Dressing the rock ‘n’ roll elite
Fashion Profile - Todd Lynn

Todd Lynn has been dressing the rock ‘n’ roll elite for years. Legends of the music world seek creations by the masterful tailor. He has dressed the Stones, Marilyn Manson, Bono and Courtney Love. He is now in huge demand and keeps his integrity and respect by choosing his clients, meaning only the greatest talents adorn Lynn’s label.

Marilyn Manson was the first prolific artist to have worn one of Lynn’s early creations. “I did the big latex coat that Marilyn wore in ‘The Beautiful People’ [video]. He was kinda just becoming famous by then, he only had that one hit single which was the Eurythmics cover, ‘Sweet Dreams’.” Lynn’s good friend Floria Sigifmondi, who directed the recent film The Runaways, studied at college with him in Canada and brought him in on the project. She began shooting a lot of music videos and often needed a stylist.

Living in Canada meant it was hard for Lynn to instigate setting up his own fashion brand, as Toronto simply lacked the resources, however being so close to America meant it was a good entertainment base. “At that point I thought to myself that the best way of advertising is to put clothes on celebrities, it is what sells product, so I’m gonna make bespoke pieces for these people.”

His ambition however was always to move to Europe, whose style, flair and finesse has been a huge influence on Lynn. Through the early Nineties fashion seemed to take a shift - couturieres like Claude Montana (designing for Lanvin at the time), Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier were pushing the boudaries of fashion, Grace Jones was huge on the music scene and it all became incredibly exciting. Lynn admires these names as well as Roland Mouret, whom he worked alongside early in his career.

So, whilst honing his skills in Canada continuing his work on music videos and presentations, he saved his pennies and moved to London twelve years ago to do an MA at Saint Martins. “When I moved I met the stylist for U2, just by coincidence, and applied for the job. He wanted to see a portfolio and some pieces so I sent some stuff to Ireland and then they called and said, ‘We really want you to do the tour’.”

Hereafter the offers seemed to keep rolling in for the Canadian designer. He went on the ‘Forty Licks’ tour with the Stones in 2002 and made pieces for Mick, Keith and Ronnie. “I did these coats for Ronnie which were big, slashed, webbed sort of coats. Some people give you a lot of freedom, which
is really nice, and when money wasn’t a concern you could make something unique and specific. It was a bit like personalised couture.”

Lynn’s reputation expanded and circling the industry’s most credible rock icons enabled him to found his own label in 2006. His shows at London Fashion Week now are truly spectacular and one of the highlights for many. His slick sophisticated tailoring and sharp silhouettes are striking. The effect is the height of rock ‘n’ roll chic; leathers, fur, python prints and metallics are used and collections for both men and women seep androgynous sex appeal.

Music for the shows is composed by Gary Powell, the former drummer from The Libertines. “I give him tracks that I’m listening to so he gets the inspiration behind the show and the vibe, and then he composes a piece of music. When I heard the music for the last show it was so instantaneously perfect. For me music sets the whole tone of the show. When you’re there, music is absolutely crucial. I know it’s very cliché to say that fashion and music are so interconnected but they really are. MTV was the big push in the Eighties - it made fashion and music a visual thing. But even before that there were album covers, there was always an image that was so importantly attached to music. It’s completely linked. “

There are of course some older rockers and rogues who are an exception to this though, as their music stands alone. “I was watching a Pixies concert last night and I had to laugh. For such an amazingly talented band, fashion and image was not a priority for them; it was only about the music, and that’s a very different time.” Image, he says, is a very integral part of an artist’s success today. “The competition of music is so heavy that if you get it wrong stylistically your career could be over.”

Lynn is currently doing his drawings for his next A/W collections and has just sent them to Christian Louboutin, who does all the shoes for the shows. They collaborate and work on these together. He has also recently been asked to commission some pieces for Jared Letto for the forthcoming 30 Seconds To Mars tour.

With a skilled approach to his craft and an obvious passion for music, Lynn is set to become a great legend of fashion in rock ‘n’ roll and beyond.

Words by Camilla Felici

Born in Toronto but based in the UK, Todd Lynn built up a strong following of fashion-conscious musician fans base after studying an MA at Saint Martins.


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