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In Birmingham there was Kahn & Bell, where we got all our early stuff from, particularly the frilly shirts and a number of jackets we wore early on were made, handmade, by them. And then, of course, the Italians: Giorgio Armani, who actually did all our tour clothes for the Reunion tour in 2003; Gianni Versace we used to work with, Dolce & Gabbana . It went this incredible orange color, though, and I thought, “You know what? Your look has been sometimes been described as androgynous, which is a hot topic in fashion now.
They were really, really innovative and had fantastic ideas and a lot of their clothes had humor and certainly panache about them. When we started the band, it wasn’t something that we necessarily thought about consciously, but it was very much part of the scene that was developing around us—people like Steve Strange and Boy George come to mind who had taken the mantle from David Bowie.
We always chose our own clothes and put things together ourselves. For example, Roger and I always laugh now when we arrive at a photo shoot and there are rails of clothes there. Funnily enough, I have David Bowie to thank, very personally, for this.
I remember the first time we encountered a stylist was the late 1980s. We’d just go and find things that we liked and somehow we grew together. I can literally go through them, as he could, and pick out something: “Oh, that’d be for John; oh, yep, there’s a Roger one there; yeah, that’s mine; okay, Simon will like that” and literally separate them all and when everybody arrives it’s very rare that there’s a squabble over a jacket or a pair of shoes or something because we are pretty much defined in the things that we like. When I met him, very early on, when I was still a teenager, he’d been a very influential and important artist to me, and certainly to all of Duran Duran.
Of course Alexander Mc Queen and John Galliano were two hugely important figures for fashion, and certainly for music too. Whilst I very much miss Mc Queen being around, I think the brand has held up. Most recently I think we’ve probably worn more Saint Laurent than anything else.Since their early-’80s heyday as de rigueur New Romantic pinups, Duran Duran have sometimes found chart success as easy as — to borrow one oftheir more memorable lyrics — a nuclear war.However, the band’s 12thstudio album, Red Carpet Massacre(Epic) — featuring production by Timbaland and vocals and songwritingcontributions from Justin Timberlake — aims to return Simon Le Bon and Co. “Yes, it’s calculated,” says the48-year-old singer, sipping tea in the massive garden of his South London home.We thought, “God, if it can be as quick and painlessas that, then let’s do some more.” People don’t tend to come to blows with Nick. I can’t say who wasinvolved; that would be unprofessional. You used to be able to walkto the front of the stage and just wave your cock around, and it woulddrive the whole audience crazy.Then, in the ’90s, it becameembarrassing to do that, so we learned to perform properly. The fact that I’ve got three guys and a manager who all go, “You’reputting on a bit of weight in that picture, your trousers look tight,”keeps me straight.