Who said the following: “As long as I have anything to do with the government of London and of the UK there will be no ban on high heels!” A fashionable Harriet Harman? Or perhaps a political Naomi Campbell? No, this statement of intent came from Boris Johnson, London’s floppy haired Mayor. It’s how he officially opened London Fashion Week last September for its 25th anniversary.
Johnson is the perfect example of a gaffe prone politician, but also of someone who is very likeable, often winning people over after having been disliked initially. He is able to flatter, smooth talk and confuse his greatest opponents, with perhaps only one exception: his predecessor, Ken Livingstone.
The ways he speaks is the first thing that strikes you about him– Hugh Grant meets Mr Darcy – if you haven’t already been blown away by his blonde mop of a hairdo. Even when it is freshly cut, it manages to attract attention worldwide. And although he is known as a frank and honest member of the international political stage, he is rarely mentioned because of his well-pressed suits.
Johnson invokes caring maternal and paternal feelings in stylists across the world because of his adolescent inability to dress smartly. Shabby is probably the best way of describing his style: loose and ill-fitting suits, weather-beaten shirts, and banker’s shoes are all part of his City Hall uniform. He also often subscribes to the tired Tory tradition of wearing a blue tie. It seems fitting then, that he came fourth place in GQ Magazine’s list of 2010’s Worst-Dressed. luckily for him, he was beaten by other political figures Gordon Brown and Nicholas Sarkozy.
Although GQ believe that Johnson is “no advert for London as the fashion capital,” it was Geordie Greig, editor of the London Evening Standard who put the final nail into Johnson’s sartorial coffin by calling him a cross between “Charlie Chaplin and Karl Lagerfeld.” It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for this affable man, but don’t – he’s still one of the most senior and powerful Conservative politicians in Britain today, shabby chic or not!

David Hellqvist is a freelance journalist for AnOther Man, Dazed & Confused, i-D,ZOO and a Contributing Editor to American website JC Report