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Daniel w. Fletcher on designing Tom Daley and Chella Man’s Attitude Awards looks

"It’s incredibly important for me to champion other people from the LGBTQ+ [community] at big events."

By Joseph Kocharian

Words: Joseph Kocharian; Images: Daniel w. Fletcher

There were plenty of stand-out moments from the red carpet at last month’s Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar, but two of the night’s esteemed award winners, Chella Man (winner of the Hero Award) and Tom Daley (recipient of the Sport Award) looked particularly dapper.

That’s no surprise, given that the trailblazing pair were both dressed by British designer Daniel w. Fletcher, founder of his eponymous brand, and also creative director of fashion brand Fiorucci.  

Daniel shared some behind the scenes of the fittings with Chella and Tom before the awards (along with Tom’s Olympic gold medal winning diving partner, Matty Lee), with Chella even illustrating his outfit. And chatted to us about dressing these two iconic men.

What inspires you about Chella and Tom?

Both Tom and Chella inspire me in their commitment to championing the LGBTQ+ community and the way they use their profiles to raise awareness on the challenges we still face. The experiences both Tom and Chella have faced in their own lives and their ability to not only overcome them but to use them to inspire and provoke change is an inspiration and I am forever in awe of their spirit and determination to do so.

Did you have any specific ideas for their outfits, as it was for the Attitude Awards?

I wanted both looks to be personal to Tom and Chella so the process of creating them was quite collaborative. For Tom I asked him to look through my old collections and pick out anything that stood out to him; the jockey shirt from my Next In Fashion finale being one of his favourites but given his winning year we wanted to incorporate some gold into it!

How did the collab with Chella and him happen with the outfit?

Chella was the one who came up with the idea to hand-paint his look; he previously did something with Opening Ceremony which he showed me and I loved so I was really excited to see his illustrations bring the look to life. We only met for the first time on the day of the awards, and he did all the painting that day; we spent a beautiful afternoon at the Standard Hotel talking and drawing right up until we had to go to the awards (there was some last minute hair-dryer action before e left), it felt instantly natural and I am so happy that the awards brought him into my life and we had this moment together.

How important is it for designers to champion LGBTQ+ people at big events?

As a queer person myself, it’s incredibly important for me to champion other people from the LGBTQ+ [community] at big events. I feel extremely lucky to live in a world today where, for the most part, queer people no longer feel the need to hide away and we have these amazing events like the Attitude Awards which celebrate our achievements so to be able to dress some of these incredible trailblazers is a great honour.