Exclusively dedicated to menswear, Wednesday was also the last day of the London Fashion Week, and it’s an understatement to say that Ozwald Boateng closed this season in style, by offering the mesmerised audience an outstanding show with no less than 100 models on the catwalk.
Taking place at the Odeon on Leicester Square, the show celebrated Ozwald Boateng 25 years in menswear. Despite so many years in the business and an impressive array of A-list clients, this was the first ever on-schedule show in the London Fashion Week for the tailor. And what a show! Organised like a proper red carpet event, with many celebrities attending, including VV Brown, Piers Morgan & Celia Walden, Amber Rose, Michelle Williams, Shingai from The Noisettes, Jo Wood supporting son Tyrone on the catwalk and Nick Rhodes, to name but a few, it started with a 4-minute preview of « A Man’s Story », a documentary film by the iconic Savile Row tailor himself, covering 12 years of his personal life and career.
Both A/W 2010 and S/S 2011 collections were presented. It started on a quiet note, with black and white looks, dark and neutral colours, then the collection grew stronger and stronger with the apparition of colours, making the audience whoop each time another model walked down the catwalk. Influences and illustrations of years of British style showed up through a large array of silhouettes from ska boy to gentleman hunter, to city boy, to nerd, but always in amazing style, representing different stages in « A Man’s Story ». The collections were a perfect mix of impeccable tailoring, with Ozwald Boateng’s signature modern suiting, and more fashion daring pieces, through the introduction of leather shorts, cropped sleeveless jackets and shiny quilted trench coats.
But can we talk about Ozwald Boateng without mentioning colours? I am nearly speechless here as the display of shades, each one more amazing than the other, took my breath away. From bright colours such as citrus, lime, turquoise, purple, orange to more subtle and deep tones, emerald, forest green, viridian, cobalt, Prussian blue, khaki, terracotta, cordovan, it felt like a Pantone dream… magnified by luxurious fabrics.
Highlights for me included obviously the coloured suits, notably one in a darker shade of viridian green and turquoise shirt, the low crotch trousers, particularly when teamed with satin black shirt and dark waistcoat, as well as the gentleman hunter looks. I must admit I also had an unexpected crush on the bad boy look with white and black shirt, high waisted trousers styled with wallet chains, and small fedora.
In short, impeccable from start, with this sublime man in a stunning white suit playing acoustic guitar on stage before the show, to end, when the tailor took the catwalk with his father, while models walked in procession up the rows and back to Ozwald Boateng’s Savile Row atelier, through Leicester Square, Picadilly and Regent Street.
There was a standing ovation for the king of Savile Row. Amazing display, amazing suits, elegance in so many different ways and styles. In one word, inspiring.