The Dark Designer of the North


Last week, London-based designer Todd Lynn was back in his native of Canada for the first time in eight years. Pairing long and loose dyed black hair with spiked Louboutin sneakers, Lynn himself oozes every bit of rock n’ roll that his collection does, with a slight self deprecating grin. Born in the “very puritanical, odd little place” otherwise known as Smith Falls, Ontario, Lynn moved to London in 1998 to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins. Since garnering “one-to-watch” status after winning the Topshop New Generation Award four seasons in a row, he’s outfitting some of rock ‘n roll’s major fashion plates, including classics like Bono and Mick Jagger—Courtney Love is the current favorite—and building his eponymous line for men and women who prefer dark, tough tailoring with an afterlife-like edge. Season after season, Lynn frequents bold shoulders, angular coats, bandage like belting and fur. His point of view is so crisply defined, in fact, that he’s been criticized for it. “Sometimes you sort of think—wouldn’t [trying something new] be fun? But in the end, I think it’s really important that I do what I do and to really believe in it.” Lynn prefers his women fearless and his celebrities even more so, “The older they are the less they have to worry about–even younger celebrities who are seen as risk takers have so much riding on the way that they look.” 

Often linked to the androgynous, it should be noted that Lynn was on board first, and is in it for the long haul. “People are really quick to jump on saying that [the] look is over,” he says. “But the reality is that I’ve always done this—I haven’t tried to do a trend.” Lynn’s penchant for darkly prophetic statements especially permeated his “Hunter Becoming the Hunted” theme for Fall. But dark clothes are meant to stand out in the world, not bleed into it. No bleak political metaphors here: “I think when people are worried about the world they’re really just worried about themselves—but isn’t that just what the world is about?” 

As far as his future, Lynn dreams slightly off his beaten track. “I don’t discount things because I think that the more confident you get as a designer the more willing you are to step outside your boundaries,” he says. “I really believe that Pierre Cardin is a label that could be launched into the big time and I would love to show another facet of what I do—I’d even work with color!”