Friday 15 December 2017

Pete Doherty becomes a style icon at Paris Fashion Week

Pete Doherty at Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Getty Images
Pete Doherty at Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Getty Images

Hilary Alexander

The controversial rocker donned a Harris tweed suit for a guerrilla gig in Paris, looking every inch the country squire.

We know him well from the much-documented tales of drug abuse; the repeated visits to rehab; the court appearances; the filthy nails, greying skin and shabby clothes; and the now-ended relationship with Kate Moss.

Despite starting a craze for little Trilby hats, there was little evidence of any abiding interest in style.

Yet, the Paris prêt-a-porter season last night, witnessed the launch of a "new" Pete Doherty, a Kinks-style "dedicated follower of fashion", some might say.

Doherty gave one of his “guerrilla gigs”, on Paris’s "fashion boulevard" on the Right Bank, the ultra-chic, avenue Montaigne, to celebrate the opening of the new Joseph store, barely a cigarette butt’s throw from Christian Dior, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, et al.

Standing on an impromptu stage, against a large Union Jack, Doherty looked the very model of a squire’s young son.

He was dressed, improbably, in a three-piece, olive tweed suit, the jacket and waistcoat lined in scarlet, the trousers held up with old-fashioned braces. The suit was made in Harris tweed, woven on handlooms on the remote isle of Lewis and Harris, part of Scotland’s Western Isles, also known as The Hebrides.

The suit was designed by Marina Maclean, 40, who was born on Harris, and whose grandfather was once a tweed-weaver.

A graduate of Cardonald College, she is based in Glasgow and works as a couture wedding dress designer.

The three-piece suit, made-to-measure for Doherty, was part of a new fashion collaboration with a young Glaswegian tailor, Camille Lorigo, of Che Camille.

“Pete was our first customer,” said Maclean. “We made it specially for tonight.”

Doherty wore the suit with a (clean) bandage on his right-hand, and accessories by Chanel – shirt, tie, pocket handkerchief, and hat - which came courtesy of his former fiancé and Babyshambles collaborator, the model and singer, Irina Lazareanu, who put in a fashion “Mayday” call to Karl Lagerfeld.

Doherty, poet and singer, held the audience enthralled in an hour-long set, accompanying himself on a battered Gibson, with tracks from The Libertines/ Carl Barât era and Babyshambles days, as well as his own songbook, including For Lovers, Can’t Stand Me Now, Last of the English Roses, What a Waster and Delivery.

Two ballet dancers, in tattered tutus and Union Jack bodices, occasionally pirouetted in the background.

The country squire look appears to be just the first stage in Doherty’s fashion makeover. He has started work on a design collaboration with the young Central Saint Martins graduate and rock ‘n’roll jeweller, Hannah Martin, which Joseph hopes to be selling within a few months.

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