Photo: Pinstripe Punks, GQ Style AW14 © Thomas Cooksey; Styling Luke Day; © Shutterstock.
Whether cutting a classic figure in the three-piece suit or pushing the edge with punk, the British have always excelled in the realm of men’s style. Perhaps David Bowie best personified the style of his native land, seamlessly sliding between Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke in just a few years. At its essence, British style is always willing to take risks, while simultaneously understanding the idea of a complete look.
Sitting in the front row is Dylan Jones, the award-winning editor of British GQ, a position he has held for nearly 20 years. From his vantage point, he has seen trends come and go, fashion designers peak, shine, and fall. But one thing remains the same and that is style itself—that certain je ne sais quoi that sets one apart from the crowd.
In celebration of the many looks of British menswear, Dylan has just released a sumptuous new book, London Sartorial: Men’s Style from Street to Bespoke (Rizzoli New York). The book is a dandy’s guide to dressing the part for every occasion that requires you leave the house and face the world. With 350 photographs, readers will can draw inspiration for developing a wardrobe that speaks to their personal aesthetic with grace and ease.
London Sartorial features a section of dandies offering their insights about menswear, along with websites for more information on their recommendations. Singer songwriter Adio Merchant recommends the classic Brit work boot Dr. Martens for festivals “because they’re so big, robust, and east to clean. And they’re still a stylish show—with the right cut pans they always look pretty amazing.”
Creative Director Bayode Oduwole likes to rock a bow tie with his everyday suit. “The bow tie is upscaling,” he notes. “I got it from a leftover box of chocolates That’s the Pokit attitude to clothing. It’s cool, it’s rugged, but you can’t take it too seriously.”
Indeed, it wouldn’t be British if it weren’t cheeky.
At the heart of London Sartorial are a series of designer profiles introducing you to the legends, the icons, and the up-and-coming innovators who are changing the face of fashion—like Agi & Sam who literally sent models down the runway with masks made of LEGOs. The gang’s all here, from Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Sir Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, and Dunhill to Mr. Hare, Richard James, James Long, and Asrtrid Andersen.
The book also includes a list of retail establishments and their corresponding websites, so that even if you’re unable to be there in person you can still partake in the joys of discovering the latest t-shirt at Dover Street Market or perusing the racks of Selfridges and Harrods. London Sartorial offers just the guidance and insights that will make your retail therapy much more effective.
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.