Sunday 26 September 2010

LFW Diary SS11: Ozwald Boateng

Having had the invitation couriered to me the day before the event - undiscovered in my mailbox until late evening - I’d planned to work on Menswear Day and was so pleased to be invited to the closing event of the schedule, that it was pretty much all I talked about for the subsequent 24 hours. Held in Leicester Square’s famed Odeon cinema, guests, fashion glitterati and celebrities alike queued for over an hour to walk along the elegant black carpet posing for the hundreds of paparazzi in attendance, effortlessly snubbing Julia Roberts' Eat Pray Love film premiere also held on the same night.

Hands down, the best show I have ever had the pleasure of attending!! At points I was so excited it was a shame I had no one to turn to so I ended up exchanging platitudes and tips on corking the champers with those sat around me, and defiantly refusing requests - from equally greedy revellers - for the second mini Moët perched next to me.

The Odeon provided the perfect location to preview Boateng’s forthcoming full-length documentary film, covering the past 12 years of his career and life; A Man’s Story. Seated in the upper circle, I had a great view of all the action seeing the floor show, with the added bonus of the close-up and detail shots visible on the auditorium. In my sexy leopard print seat, I thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary bottle of mini Moët, maybe too much and was thrilled to see the A-list film unfolding in front of me with Hollywood heavyweights; Will Smith, Laurence Fishburne and Gabriel Byrne discussing what is so unique about a Boateng suit.

A heart-warming presentation, the epic scale production witnessed was the culmination of 25 years of the Ozwald Boateng brand - and his inaugural outing at London Fashion Week - marking the silver anniversary with an unprecedented move; presenting over two collections worth of suiting requiring upwards of 100 models to showcase each of the equally dapper looks. With the AW10 collection also titled A Man’s Story, guests were treated to Boateng’s most striking and definitive collection to date, unifying the depth of classic traditions with modernism to present not only a style evolution, but the evolution of man – and on the night, the evolution of Boateng himself.

Showing the youngster’s of menswear fashion how it’s done, Boateng created an emphatic, world-class and highly emotional end to London Fashion Week, dedicating the collection to his father, whom appeared on stage alongside him to soak up the profuse applause and standing ovations. As the first tailor of African heritage to set-up shop on London’s prestigious Saville Row, Boateng has gone on to build a successful empire, cementing his great legacy being honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2006. With rumours of a womenswear collection in the future I am trés excited.

Between you and me, I was rather emotional during this presentation, feeling like I was part of Boateng’s circle, celebrating his journey with him. With the music throughout varying between recognisable dance tunes and non descript chart hits, Florence And The Machine’s cover of You Got The Love rang true, leaving such a lasting and inclusive atmosphere that I overheard several guests leaving humming and singing the song (at varying decibels) rather cheesily proving that we all had the love for one very special man in particular.

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