With his finely coiffed hair and penchant for quirky suit accessories, Darren Kennedy is the very definition of au courant. His vice for communicating individuality through his clothes and his Irish charm has seen him take the fashion industry by storm. Stylist, columnist, presenter of This Morning’s ‘Fashion Sense’, and was once voted Ireland’s Best Dressed Man; Kennedy is speeding through the menswear world and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Having previously collaborated with the Irish tailoring company for an Autumn/Winter collection in 2013, Darren is set to release his second capsule collection for Spring/Summer 2014. The latest phase of contemporary menswear during the warmer months has seen a renewed drive towards more striking and conspicuous suiting, with smarter aesthetics being re-engerised with fresh designs. Kennedy’s collection, made from the highest quality Italian fabrics that are both durable and lightweight, serves to both compliment this new focus on bolder tailoring but also keep it classy.
The designs are kept within a modernised 60s vibe, with wide peak lapels, bulky knitted ties and double breasted waistcoats. The suits are imbued with updated looks, such as a subtle camouflage print or a three-piece gingham suit. A midnight blue dress suit acts as the formal forefront of the capsule collection; crafted in a super fine mohair cloth. Its gentle sheen and grace gives it a youthful civility. Overall, the collection is streamlined and versatile; the slim cut of all the suits produces a tidy silhouette that not many collections can do. As Darren says, “You don’t need a reason to wear a suit, life is the occasion.”
The ‘DK x LC’ SS2014 Collection:
Three piece suit in Micro Check with Peak Lapel (the Aidan)
Three piece suit with Peak Lapel in Glen Check (the Michael)
Three piece suit in Gingham Check (the Adam)
Two piece blue suit in Camouflage Fine Wool (the Tristan)
Two piece tuxedo suit in Mohair (the Harry)
Double breasted suit with Peak Lapel in Glen Check (the Jefferson)
See Also: How To Wear a Checked Suit
The Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland ‘DK x LC’ range is available in all Louis Copeland stores as well as online at www.louiscopeland.com.
Interview with Darren Kennedy
We managed to ask the coiffed maverick a couple of questions, on his latest collection and on his own fashionable philosophies:
1. What was your inspiration when designing your latest range of suits for Louis Copeland?
I wanted to build on the fundamentals of what made the first collection such a success – beautiful craftsmanship taking its lead from cutting edge design whilst using the finest quality Italian fabric. My signature broad peaked lapel blazers and double-breasted waistcoats create a collection of future modern classics. In a DK x LC first, we’ve also designed a midnight blue tuxedo (which I wore to this year’s BAFTAS) crafted in a super fine mohair cloth with a natural lustre. Also I’m quite the bicycle fan so all linings feature a ‘man-about-town’ bicycle motif. Ultimately it boils down to quintessential classic tailoring with a contemporary fit.
2. What did you think of London Collections: Men SS15?
LC:M just continues to excel, every season getting busier and busier, attracting some of the world’s biggest brands to the schedule. It’s hard to believe it’s only the fifth season and I reckon it won’t be long before the schedule has to expand over more days. I had such a brilliant time. The Tom Ford presentation was fantastic (I’m a big fan so delighted to have the opportunity to meet him again), Topman and Katie Eary channelling major 70’s vibes which were fun and carefree. Then there were the parties, both the Esquire x DKNY opening party and the GQ x Dunhill closing bash were lots of fun.
3. Why do you think men’s attitudes to fashion have changed so rapidly?
In a world of equal opportunity it’s about time guys started having fun with fashion. Men are capitalising on this shift. In today’s world, looking the part is every bit as important to getting ahead so make a statement with your style, as subtle or as loud as you wish. But now is the time to stand up and be counted.
4. Do you think your blog was a stepping stone to you becoming everything from a stylist to a TV presenter?
My blog (http://www.helpmystyle.ie/) was certainly a catalyst for certain areas of my career. I launched it nearly 6 years ago when I set up my style consultation business and it has developed into more of an online magazine with a team of talented writers and contributors. At the time, it acted as a window into my world and I guess it became somewhat of a calling card.
5. Fashion can be a tough business full of criticism, how did you develop the self-confidence needed for fashion?
Just be yourself, be authentic and don’t try to be anything else and you’ll be fine!