’ collection for Autumn Winter marks my third collaboration with Ireland’s most-renowned and iconic tailor – Louis Copeland, and I feel that it is our strongest offering to date. A capsule collection of six suits – all made from the finest Italian fabrics, in the season’s most notable hues.

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This latest collection continues from where our past collections left off with my signature details of broad-peaked lapels and double-breasted waistcoats all feature in the suits which are cast in autumnal burgundy, grey and icy blue. The result, I feel, is a range of suits that appeals to both the classic and contemporary customer. The theme of this season’s collection is ‘Adventurers and Inventors’ and each suit is named after a famous Irish explorer or adventurer.

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I recently wore The Tom (called after Irish explorer, Tom Creen) – a grey window pane, double-breasted check suit on the Xtra Factor and I think it’s a fantastic example of the collection’s versatility.

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I designed the collection with the aim of creating future classics. Each of the six suits are investment pieces, but that doesn’t mean they should hang in your wardrobe, only to be worn once every couple of years. It’s not a case of ‘buy now, wear later’. It should be a case of ‘buy now and wear as much as possible,’ because ‘life is the occasion’.

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My Xtra Factor debut and chatting with Boy George

This past weekend I made my Xtra Factor debut alongside host Sarah Jane Crawford with Denise Van Outen and the very lovely Dan Wootton. It was SO much fun!

Sarh Jane Cass, Denise Van Outen, Darren Kennedy Xtra Factor
What you wouldn’t have seen on TV is the near disaster Cheryl had with her Lanvin dress, or the “Kermit” to quote Mr. Cowell, during the ad break as a giant glass of water spilled all over her. But with just seconds to go, like a true pro, she returned to her seat and got on with the show despite being drenched to the bone from the waist down.

After the show, I dropped in to see Louis Walsh in his dressing room where I found Mel B kicking back in a leopard print onesie – you gotta love Mel!

Darren Kennedy, Mel B, Louis Walsh
Earlier in the week, I attended the Attitude Awards in the gorgeous Banqueting Rooms in London. It was a brilliant night with some fantastic people including Graham Norton who received the Icon Award For Outstanding Achievement, Naomi Campbell, Tom Daley who was named Man Of The Year, the newly married Steve Jones, Ella Henderson and Paloma Faith, both of whom performed. While everyone hit the dance floor at the after party, the highlight of the night for me was chatting with Boy George.

Darren Kennedy & Boy George
At the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year, I caught up with some of my favourite specs-wearers as I hosted the red carpet at the swanky event in central London. Kimberley Walsh made her first official outing since having baby Bobby, who was tucked away upstairs in a hotel room. She’s such a beauty and WOW what a voice!!!

 

Darren Kennedy & Kimberly Walsh
Otherwise I’ve been busy filming my series #Trending which kicks off this week with the first episode this Thursday evening (eeeek!).

D x

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My highlights of London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week has come and gone and I’m only just recovering. It was the usual running around town, dashing to shows (and the odd party!) as fashion’s finest showcased their latest wares for next spring 2015. A total of 83 designers took part in LFW but the highlights for me were Topshop and Burberry. Tom Ford put on the most sumptuous of evening shows where I spotted Anna Wintour and Bradley Cooper sitting cheek to cheek on the front row.

It’s not just all fancy frocks and the flash of paparazzi bulbs, it’s serious business, especially when you consider that fashion contributes over £26 billion and almost 800,000 jobs to the British economy.

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It wasn’t all womenswear however as I headed to Oxfordshire for the launch of the first GQ’s British Designers Collective at Bicester Village where the focus was firmly on menswear. The specially curated pop-up boutique houses an impressive selection of menswear including designers Jonathan Saunders, Casely-Hayford, Katie Eary and Hentsch Man – all hand-picked by gents at GQ. It was a stylish crowd with Sam Claflin, Finn Jones, Dylan Jones, Allen Leech, Rick Edwards all in attendance. Myself and my pal Youtuber Jim Chapman hit the shops afterwards for some serious shopping. There are some serious bargains to be had!

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On a different note, I was delighted to join a stellar line up of people including Graham Norton and Ross Kemp to support the ‘Books Are My Bag’ initiative.  A limited edition tote bag has been designed by British artist Tracey Emin, all to support local booksellers across the country.

The rest of my week involved a wind machine (more to come on that next week), shooting the campaign for my new ‘DK x LC’ suiting collection with tailor Louis Copeland and the start of filming for my upcoming new fashion series #Trending, which is all very exciting. So much so, I’m off to catch up on some much needed zzzzzzzz’s!

D x

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Meeting Hollywood hunk Mr. Gerard Butler

It’s fair to say I became the envy of women up and down the country this week as I got up close and personal with Hollywood hunk Mr. Gerard Butler. As the new face of the global Hugo Boss campaign #ManofToday, Gerard was in town for the UK launch which I was delighted to host in London’s Westfield.

To say he’s an utter gent is a total understatement. Funny, self-deprecating, personable and engaging, he was a fantastic interviewee and he really does personify modern masculinity. Recalling his first fragrance memories, he had the crowd bursting with laughter as he spoke of his teenage years growing up in Scotland and knicking his step-father’s precious Kouros aftershave, thinking he was the bees-knees. Definitely something I could relate to!

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On Wednesday, I made my way to Somerset House for the Specsavers AW14 Fashion Showcase. Some gorgeous new styles and designers including Karl Lagerfeld (!!!) were all showcased in the elegant surroundings of the Portico Rooms. I particularly enjoyed the balcony area – the views over the river were stunning! I was filming most of the day and got to catch up with the very lovely Lydia Bright from TOWIE who’s always such a pleasure to chat to.

At the Louis Vuitton event in the New Bond Street store, I had a good auld chinwag with the gorgeous Becca Dudley from MTV and the always dapper Jim Chapman. The knees-up marked the unveiling of their new Curated Shelf with writer and artist Harland Miller. Among the guests were Donna Air and James Middleton who caused quite the stir.

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Ahead of such a busy week, I managed to escape to the wilds of County Kerry in the homeland at the weekend. Shacking up (if you can call it that) at the rather sumptuous Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa overlooking the Lakes of Killarney, it was the perfect spot to escape to, unwind and get back in touch with nature ahead of a hectic week. The landscape truly is stunning in that part of the world. 

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Darren x

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Rochelle and Marvin Humes’ ice bucket challenge

There’s a real back-to-school feeling in the air so this week I hit Oxford Street with This Morning to film our best picks of the new season. Thankfully the sun was shinning but it didn’t last long.

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Back at the ITV studios the previous Friday, myself and Leo Bancroft teamed up for a surprise makeover on the gorgeous Denise Golightly who thought she was at This Morning to support her husband soldier Gaz who will compete in next month’s Invictus Games. Little did she know, she had been duped, and lined up for a makeover. In rehearsals Rochelle Humes managed to get some nice photo-bombing action in! At the end of the show Rochelle and Marvin bravely took up the ice-bucket challenge live on air.

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I hightailed it back to Dublin afterwards where I was hosting Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Irish final. Earlier this year Specsavers staff from all across Ireland launched the search to discover the nation’s most fabulous specs wearer. The night saw eight finalists battle it out to become the Irish winner, with avid specs wearer Jenny Keane, a 28-year-old identical twin, taking home the title of Ireland’s Spectacle Wearer of the Year. Jenny will go on to represent Ireland in the Grand Final taking place in London this October.

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We also had birthday celebrations in my house – my little Harry, a teacup Yorkie, turned 8 years last week. He’s been with us since he was 6 weeks old and he’s barely changed a day… he’s still tiny and so full of character!

Darren x

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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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