Two loosely complementary trends emerged at September’s LFW which used African style as a jumping off point. Paul Smith (above) was inspired by the Congolese ‘sapeaurs’, (well turned out gents of the Society for the Advancement of People of Elegance) who have recently been documented in a rather lovely photography book for which Sir Paul himself has written the preface. As luck would have it, an invitation has come my way to the exhibition preview next week. Gentlemen of Bacongo is on for two days only from 27-29 November (12-8pm) at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 or you can buy the book here.
Also on the African fashion tip, Aquascutum’s Michael Herz told me he was channelling Malick Sibidé’s legendary portrait photographs of Malian youth when dreaming up the SS10 collection, deliberately clashing it with the utilitarian Britishness of Aquascutum’s heritage. As a lover of a certain type of energy in photography, whether that’s from searing colour as in the Bacongo book or a general upbeat mood as in Sidibé’s monochromes, these images are always an absolute pleasure to behold.