tyler kennyComment

Armour : Fashioning an identity

tyler kennyComment

Recently a colleague and I were discussing just HOW much we'd spent on international tuition. 

The security guard listening in commented, "You've spent how MUCH learning about clothes?". 

I had to clarify for him...No, I hadn't spent a year's salary learning how to mix florals, or which shoe to pair with which pant. I'd spent that money researching things like the psychology and associations of colour, (why do we wear so much black? protection & projection!) or why flannel shirts, skinny jeans  and tall cans of PBR became the uniform for hipsters everywhere.... (One need not look further than Brooklyn in 2004 for the answer). 

In all my rounds of costume, textile and fashion post-secondary I've yet to attend a class that even attempted to teach me any kind of "style or fashion rules". They've all mostly covered the history, how things came to be and the significance of these cultural and art movements. 

One of the topics that has always interested me is - why we wear the clothes that we wear. Recently I was on the phone with a friend while getting ready to meet a potential employer... my friend asked me, "What are you going to wear?" 

The answer was simple... something red + a suit that shows my personality. 

When you're headed to meet someone who's a household name ... you simply can't afford to waste (too much) time fretting over what to wear.



'When in doubt, wear red.' - Bill Blass

I'm not even a particularly big fan of the colour red but for as long as I can remember (my grade 4 speech in front of my entire school) Red has been the go-to colour.

Why? because my mother told me to.

I recall her saying red was a colour that exuded confidence (I'd later learn that psychology associated it with asserting dominance). I didn't need much more convincing than that. In my adult years, I upgraded from the red t-shirts and sweaters of my elementary days to a selection of red dress shirts from Club Monaco (usually plaid). Recently I made the jump to the red shirt's final evolution by way of a silk jacquard check shirt from Etro. 

The Personality packed Suit

Tyler Kenny + Sharad Mohan at the Queen's Plate

The second part of my job interview / presentation-go-to is a suit with personality. Often it's a subtle print or unusual material but lately, it has been my double-breasted denim suit from Lanvin. It's versatile; broken-in and relaxed when unbuttoned or severe and staid when buttoned up. It even has a coordinating pair of shorts for when I get to attend events like the Queen's Plate with my dear friend Sharad of Saks Canada + Freshly Educated Men (pictured here).

The winning combo of this dark denim suit contrasted against a colour complimentary red shirt has seen me through many a presentation and interview. When I presented to Seneca College's Fashion Marketing class last year or earlier this week when I just wanted to beat the #MondayBlues - it was there. It's become a sort of protective shield, an armour of sorts - allowing me to look polished on important days when I need to focus on things besides, 'What to wear?" 

I guess what I'm trying to say is if ladies have their LBD (Little Black dress).. the one piece they always reach for... this is my LDB ... (Lanvin Double-Breasted). Dressed up or down, as co-ordinates or separates it's always one of the first pieces I reach for. Whether I'm headed into uncharted territory or I just need a little extra oomph.  

Most recently it was the winning combo of the red Etro shirt + LDB + the song Unstoppable by Sia (I've included the song below!)  that had me ready for whatever the day threw my way. 


Lanvin suit, Etro shirt , Club Monaco belt , Gucci tote, Dries Van Noten shoes.