Dawning of this week marked the most important known to fashioned local men of style, GQ Magazine’s annual list of 50 Best Dressed Men in the land. Just one day in the year when menfolk are awarded for an extra effort put into daily dress-up routines. Yes boys… agents shoot sharp looks from everywhere. The awards are divided into five categories –you know, because other industries just hold a stronger leverage and the anticipated countdown of the TOP ten is always topical. I decided to single out five of these TOP ten and allocate them the most fitting criterion… here goes
THE MOST EXCITING OF THE LOT: ZAKES BANTWINI (Number 8 on the list)
As it appears, I am not the only one who, for years has been heavily side-eyeing the modish mad previously known in uninformed circles as “L’Vovo’s side-kick”. Zakes has since earned his stripes musically and took to it in a stylish manner which came to define a generation. When you think of Zakes Bantwini, it’s almost silly not to refer cling wrap tight skinny jeans worn with perfectly tailored blazers. In his GQ interview he states that designer labels don’t matter much and one should rather invest in basics… what’s not exciting about a bloke who understands fundamentals!?
THE MUCH NEEDED EDGE: RICHARD KEPPEL-SMITH (Number 4 on the list)
I have to admit, Richard is such a great breath of fresh air and this is perfectly expressed in his handsome dress-up. The minute I walked into the room, my eyes and I were not even trying to debate who is who is the edgiest of them all. His garb exudes major confidence is smart layering and being a fashion photographer means he has access to pieces right off shoots before the masses catch on. To quote his interview in the magazine “Your appearance is a reflection of your soul”. Much appreciated Richard. Appreciated!
THE SENSIBLE SWAG STAR: KHAYA SIBIYA (Number 2 on the list)
For a person who deals with words and clothing for a living, I fail each time I have to define Khaya’s sartorial references. Never in my many years doing this have I known of a man who seems to understand clothing across all cardinals quite like he does. Ever since I took an interest in his styling work back in the day of True Love Babe, Khaya has not set a foot wrong when it comes to styling himself, others or even designing clothing lines abeam with swag, hence when in he declares in the interview the “the baggy vibes are over” you best sit, listen and get into the tailored look.
THE IDEALY REFINED LEADER: T-BO TOUCH (Number 5 on the list)
Thabo Molefe has come so far and it is all very evident in his sense of style. Gone are the days when he started out in the industry as a 90s young man drenched in ill-fitting garments which seemingly defined that (dreadful) era in fashion and he has resorted to form fitted suits in immaculate tailoring. He understands his body and dresses to exhibit the seriousness with which he approaches life in general. The advice he gives in the November issue of GQ is that one’s hobbies should resonate with one’s wardrobe, so as to holistically tie in a lifestyle.
THE MOST DESERVING WINNER: TYRONE KEOGH (Number 1 on the list)
In the whole eight years of GQ’s Best Dressed Men of the year list, I have never known to can guess the ultimate winner and this year is no different. When actor Tyrone Keogh was announced as a leader of the style pack this year, my ferocious clap could not counter screams by girls who skilfully always position themselves behind me –Yeah, I know how to pick my spots. I honestly cannot imagine a more deserving winner. I’ve only ever seen Ty (yeah, we know each other like that) immaculately put together and he is one of the rare humans able to get the same level of Ooohs and aaahhs when wearing a suit as he does wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Just the current GQ South Africa cover star, Daniel Craig, he too believes in the power of clean-cut and sophisticated fashion.
THE LEADING LADY: HONEY MAKWAKWA –BEST DRESSED WOMAN ON THE NIGHT.
Every year GQ Creative Fashion Director and Editor of GQ Style Arthur Malan-Murison (my favourite person ever!) chooses one best dressed woman from the attendees and this year he picked my good friend Honey Makwakwa who was dressed in a classic sheer Little black dress layered over a champagne number, giant statement earrings and an attitude to match. The unassuming Honey received the award with beautiful gratitude and was not afraid to claim a moment to pose for beaming flashes which marked recognition of a brilliant style.
The nominees’ images by Kristin-lee Moolman for GQ.co.za