HE WALKS IN BEAUTY

Make Lord By­ron your win­ter style icon

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

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

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