Harry Lambert, the man behind Harry Styles’ wardrobe, talks taste
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My personal style signifier is an Éliou necklace – I have a few, and I wear one every day. The brand is based in Miami and run by Cristy [Mantilla] and Duda [Teixeira], and all the jewellery is made by hand. I began by wearing one with mixed pearls and colourful beads, and now I’m drawn to these large, Marge Simpson-esque necklaces. I feel naked when I’m not wearing them.
The last thing I bought and loved was a Marni suit. I had never owned a suit before; I don’t think they are made for my body. But I was in Marni’s New York store recently and found this black-and-white pinstripe style, and the cut was really great. It could be a classic men’s work suit, but has a uniqueness to it.
And on my wishlist is the small top-handle bag from the latest Gucci show. It’s jaguar-printed velour felt. I’m getting to the stage where the more intense and eccentric the bag is, the more I love it.
The last music I bought was Harry’s House by Harry Styles. I’ve been working with him for nine years, styling his looks, including the album cover for this release; on it he’s wearing a cream linen blouse, oversized denim jeans and white ballet pumps by Molly Goddard. I’m a big fan of his music and I love this album so much – we play it a lot in the studio, learning all the words for his performances.
The place I can’t wait to return to is Florida, my second home. I have been going there since I was a child; my parents used to take us every other year, to go to Disneyland or Universal Studios. It’s the only place I go where I can fully switch off from work, because it’s pure escapism; you go through the gate and the real world is behind you. As I’ve got older, I’ve started exploring the more natural side of the state too, like the Florida springs.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a porcelain figure, a kind of dog-giraffe hybrid, which looks like something out of a Dr Seuss book. I picked it up from a thrift store in Sherman Oaks Antique Mall in Los Angeles, which [the designer] Harris Reed recommended to me. I also recently bought two sets of porcelain candlesticks, which are made up of all these different figures, including a map of Florida, from a store in New York.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Why Did You Stay? by Rebecca Humphries. She’s an actress, and one of my closest friends, who went through a very public break-up when her boyfriend [who was a Strictly Come Dancing contestant] was photographed kissing his dance partner. The book, inspired by what happened, is very powerful and emotional. I think it’s a triumph.
My earliest fashion memory is watching Madonna’s music videos on VHS as a child. I used to be obsessed with the “Like a Prayer” video, and loved watching her dancing around in that minimal slip dress. Fashion has such an important role to play in creating those moments; they were as iconic as art.
A recent “find” is Long White Cloud Café on Hackney Road. It’s just a little coffee shop, nothing fancy, but it’s such a good spot for lunch – I go there every day with my studio friends.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Cindy Sherman. I just love the transformative nature of her work, the dressing up, and her ability to morph and change. My favourite works are her black-and-white film stills.
The best gift I’ve given recently is two big boxes of clothes that I didn’t wear any more, to my dad. He was very excited about it. Through me, my parents have slowly been acquiring a second-hand designer wardrobe.
And the best gift I’ve received recently is “The Eagle” Coach bag, which was a collaboration with the famous gay bar in New York. It’s just black leather with a drawing on the front. I’ve only ever used it once, because it’s now permanently on display in my living room.
My style icon is the stylist Alister Mackie, who is the creative director of Another Man. I love the way he dresses, but also how he styles other people; there’s always a vintage, retro kind of energy, but he has this ability to make it modern and feel fresh. There’s an element of camp, and it’s always beautiful and considered.
I have a collection of printed shirts. The first one I bought was by Saint Laurent, a Hawaiian shirt, while I was on holiday in Spain; it felt like buying a house, it was so expensive, but I wore it to death. I also have two Prada shirts, inlcuding one from the AW16 collection with a couple kissing on the front.
In my fridge you’ll always find a large selection of sauces, some pickles, and little else. Possibly some fruit that I’m always intending to eat, but never do. I have a bad Deliveroo habit.
The last items of clothing I added to my wardrobe were two pairs of knitted Marni slippers. They’re like an artist’s interpretation of a shoe.
An object I would never part with is my Grayson Perry tapestry, called Gay Black Cats MC, which I have hanging on the wall in my lounge. It was part of an exhibition he did at the Serpentine Gallery in 2017, and I searched the internet for it for years, and finally won it from an auction site in Amsterdam. It’s quite joyous, with pink, orange and red, but there’s definitely some darker meaning behind it as well.
The last meal that truly impressed me was at Dinner with Friends, the dinner party series hosted by Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Decimo’s executive chef, at The Standard in London. It wasn’t fussy, just really great, beautiful food.
The item of clothing I’ll keep to pass on is a pair of deconstructed JW Anderson jeans, from one of his early collections, when he was showing as part of Fashion East. The denim has been cut up and stitched together again, like Frankenstein jeans. I bought them on eBay, and they’re just the most fantastic pair of trousers. I used to have a lot of his stuff, but I sold it to pay rent, which I really regret now.
The beauty staple I’m never without is my Pleasing nail polish. I work on the beauty brand with Harry [Styles] and his creative director Molly Hawkins, and we’ve just done a nail collection called Hot Holiday, which has my favourite colour green as a varnish. Pleasing nail polish, from £2
My favourite website is MatchesFashion, because I think it has the best edit of clothes. And it’s a real champion of emerging designers; I work with SS Daley, and they put him on their Innovators scheme as soon as he graduated. They are willing to take a real gamble on designers.
An indulgence I would never forgo is chocolate. I very much have a sweet tooth. I’ll eat anything really: Munchies, Milkybars, Buttons. White KitKat Chunkies are the top tier.
When I need to feel inspired, I put on Britney Spears’ music. If I feel stuck on an outfit, her music helps get me focused and gives me adrenaline. My favourite song is “Born To Make You Happy”. Music plays a really important part when I’m prepping looks.
The podcast I’m listening to is Race Chaser, which is hosted by former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Willam and Alaska, who discuss each episode as they’re released. They just gossip and share insider knowledge, but it’s something that helps me clear my mind and I love the drama and creativity of Drag Race. I think drag has become very mainstream and popular because of the show, but that’s not a bad thing; it’s fun, it really celebrates creatives, and it’s an art form.
The first piece of clothing I ever bought myself was an orange hoodie with an appliqué tiger on the back, from a store called USC in Norwich, where I grew up. It was the ugliest hoodie, and really expensive, but I remember saving up all my money to buy it. It was one of those moments when I realised that I was really into what I was wearing and dressing, even though I look back at it now and think it was hideous. But at the time it was the best thing ever.
The fashion moment that changed everything was Rihanna’s street style. The impact she has just stepping out of a car and going into a restaurant is powerful. I think there’s something exciting and clever about taking every opportunity to make a statement. And she does it in such an effortless but fun way. There is no one better dressed in my opinion.
My beauty guru is Shane Cooper for facials. As I’ve got older, I’ve started taking more care of my face, and over the past year I’ve been going to Shane, who has a clinic in South Kensington. He does lots of different bespoke treatments and I always feel great when I come out of there.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an actor, because I used to take drama classes when I was younger, and I think that they were how I found a lot of my confidence.
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