LFW with David Gandy

London Fashion Week is always a bit cray cray and this year I took it super easy. Purely because I’d so much on with work but it’s always nice to pop along to a couple of the shows and events to catch up with some friendly faces.

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Kicking off proceedings Alexa Chung hosted a party to give us a glimpse of what she has in store with her Archive By Alexa collection at M&S. Alexa got to rifle through the M&S back catalogue of styles, selecting her favourites and bringing them back to life with modern reinterpretation. It’s always good to catch up with David Gandy who was getting ready to celebrate his birthday the next day.

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Julien MacDonald hosted one of the grandest LFW events in what I think is a former church at One Mayfair. A stunning army of models, including men and a few children, presented a dazzling range of sequined, feathered and cut-out pieces. I was meeting a friend for lunch afterwards so I kept it casual in jeans, a chunky roll neck knit jumper and a shearling collar leather bomber jacket from Hackett.

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That evening, the Mr Porter fifth birthday celebrations with BMWi3 were held at The Savile Club and what a party they put on. Complete with a Martini bar, and a caviar and Vodka bar – not that I like caviar but I like the other options! – a host of familiar faces turned out for the occasion. Luke Evans, Lucky Blue Smith and my favourite Graham Norton who was in flying form! The dress code was ‘Very Mr Porter’ so I wore a double breasted grey flannel suit with a window pane over check with a black tee and brown suede double monkstrap shoes.

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Afterwards I hot footed it across town to the old Billingsgate Market for Natalia Vodianova and Karlie Kloss’ second annual Fund Fair raising money for the Naked Heart Foundation. The old Market was transformed with carnival lights, bumper cars and all the fun things you’d associate with a fun fair… except the prizes were more bottles of Bollinger and Louis Vuitton!

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Catching up with my fellow countrywoman Saoirse Ronan at the BAFTAs

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BAFTA weekend ended for me at 5am in the wee hours of Monday morning as I hotfooted it OFF the dance floor and swiftly departed the Rosewood Hotel in central London. The official after-party takes place in Grosvenor House but the one everyone wants to be invited to is The Weinstein Company: Post BAFTA Party with Grey Goose. It’s literally the hottest ticket in town with all the A-Listers. Grey Goose throws the best parties so it’s no wonder why!

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It doesn’t really get going until after midnight but as always it managed to lure Hollywood’s finest. Leo Di Caprio, Jack Whitehall, Sam Caflin, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Bryan Cranston, Idris Elba, and Emilia Clarke let their hair down and enjoyed a good knees-up. And let me tell you both Cuba Gooding Jnr and Kingsman star Taron Egerton have got the moves and were tearing up the dance floor.

Earlier in the evening I caught up with my fellow countrywoman Saoirse Ronan. I’ve been such a fan of hers for a long time, what a talent and a gorgeous person to boot. I’m delighted to see her star soar and I’ve my fingers crossed for Oscar’s success.

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The BAFTA celebrations began for me on Friday night at Beaufort bar in the Savoy hotel where GQ and Hackett hosted their now 5th annual BAFTA party. Hackett are the official menswear stylist you see. Naturally enough I was dressed head-to-toe in Hackett with plaid trousers, white shirt, shearling bomber jacket and brown suede double monkstrap shoes. It turned out to be a right laugh – it’s always a pleasure to catch up with David Gandy who’s sun kissed after a working trip to South Africa. Welsh actor Luke Evans was in flying form too as he’d just got back to town having wrapped shooting his latest movie in New York.

All in all, it was a brilliant weekend celebrating the best of British and International talent. Roll on the Oscars!

D x

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Parting with David Gandy and the gorgeous Daisy Lowe

It suddenly got very festive at what felt like the real start of party season in London at the launch of the Claridge’s Christmas tree. Each year the legendary Mayfair hotel invites one designer to oversee the tree design and this year it was Burberry’s Christopher Bailey.

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And the result is breath-taking! Bailey dreamed up a giant metallic tree comprised of more than 100 gold and silver umbrellas and a whopping 77,000 lights with sensors to respond to movement. Erin O’Connor, Millie Mackintosh and Matt Smith were among the crowd who gathered for the festive launch.

It was a busy night in London town so afterwards my friend blogger Jim Chapman and I hotfooted it across to the Louis Vuitton Windows book launch at the swanky Maison Assouline. The art book is dedicated to LV’s consistently opulent window displays, and as you might expect, it’s very lovely!

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This week of course was also British Fashion Awards week so on Saturday night I made my way to the new Soho House on Dean Street in central London where Grey Goose and the BFC were hosting a pre-awards dinner for the nominated designers. Naturally the Grey Goose ‘Le Fizz’ was flowing, and I’d a lovely evening and great craic catching up with David Gandy, the gorgeous Daisy Lowe and the BFC’s Caroline Rush. The party continued into the early hours but for once I was sensible enough to call it a night!

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Interviewing Twiggy, Joey Essex and the gorgeous Emma Bunton

So far this week has been a lot of early starts and late finishes but it’s been SO much fun! The great and good of menswear and the grooming industry braved the rain on Tuesday morning for the GQ Grooming Awards 2016 in Mayfair in Central London where the winners of the best lotions and potions for men were unveiled.

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Afterwards I headed to a studio in West London for a really fun shoot with Candid magazine and their upcoming London special. The stylist had such a beautiful range of clothes chosen for me so I was in heaven. I fell in love with this brown shearling contrast trim coat from Scotch & Soda Atelier.

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That evening, I hit the green carpet for the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of The Year Awards. I was filming at the event and had such a laugh interviewing Twiggy, Anne Robinson, the gorgeous Emma Bunton, Joey Essex and lovely chap Oliver Proudlock. Fans of Twiggy will be interested to hear that she has a new collection of specs in the pipeline launching very shortly.

Bradley Walsh hosted the Awards and was ably assisted by former X Factor judge Louis Walsh on the panel to judge the over winner. I presented the Irish winner, the very lovely Kate Brennan from Dublin. Once official proceedings were over, we hit the dance floor with Sarah Harding on the decks.

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This week also saw the launch of the new #StyldBy project I’m doing with Gap. Gap has teamed up with GQ magazine to launch a range of limited-edition pieces. The capsule collection, which features designs from David Hart, Stampd, NSF and The Hill-Side offers a re-imagined take on classic menswear pieces for a fresh approach to some much-loved staples. I got to road test the collection in a shoot around the streets of London.

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That’s it for now, I’m off to catch up on some much-needed zzzzzzzz’s!

D x
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Hanging with Jourdan Dunn at the Men of the Year Awards

Sam Smith, Jourdan Dunn, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Emilia Clarke, David Gandy and of course the host for the evening Samuel L. Jackson, were among the strong crew at last week’s 18th annual GQ’s Men of the Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden.

With the awards out of the way, the drinks flowed at the after party where guests relaxed, undid their bowties and enjoyed the tunes. Black-tie was optional so I decided to wear a double-breasted suit with a brown check overlay (from my own collection naturally) with a crisp white shirt. Jourdan Dunn was in fine fettle and looked absolutely stunning in a backless, cut-out black and metallic sequined gown.

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I was shooting a new project with Gap X GQ collection (I’ll be able to reveal all in the coming weeks) the following day so I was on my best behaviour, well kind of…!

Then it was back to Dublin where I was judging best dressed at Polo in the Park in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. It was a fantastic day and despite being quite scared of horses, it’s a miracle we got the photos we did so kudos to the photographer.

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After the polo, I made a dash to the RTE TV studios where I was a guest on The Late Late Show (it’s the longest running chat show in the world and kind of an institution if you’re Irish). The first ever ‘Doggie Do’, a Mardi Gras for mutt and man took place on Saturday and I was host. On the day itself the sun was out, pooches of every kind made an appearance and I was in canine heaven!!! It was SO much fun.

D x

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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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