Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Personal Style: David Gandy

By Jamie Millar

The British face of Dolce & Gabbana, David Gandy was the most famous male model in the country even before he was a guest of Jonathan Ross in April. But before he was being shot by the likes of Mario Testino for a living he used to work for non-fashion magazine Auto Express, until Select Models brought him onto its books. Then after a waifish lean period he rose to promo pre-eminence thanks in no small part to his starring role in the TV ad for Dolce's Light Blue fragrance (ask your girlfriend or click here). The model-slash-actor is rumoured to be appearing in a forthcoming film alongside Helena Christensen (about which he's saying nothing for the time being) and has now launched his own iPhone fashion app with the help of Liberty personal stylist Joe Ottaway. "Someone asked me to come on board for another app but it was stupid. I said I wouldn't want to put my name to that. They said, 'Well, what would you want to do?' And I said, 'Well, maybe there's a gap for a style guide.'" Here he gives his tips on grooming, buying vintage watches on eBay and how brief is too brief for briefs...

I didn't aspire to be in the fashion industry and I didn't aspire to be a model. I've learnt along the way.

A guy's wardrobe has to come back to tailoring. We have such a heritage in this country. People from other countries, all the R'n'B stars, they come to Savile Row and they're in immaculate three-piece suits. Then you see British guys and they just can't seem to dress. We have all these fashion agendas, punk and Vivienne Westwood and everything, but the queue seems to be at Abercrombie & Fitch down the road. That is just heartbreaking to me. Why does everyone want a polo shirt and three-quarter-length combat shorts?

The key thing with a suit is fit. For the app we did a before and after. We didn't want to put people off so we didn't do it with Savile Row, we did it with Marks & Spencer, which does an alteration service. My friend came in - again I wanted to take that structure out of it, it doesn't look great just because it's a model. He's 38 regular, 15.5" collar, normal tie. Just like a guy would walk in, take it off the shelf and put it on. And we said this is what you look like here, and this is what you look like if you had spent £30 more and got it altered and got the shirt altered, put a little handkerchief and instead of a big tie you got a pencil or slim tie. It makes a huge amount of difference.

Vivienne Westwood's husband Andreas Kronthaler is out there. Completely. Which I love. I think he's an inspiration. He came in, a 6'3" guy with a beard, bandana, four layers, jacket, rolled-up trousers, looked great. I said to him, "Do people comment about what you wear, take the mickey, and do you care about it?" It was totally alien to him. He said, "Why would I care? Dressing is for me."

Men don't realise how much women look at shoes. And they last. They're not for one season. A pair of brogues will go on and on and look better when they're battered. Great with a pair of jeans, great with a suit and they keep on going. You need to spend money on these things - not a lot of money, but get them right in the first place and they'll last you a good five years at least.

One shoot I've always wanted to do would be a Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid one. Probably one of my favourite films. I would love to go out to the Wild West and do the most amazing three-piece suits with a bowler hat.Other stylish films? American Gigolo, naturally. With the Eighties Mercedes SL and all the Giorgio Armani suits. That's a huge inspiration.

My favourite thing that Paul Newman did was he just chucked a thin scarf round the two handles of a battered old manbag, held that, it looked great. You don't want to wear a scarf but if it does get cold you might want one so shove it on your bag.

About four seasons ago I bought - and I still wear them - some brown Gucci boots up to here with a furry top. It's very unusual to see a guy tuck his jeans into boots in the winter. I get so many compliments from everyone.

Jude Law dresses well. He knows himself, he knows what looks good, he doesn't do anything outlandish. He mixes contemporary with classical. He'll have the typical old fashioned double-breasted suit but he mixes it with a T-shirt or shoes with no socks. He's very confident about his body and what he wears. He's also a great-looking guy which helps, as does having Sienna Miller on your arm.

I came out a few years ago in double denim. Tight jeans, denim shirt, belt, brown shoes. I literally walked in to a few friends in the fashion business and they were like [sharp intake of breath], "You never wear double denim. What are you doing?" A few years later, who isn't in double denim? Ralph Lauren's been doing it for the last 20 years.

I love doing vintage. I got some amazing old manbag: a Dunhill one that I got for like $80, a Bally one that was about $100. Then some amazing old cowboy boots that I haven't stopped wearing. Very short ones. Everyone comments on them. I wore them to V Festival actually and it was like, "Great boots!" I got them for £30 in Camden.

A watch is hugely important. I have an Omega Speedmaster and an old Sixties Omega which I very rarely wear because I've left it at shoots where I'm getting changed and then I quickly run for a plane. That's only for special occasions. I've never spent more than £600 and that for the Speedmaster which I bought on eBay. I took it into Burlington Walk and I was looking at a watch in there and the guy said, "Wow, you know yours is actually one of the smaller watches?" I said that's why I got it, because of the smaller face. He asked me what I paid, I told him and he said it's worth a hell of lot more than that.

My pride and joy is probably my leather Dolce & Gabbana jacket. I got it off a friend and he got it in New York from a sample sale. It's triple-layered with a fur hood and very, very high fur neckline. I would never buy that normally but that's my just, in the winter, it goes with everything. You can pull it off with a pair of trousers, you can pull it off with jeans. And it until Burberry came up with a similar thing, I'd never seen one like it.

Joe Ottaway always says when he's trying to dress a man, they take their girlfriend or their wife along, who totally dictates what they're wearing. Do they read men's fashion's magazines? So why are they dictating what you should wear? Find a guy - the stores have all got them - to help you out. People think that personal styling is something for the celebrities but you will save a lot of time and money by going out and having a day's shopping with a professional. Use the expertise that is there.

Grooming is difficult for men still. I love Kiehls stuff. Something for the morning, something for the evening with anti-oxidants and anti-wrinkle and and that's about it. I don't think men really need to do much else. You walk into Kiehls and there's brick walls, a Harley Davidson. There's also no one in there - it's very intimate, "What can we do for you?"

I would never go for the brief or the Speedo personally. We wear that on the catwalk for a reason, for an effect. If you want to go tight then you get the short, cropped, sporty kind of swimming trunks. I think they're as far as you want to go in that direction. But I remember seeing this picture of Paul Newman and Robert Redford on set playing table tennis. They've both got these really short, cropped swimming shorts turned up at the end. Amazing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

David Gandy: five things I know about style

Oct 17, 2010 - By Shahesta Shaitly

1) I was a sporty teenager. I wore jeans, T-shirt and jumpers when I wasn't in training kit. I have to keep fit for my job – I go to the gym five times a week, but I don't have time for team sports.

2) Being a model has taught me a lot about style. I work with amazing photographers and stylists, so I've picked up tips on how to dress. Men are dictated to by magazines about what we should wear, and that can be really off-putting for a lot of guys.

3) Individuality is important, but it doesn't feel like it exists now. One person wears a check shirt, and next thing you know everyone is in one. The UK has a history of wonderful style: dandies, punk, Savile Row – it's a shame we've forgotten that.

4) Guys shop in a very different way to women. Women enjoy it, and to most men it's a necessity. Men should consider getting personal shoppers – we take our car to the garage, why not get advice on how to shop?

5) I admire men like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen – there was such an ease to the way they dressed. There wasn't too much thought going into it. They were just effortlessly chic.

David Gandy's Style Guide mobile phone app is out now (


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Styling by David Gandy

David Gandy is about as super as male models get and probably best known as the face (and body) of Dolce and Gabbanas Light Blue fragrance.

His latest endeavour, however, is the The David Gandy Mens Styling App, everything a man could wish to know about getting his look right at the touch of a finger.

Its all the tricks of the trade that Ive picked up over the last nine years, from working with all the best people  the best stylists, the best photographers, the best creatives, elaborates David, pictured above at Richard James Bespoke.  Ive produced the app in association with the stylist Joe Ottaway. Some men seem to be a bit confused and intimidated by the whole world of fashion. We want to simplify things.

An example trick of the trade? Get certain clothes altered by a tailor. It makes such a difference. A lot of ready to wear clothing is made to fit a wide range of customers, so youre lucky if you find something that fits you well. Weve got a before and after bit on the app of a guy who spent a bit of money getting a regular, off the peg suit altered and you wouldnt believe the difference.

Its a top tip, and one that is not lost here at Richard James, where we know only too well that we are not all the same shape or size and offer an in house alterations service of the exactitude you would expect from Savile Row: suit coats can be squared off (made flat) if they bunch under the back of the lapel; side seams can be taken in or let out; sleeves and coats shortened, and cuffs made to work (button). Moving down, trousers can be taken up or let down; waists taken in or let out; legs narrowed; belt loops added, and the fork (what a tailor calls the crotch, and so called because it is the spot from which four seams fork out) expanded.