Ozwald Boateng: A Man’s Story
Tonight I went to the cinema. I went to the Odeon on Leicester Square, that huge cinema in the most touristy spot in London. And yes I saw a film. A film about a man’s life. The life of the first black tailor established in Savile Row at the age of 28 years old. And tonight he was celebrating the 25 years of a successful and unusual career in the ever competitive fashion world. Here at the Odeon.
With hundreds of us: journalists, friends, celebrities, stylists. Hundreds of people queuing outside on Leicester Square: curious tourists, fans, fashionistas. And hundreds of models: from any ethnic origins, any age, any size. And hundreds of outfits: classic office black, white and greys; brights and colourful with pops of purple, greens and yellows; and more casual in camels, browns, leathers, suede.
So much of everything, that was a performance. I can honestly say I have been tonight to a show. A real fashion show. The sort of show that makes you think you are witnessing a piece of history. That menswear cannot be the same anymore after that. The sort of show where love, applause, emotion, pop culture, art, dance, music and fashion mix all together and form a coherent evening. Pure entertainment, where you forget to judge and analyse everything and just sit down, have a sip of the bottle of Moët that has been offered on your seat, and just enjoy the show.
So yes, maybe when you are at a super production, like a concert of Madonna, maybe the quality of the lyrics, of the musicality are undermined by all the outside elements, and drowned in the scale of the event, but eventually what matters is the memory, and the emotion. So I cannot tell you if the fabric was perfectly sewn, the ties all adjusted, and how soft was the wool silk blend jackets. But I saw a diversity of cuts, of sartorial propositions, of styles, and a menswear expert would be able to tell you much better than me in the final showroom how good is the tailoring. All I can tell you tonight, as a spectator and a reporter, is that I genuinely enjoyed the show.
Photography: Alize Morand. Please credit.