Wear and share
Our best-dressed fashionista is flying the checked flag for well-tailored menswear, says Bairbre Power
Ireland's Best Dressed Man Darren Kennedy has undeniable style and swagger – and now he has his own fashion line.
This week the Dubliner (and 'Weekend' magazine columnist) launched his debut fashion collection, the Darren Kennedy for Louis Copeland range, which has five suits and two wool-blend overcoats.
The sharp lines of his menswear collection intrigued us and gave us plenty of ideas that could work for women.
There are snazzy plaids, an eye-catching window-pane check, the luxe gleam of a strong-shouldered wool-blend overcoat and a bib-cut waistcoat that opens up the chest and draws the eye in.
Lots of potential there for female love, so we shot them as a homage to androgyny and paused to dwell on how a well-cut jacket, waistcoat and trousers could give the LBD a run for its money as the cornerstone of our wardrobe.
Women have so much to gain from a well-tailored look that is understated yet quietly seductive.
Yves Saint Laurent delivered this magnificently in the 1970s when he made the tuxedo jacket and men's smoking jacket sexy for women.
Marlene Dietrich had been ploughing that fashion furrow for years, and Gabrielle Chanel exploited the mannish shapes with iconic results. More recently, French brand The Kooples has explored boys and girls sharing a love of strong separates, and Irish boy wonder JW Anderson has been shouting about the huge scope for men and women to share elements from the same closet.
Karen Millen, meanwhile, has produced a stunning range of tailored jackets, trousers and skirts with different shapes and lengths to suit different body shapes.
If more high street brands followed, they would get resounding applause.
While Darren's suits are not available for women to buy, he offers hunting ground suggestions such as M&S and Karen Millen.
"Dunnes Stores has really upped the ante in their tailored pieces and Topshop is also great for that androgynous look," he adds.
"The lines have blurred over the past few years about men's and women's clothing. I think more and more women appreciate the value of a really well-cut piece – it can be really sexy."
On a night out in London recently, he was stopped by Henry Holland and Poppy Delevingne who asked where he got his suit.
He was delighted to reply: "This window-pane suit is from my first clothing collection."
Well done, Darren.