Musical maestro Labrinth showcases the key looks and trends of 2012.
Labrinth - Lab to his friends, Timothy McKenzie to his mum - musical obsessive as a kid, he caught the beady eye of one Simon Cowell, who signed him to his Syco label - the first artist not to come from a talent show. He's had two sizeable chart hits: summer dance-pop anthem “Let the Sun Shine” and “Earthquake”, a floor-shuddering pop track featuring Tinie Tempah.
And, of course, there was Tempah’s “Pass Out”, the No 1 single Labrinth co-wrote and produced (that’s him singing the chorus) that went double platinum, selling over 600,000 copies.
With Cowell on his side, he looks well placed to kick on. But he knows the drill: “I love music to death, but if you don’t make any money Simon’s going to be like, ‘I don’t think I want to be your friend any more.’” However, it all shakes out and he’s not complaining. “I don’t write about my problems, because I’d be a rebel without a cause,” he says. “What have I got to worry about?” Labrinth’s debut album, Electronic Earth, is out on 19 March
1 Pattern (top)
Winter was about block colour, but for spring bright, bold patterns are the big story. For how to do it properly see Prada’s retro Fifties shirts (featuring cowboys and golfers) and geometric print suits.
Blue and yellow patterned jacket, £1,180; white cotton shirt, £255; black trousers, £340; black leather loafers, £480, all by Prada. Blue/white cotton socks, £12, by Burlington
2 The safari jacket
Less Roger Moore, more Seventies-era Yves Saint Laurent, the safari jacket is not as tricky to pull off as it seems. Keep yours simple, sleek and, if you’re willing to splash out, wear it in suede.
Marl cotton T-shirt, £145; beige double-pocket buttoned suede jacket, £790; beige stressed jeans, £305, all by John Varvatos. Red patent high-top trainers, £395, by YSL. Tortoiseshell frame glasses, £215, by Marc Jacobs
The preppy trend has been doing the rounds for the past few seasons but it’s reaching fever pitch for spring. Team one of Tommy Hilfiger’s cardigans with slim, sandy chinos and a pair of penny loafers.
Navy/white cotton cardigan with leather varsity sleeves, £425; navy/burgundy cashmere long-sleeved V-neck sweater, £215; khaki washed-cotton slim-fit chinos, £225; navy/burgundy leather loafers, £185, all by Tommy Hilfiger
4 The Power suit
The reign of the super-skinny suit has officially come to an end; your reference for this season’s tailoring should be Eighties’ power dressers. Keep the silhouette boxy, the shoulders wide and the trousers fluid.
5 The Blouson
A perfectly proportioned blouson is an essential “throw on” for spring. Think Ryan Gosling in Drive and keep it neat, symmetrical and fitted. Wear in soft cotton teamed with loafers and jeans for a casual look, or a shirt and tie if you’re feeling smarter.
Camel bomber jacket, £1,700; navy blue cotton polo shirt, £470; beige cotton trousers, £550; red Masai scarf, £300; brown leather belt, £350, all by Louis Vuitton. Light brown suede loafers, £170, by Grenson
6 The Cropped jacket
Masters of sleek Italian tailoring Dolce & Gabbana have cut their jackets super-short this season. Team yours with a crisp shirt, a pair of slightly wider trousers and high-tops for a contemporary take on the trend.
This season, invest in key suede pieces for a long-term return. Blazers, blousons and bombers carry the fabric well, but, worn alone or layered up, Hugo Boss’s shirt jacket in navy is the ultimate cross-seasonal essential.
Navy blue suede jacket, £1,249; blue denim-look cotton shirt, £145; red cotton chinos, £95, all by Hugo Boss Orange. Multi-coloured bowtie, £30, by Thomas Pink. Navy socks, £12, by Falke. Blue suede high-top trainers, £99, by Jones Bootmaker
Subtle interplay between fabrics is a good way to bring creativity into more sober outfits. Take your cue from Giorgio Armani, who’s teamed silk trousers with knitted jackets and fine gauge jumpers to great effect in his spring collection.
Grey waffle-knit jacket, £1,100; slate cotton chequered pullover, £395; white/blue check shirt, £275; blue wool/cotton mix trousers, £450, all by Giorgio Armani. Black and blue leather and fabric shoes, £329, by Emporio Armani
Off the style radar for a good decade, the hood is back in favour. Worn on hi-tech, super-bright sports jackets — like this one from DKNY — they look great when teamed with smarter pieces.
10 The Three-piece suit
Often overlooked for fear of appearing too formal, an adaptable three-piece suit is a wardrobe essential. Wear yours close cut and keep the look fresh by teaming with a bold tie and contrasting shirt.
Brown pinstripe suit, £3,430, by Ralph Lauren Purple. Orange/white striped cotton shirt, £90; green polka-dot silk tie, £80; black glasses, £108, all by Polo Ralph Lauren. Burgundy/white brogues, £180, by Dr Martens
Words by Miranda Collinge
Photography by Tom van Schelven
Fashion by Gareth Scourfield