Guest Blogger

Foreign Correspondent: Savile Row Stylist Daniel Johnson on London Style Trends and Nightlife


Name, occupation: Daniel Johnson, personal stylist and bespoke shirtmaker

Location: London

How he got his start: Before moving to London to train as a tailor on Savile Row, I had pretty much every job under the sun: a ski and snowboard technician, interior decorator, graphic designer—I even dabbled in the legal business. None of it was for me.

After graduating from the University of York in 2009 I took a few shambolic courses to hone my personal-styling skills, but styling comes from personal taste and discretion as well as knowledge—it's had to train for that. I learned a lot on the job styling customers at a large men's store. It's taken me five years to become a recognized professional in my field, but the response has been wonderful. I even shopped for a couple of Royal Families (including their weddings), so I must be doing something right.

His personal style: I feel very strongly about dressing for specific occasions, so each morning I pick an outfit that will help me accomplish what I need to in the environment I will spend the day in. But my biggest rule is: It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it. I can make an outfit look incredibly expensive without spending a fortune.

His go-to outfit: My go-to is a blazer I picked up for £50 (about $80). It's blue with a lighter blue and orange check and it fits perfectly. I wear it with aubergine chinos and a shirt I made (pictured above).

I feel most comfortable in my Savile Row suit. It's such a lovely cut and very English in its styling. My tailor Andrius Sergejenko has a real appreciation for cut and fit, just like a good Savile Row tailor should.

The one item from his closet he'd save in a fire: My great-granddad's cravat. He came from nothing and did very well for himself. I can't help but think that the cravat he passed on to me was a sign of extravagance for him, a good-luck token. It reminds me that no matter who you are or how much money you spend, you can wear whatever you want and whatever makes you happy.

On London menswear trends: The current trend right now is eclectic and—dare I say it— very English. I like that English chaps aren't afraid to dress in an English way. We've often been accused of being stuffy and following the rules, but we now seem to be bending them a bit. I constantly see men wearing bright colors, mainly in socks with turned up trousers. A prevalent trend is to use color in a strategic way; the pocket square is subtly linked to the hue of the socks, broken up by the short, slim-cut trouser leg. The big color trend I'm seeing at the moment is a bright cobalt blue, which is one of my favorites. It's also about as close as we get to seeing the blue color of the sky here in London.

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Designer to watch: I've got my eye on A.J. Weir. He's a huge character. He's been known to wear a kilt as everyday wear. I recall him once saying to me, "If I could spend my life making weird things, like hats for chickens, then I would be happy." For now he's sticking to clothes for actual humans, but his point of view comes across in his designs and sketches (pictured above). His sensibility reminds me of E. Tautz, and I'm pretty certain you'll see his clothes adorning the bodies of the art-world set in years to come.

On life in London: London moves at a whirlwind pace; if we order something we always want it yesterday. The rest of England is in a recession, so the bravest souls come to London for employment or to set up their businesses. It's good in a way, almost like the old days because people are forced to be creative and make the most of their talents. As a result there are some wonderful things happening in the creative industries. Besides, it's good shake up to the regime every now and then.

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That said, it has always been a good time for us, culturally speaking. I love the architecture of London because it's like looking into the past. If you want to do London on a budget, tilt your head up and have a look at the buildings, grab a cup of breakfast tea, and walk around for a few hours. Or head to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Following the the raging success of the sold-out David Bowie exhibition (which includes the above image), the "Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s" begins July 10th.

There's always something happening in London and most of it's free to the public. I don't understand how anyone could get bored in this city.

On the London food scene: There are lots of Lebanese restaurants opening up and they're incredibly popular places to eat. I like Yalla Yalla—their sawda djej (sautéed chicken liver with garlic and pomegranate molasses) was selected as one of the best 100 dishes in the city by Timeout.

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Like many other metropolitan cities, there's also a huge push to serve local, organically-grown produce in restaurants. A cracking good example is the recently opened Beagle. At first glance their menu might look like any other British pub's, but the execution makes it worth a visit.

On London nightlife: The nightlife here is crazy. If the world thinks the English are uptight, I would challenge anyone to come and party here and say the same thing the next morning. You never know who could turn up beside you. Recently I found myself seated next to Prince Harry and model David Gandy—not bad.

—Follow Daniel Johnson on the Details Style Network.

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Also on Details.com:
Foreign Correspondent: Footwear Designer Christian Kimber's Stylish Guide to Melbourne
Rules of Style: Sunglasses Designer Garrett Leight
Singapore Style Report From Catalog Magazine's Anton D. Javier

Images courtesy of Daniel Johnson, London Eater, and respective brands
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