HE WALKS IN BEAUTY
Make Lord Byron your winter style icon
Two centuries before there was Instagram, and with it the current glut of perfectly Facetuned, muscle-bound
man-children, there was Lord Byron. There’s a famous circa 1835 Thomas Phillips painting of the original
rock-star poet (see top left) hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. In it, Byron looks every bit the urbane Regency intellectual (not to mention totally ’gramable). He’s wearing Albanian dress (“the most magnificent
[attire] in the world” in Byron’s words), standing proud and staring pensively into the middle distance (as all good poets/influencers must). Though the Balkan garb is impressive, it’s really Byron’s day-to-day wear that’s piqued our interest lately. In other pictures, Byron can be seen wearing oversized, blousy white shirts, loosely-tied neck scarves and smart doublebreasted layers. The look is laid-back yet tailored, romantic yet considered, and it’s feels very “now”.
The zenith of the Regency period occurred in the first third of the 19th century, when Byron
enjoyed peak public visibility. Men abandoned lace
and over-embroidered garments. Trousers as we know them came in for the first time, coats were cut long and fitted while shirts were furnished with large, high collars. Other Regency style stars included prime minister Robert Peel and the future King George IV: the former had a rakish way with shirt collars; the latter had dreamy tousled hair.
The Regency look was first aped by London clubbers the Blitz Kids and bands led by Visage and Spandau Ballet in the Eighties. The movement was gender-fluid, dandyish and deeply fashion-oriented. This time around, there’s a more understated take on the look — we first noticed it at the Paris and Milan menswear shows a few seasons ago — and for AW ’17 the trend has distilled into day-to-day wearability.
At Burberry, oversized Regency dress coats, cut high in the arm, were teamed with tie-neck cotton shirts and featured brooch detailing on the lapels. At Korean label Wooyoungmi, models wearing shirts rippled with oversized ruffles and enormous collars, single earrings, velvet sweatpants and close-cut housecoats in the same fabrics. At Alexander McQueen, smoking jackets printed with peacock feathers were worn with shirts and cravats, the voluminous crisp white shirts with scarf-collar detailing giving the models a Byronic edge.
Alexander McQueen AW ’17 Style
2 | Brown leather boots, £440, by Crockett & Jones Sir Robert Peel (1850) 3 | Black doeskin-cotton peacock embroidered jacket, £7,475, by Alexander McQueen
Burberry AW ’17
Lord Byron Selected Poems, £17; penguin.co.uk
1 | Blue/green/gold tapestry printed silk-wool scarf, £245, by Drake’s
4 | Tartan cotton baseball cap, £195; white cotton riding shirt with detachable brass pin, £495; navy pinstripe wool trousers, £495, all by Burberry 6|N avy/brown wool-cotton shearling-lined coat, £4,900, by Armani
King George IV (1810) 5 | Midnight blue velvet waistcoat, £600, by Berluti
Wooyoungmi AW ’17