Suit yourself... top tips from Darren Kennedy
As Men's Fashion Week kicks off in London, our Weekend style columnist shares his top tips for holding your own in the style stakes this season - and presents his new collection of suits for Louis Copeland
Irish men get a bit of a hard time when it comes to their dress sense, don't they? This doesn't have to be the case, and men like Samuel Beckett, Pierce Brosnan and Michael Fassbender have all previously proven our style credentials. With a little guidance, the men of Ireland can reclaim their place on the international fashion map.
Introducing subtle elements from trends into your wardrobe will make for an updated and modern look. Look to the likes of David Gandy - the model who has created a range with Marks & Spencer's Autograph line - for inspiration. His style combines classical shapes with a modern and unique personal edge. I've met David a number of times, he's a lovely chap, and the one thing that always strikes me is his impeccable attention to detail. David's aesthetic is a mixture of 007 razor-sharp tailoring with a contrasting and more relaxed 1950s Italian Riviera-style. Irish men can learn a lot from Gandy's approach to dressing.
When it comes to suits, fit is everything. If your budget doesn't stretch to a bespoke three-piece, it may be a good idea to take your suit to a tailor and get it fitted to your body shape. Never button all the buttons on your suit jacket - the bottom one should always be left open and this goes for double-breasted blazers as well. A suit worn with runners is one of the season's most sought-after looks, so wear some Stan Smith trainers in place of the classic brogue or Derby shoe.
Pictured here is my new spring/summer 2015 collection for Louis Copeland. It's a limited edition capsule collection with each piece made from superfine Italian pure wool. This season, I've chosen to introduce wide 'notch' lapels. These are a great sartorial trick which gives the wearer a flattering silhouette by extending the shoulder line and creating the illusion of a broader, wider chest.
The cut is neat, short and very tailored, but by no means skinny.
The combination of the double-breasted jacket with the broad notch lapel works especially well on taller guys but the beauty of these jackets is that they hide a multitude, which may come in especially handy for guys who are partial to a beer or five. I've also created longer-length waistcoats which will make the wearer appear longer and leaner.
I've found that many Irish men are a bit reluctant when it comes to colour, favouring classic navies and shying away from more daring hues. But that's changing and, with this latest collection, I've introduced some subtle shades of pink, red and purple in overchecks to compliment the greys and blues in the range. I think they provide a fantastic opportunity for Irish men to embrace change and colour, but still retain that classic and sophisticated silhouette.
Photography: Daniel Holfeld
Clothes: The DK x LC collection is available now in all Louis Copeland and Sons stores nationwide, louiscopeland.com