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Ozwald Boateng's Bonanza

It’s fitting that for London designer’s 25th anniversary he decided to go big, with a runway show.

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Ozwald Boateng

Photo By Tim Jenkins

LONDON — Ozwald Boateng’s trademark colorful suits aren’t exactly subtle, so it’s fitting that for London designer’s 25th anniversary he decided to go big, with a runway show at the Odeon cinema in London’s Leicester Square — usually reserved for major film premieres — 100 models, and a preview of a feature-length documentary about his life. The event, held Wednesday evening, closed London Fashion Week. With his typical swagger, the designer said: “I want to dress all men. I want all men in my kit,” he said. “It’s my job to make all men look good. That’s the purpose of a tailor.” Boateng also used the occasion to preview “A Man’s Story,” a movie filmed over 12 years that traces his career. Boateng’s collection covered the men’s wear spectrum, from leather bomber jackets paired with tailored grey pants, to sharp, sleek tuxedos with bow ties in navy, lime green and turquoise. There were gangster-inspired looks, too, such as black waistcoats worn over pegged pants. There were more directional looks, including leather tunics worn over tailored pants, and preppy ones too, such as check-print shorts worn with rope belts and crisp, pale-blue shirts. The show included the designer’s fall 2010 and spring 2011 collections. “It’s very broad,” said Boateng of the collection. “I’m known for tailoring, but this really shows what I can do.”

 

The designer added that he plans to branch in to women’s wear. “I’m ready. I’m looking for partners right now,” he said. “Maybe it’s because I’m single. That’s a big thing. I look at women in a different way. I’ve been asked by the most famous actresses in the world to make gowns in the past, but I always said no,” he said. “A Man’s Story” is a candid look at Boateng’s life, tracing the designer's journey to become the first black tailor to open a shop on Savile Row. It also features interviews with Boateng’s clients Paul Bettany, Richard Branson and his hero — Giorgio Armani.

 

“The film tracks 12 years of my life, from my son being born, to my daughter walking the catwalk for the first time, to when I first met my wife. It’s a powerful piece of art. No one is able to see themselves in that amount of detail, the looks, the nuances. It’s quite something.”

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