My Style: Liam Maher

Liam Maher of Dehnam Jeans

Photo: Jennifer Maher — Courtesy of Liam Maher

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Not really. Whenever I think there are, somebody comes along and makes it work. I’ve learned to keep an open mind.

Please describe your style in three words.

Coarse, nostalgic, totemized.

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

Overthinking it.

Do you believe in role models?

I call ‘em “archetypes” to sound smart, but absolutely, yes. My own archetypes include ancestral, cultural, low-brow, high-brow and — most importantly — impressive folks I’m proud to call friends.

The one article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

Perhaps it matters more that it be one article. An outfit’s essence is often defined by one item.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Most of the ones I hated as a boy — oily/scratchy wools, structured cottons, stiff gabardines, dry line-dried compact shirting, rigid vegetable-tanned leathers… I particularly love them combined with simple technical fabrications like cotton/nylon blends and bio-fibres. Anything with memory.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

It’s a slugfest between East London and central Antwerp.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I’d say I’m careless. But for me it’s more about subtle "interruptions" of expectations.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I suppose I am a bit of a "meaning-junkie." Besides the normal menswear characteristics expressed in a particular outfit (texture, colour, proportion, layering), I tend toward elements that carry “meaning” for me. Vintage items conjuring another time and place, modern elements evoking a sort of future-facing optimism, heirloom pieces that remind me of family or life events, etc.

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

One tiny restrained glimpse through multiple layers of texture can pack a heck of a punch. Meaning comes from contrast and subtle contradiction. The line between clashing and complementing can be thin and it helps to test it with trial-and-error. Rayon isn’t really a synthetic. It’s made from wood pulp and makes the most luxurious sleeve linings.

Celebrities and style...

Have come together to create some of the most inspiring and lasting impressions of our time as well as many of the most profane and embarrassing reflections of our society.

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

Fobs. Key, watch, pin and lanyard — saints, medals, trench-art, found objects… Never too many fobs.

Who taught you what you know about style?

John Chauvin. Wow, that answer surprises even me. John pulled me out a restaurant and had me designing menswear windows in Boston back in the 80’s. Thanks John.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His posture — which is weird since mine is horrendous.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I guess I subconsciously try to match whichever of my personality traits feels most dominant. I don’t worry too much about it because I know any outfit can be saved by the right shoes.

What is your biggest regret?

No regrets. There’s always tomorrow.

A man should always look like...

He’s quick-on-the-draw and not afraid to improvise.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

In my work at Denham and my private life I spend lots of time in vintage stores and events. It’s a ritual to do a short video-interview with the proprietor. I love the stories and want to take away a slice of their fantastic personalities.

We will never see you wearing...

A pinky ring. No, actually I can imagine that working. Pointy shoes. No, that could probably work too. A car coat… no, I can imagine finding a cool one. I guess I better never say never.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I’d be remiss not to mention Jason Denham and Marianne Fay, both of whom I work and both of whom I greatly admire. I’ve had opportunities to work with Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh of Art Comes First, Matteo Gioli of Super Duper Hats and Simon 'Barnzley' Armitage. All have inspired me and taught me more about the tradition I work in. And a couple I have not had the pleasure of meeting: the late Chrisopher Nemeth, the brilliant Paul Harnden, the sublime Alessio Zero, the iconoclastic Kosuke Tsumura… and always and forever Yohji Yamamoto.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Charlie Chaplin, both in and out of character.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

An heirloom pocket watch that was given by my mother to my late father on the day I was born. Inscribed to commemorate the moment between them and given to me when he passed away.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Of course not. It never has been. Not sure if I’m backing those onesies for adults I’ve seen on TV though.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

George Gottl, CEO/CCO of UXUS Design.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Even if you’re the smartest guy in the room, force yourself to pause before you speak once in a while… even if just for a moment. Some cool shit can happen when you do.

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