This season's best casual jackets in the company of Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
If you’ve ever seen Aaron Taylor-Johnson act — probably under the name Aaron Johnson (he just got married, and, unusually, merged his and his wife’s surnames), you’ll already know he’s the real deal. See his turn as a puckish John Lennon in the Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Taylor-Wood) Beatle biopic Nowhere Boy and his weedy teen vigilante in 2010’s Kick-Ass. In both films he is committed, nuanced and wholly convincing.
In person, the boy from High Wycombe is harder to pin down. We meet in a corner of a private members’ club in London, the day before
Taylor-Johnson’s 22nd birthday.
He’s recently finished work on two big projects: British director Joe Wright’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, co-starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, in which Johnson plays Count Vronsky, no less; today he’s still sporting the character’s “twizzly moustache”. And Savages, an action thriller directed by Oliver Stone. “It was very intense,” he says of working with Stone, “really challenging. But I like the guy — he’s so energetic. I don’t even know if he fucking sleeps.”
Taylor-Johnson slips out of focus slightly when talking about acting. It’s clearly something that comes naturally to him, and he prefers not to discuss the nuts and bolts of crafting a performance. But he comes alive when discussing his young family. Despite a 23-year age gap, Johnson and Taylor-Wood became an item in 2009, during the filming of Nowhere Boy, when he was just 18. They now have two children of their own (Wylda Rae, two, and Romy Hero, eight months). Aaron is also step-father to Sam’s two elder daughters, Angelica, 15, and Jessie, six, from her first marriage to the art dealer Jay Jopling. AT-J appears to have taken all this in his stride.
“Meeting Sam and having a family with Sam have been the best things that ever happened to me,” he says. “She’s wonderful and beautiful and — hey, there she is!”
Sam appears at the door and waves. “People say: ‘What’s your ambition, what’s your goal?’” says Aaron, as they prepare for lunch. “Well, I think my ambition is to be a great fucking father and husband. I’m a lucky, lucky man.”
Anna Karenina is out this month
Look 1 (top)
Who needs black leather for a tough urban feel? Hermès creates a contemporary biker look in soft yet durable wool.
(top image - Black wool jacket, £5,230, by Hermès. White and grey cashmere wool and silk jumper, £750, by Berluti. Green wool trousers, £480; black leather boots with zippers, £800, both by Dior Homme)
Lanvin’s extra slim-fit leather jacket is a modern take on classic biker style. Team with equally slim-fit sweater and jeans to avoid unnecessary bulk.
(Black leather jacket, £4,325, by Lanvin. Lambswool jumper, £1,100, by E Tautz. Blue denim jeans, £400, by Bottega Veneta. Brown leather belt, £105, by Replay. Burgundy leather boots, £250, by Dr Martens)
The first ready-to-wear collection from Berluti, the 117-year-old shoemaker, delivers a strong line in tough blouson styles but in ultra-soft luxurious cloth.
Kim Jones’ second collection for Louis Vuitton finds its inspiration in the world of travel. His canvas jacket with cord collar incorporates studding and zipping details for a new take on biker style.
British heritage label Belstaff is back with a small collection of iconic contemporary leather garments. This classic motorcycle style holds its own with a simple tailored shirt underneath.
Dior Homme’s new collection channels the military theme in khaki with detachable storm collar. An easy style to pull off when worn over a simple sweater, woollen trousers and chunkier-soled shoes.
Established in 1755, British heritage label Wolsey updates its extensive archive with a new collection of timeless designs. A shearling collar and cuff straps lend this wool coat an authentic urban edge.
(Charcoal grey wool coat with shearling collar, £399, by Wolsey)
Photography Greg Williams
Fashion Catherine Hayward
Words by Max Olesker