My Style: Kahmarl Gordon

Portrait of Kahmarl Gordon

Portrait: Courtesy of Kahmarl Gordon

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I have no rules per se with the way I dress. If it doesn’t feel right or I'm double guessing, then it has to go back on the rail. Fashion should be instinctive when it's for day-to-day. I'd love to live in an editorial of a magazine for the whole of my life, but it would be mega tiring and thought consuming!

Please describe your style in three words.

Succinct, understated and coherent.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Trying too hard. Although fashion is about identity and representation, you don’t have to be wild to make a point—sometimes it can come across as desperate.

Do you believe in role models?

I don’t believe in imitation and this is something that falls into conflict with my thoughts on role models. Whilst I believe it’s good to have someone to aspire too, I feel imitation is unhealthy and doesn't marry well with the notions of progress.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Wool and cashmere for the winter, because of their use for warm and encompassing silhouettes, and cotton for summer due to its lightness.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Not really off the top of my head… although I do detest the whole one-colour ensembles that were being touted by urbanites a few seasons back. You know, the look where every piece was a bright and garish colour or alternatively a bland purple? After a while it started to look like a rehash of the TellyTubbies.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

It’s an obvious conflict, but it would be a close call between Milan and London. Milanese men have elegance and poise. I love how they ooze masculinity, yet are still focused on aesthetics. It's very refined. I love the vastness of tastes in London. Urban is my favourite subculture here, and I think what the guys do with sportswear in some parts of town is really inspirational.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservative. I used to be bold in my younger years, but grew tired of always having to spend hours thinking about what I was going to wear and the attention it drew from tourists on the streets (I have quite big hair). I like to blend into the crowd now, like a silent assassin. I show my true colours through my work.

Celebrities and style...

Usually marry well when a good stylist is involved.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Big bags! Massive ones that can fit lots and lots in them and make a scene when you have to walk through tight carriageways on the train.

A man should always look like…

A man should dress appropriately for the scene in which he is present. There is nothing worse than a guy who totally forgets to pay attention or even debate the conventions of fashion.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I've learned most of my style rules from friends in the industry like Bip Ling and Molaroid Solomon. Bip's ability to blend luxury with high street has taught me to think less rather than more. Molaroid's ferociousness and bravery has taught me it's okay to make statements that the majority might not necessarily agree with, and to stay true to my own aesthetic.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I select it the night before. I am way too tired to think in the morning, so the night before I usually have a skip through the wardrobe. My choices are always lead by the day's schedule. If I'm shooting, then the attire will be comfortable but still appropriate—most usually sports luxe. If I'm at a meeting or in the office, then it will be formal, and so on…

What is your biggest regret?

I have no regrets. I used to think it was a cheesy thing to say, but as of the last few years I’ve really begun to dig that mantra.

The three essential things a man should know about style are…

You don’t have to wear a suit at every formal event. In most cases, pink IS for girls. Everyone expects you to wear blue denim jeans, so give them a shock and switch it up with a different fabric and pattern.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Not really, as I'm an impulse buyer. I guess if you wanted to, you could say my shopping ritual was sacrificing the credit card every payday.

We will never see you wearing...

Sunglasses don't go well with my facial shape. I’ve got a bit of a bean head and to date, I've never found a frame to match it.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

There are so many when you work in fashion, but right now Rainy Milo is killing it. We recently shot her for our fifth issue. She gives a fiercely understated look and knows how to make an impact, even at such a young age.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

I go straight to the facial grooming. If there’s a beard, it has to be neat, and the skin has to be well cared for. Attire-wise, it has to be the shoes. Shoes are the type of thing that suit everyone, so there’s no excuses to be had for having a crappy pair.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

Editorially it would be David Lachapelle's 'My Own Marilyn' series with Amanda Lepore. Until Lachapelle, all attempts at bringing colour and drama to photography were weak and excessive. It was like a hit of sugar that I’ve needed a daily dose of ever since. Personally however, I am more influenced by movements and subcultures, like grime, than people or images.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Leon and Lim from Kenzo, Fyodor and Golan from Fyodor Golan and Marc Jacobs are the three ultimate ride or die designers for me. Kenzo and Opening Ceremony really nurtured the streets with their early offerings—colour and culture everywhere. Fyodor Golan for their use of bright colour in a comfortable way and Marc Jacobs for his clean silhouettes.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is…

He should pay close attention to them all.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I like to cover up and my coats are like armour. So jackets and coats would be the most treasured items in my wardrobe.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No, no, no. If it is then I am an evil warrior because it drives my decisions. Never jump into it too blindly though, because we live in an age where so many designers have begun to understand and blend comfort and style together so well. You just have to look harder and be prepared to pay a little more.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Kenzo, again, for the same reasons as above.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

I would suggest Daniel Lismore, Nik Thakkar, George Sean Alto, Erol Alkan and Molaroid Solomon.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

“The moment you think you have it all and you’ve reached the top—life will fuck up. Never stop trying to be at the top of your game, always remember you can be better”.

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