A bespoke Savile Row suit; a pocket square; a silk tie. Alan Whicker’s style was consistently and pristinely dapper. “I just always try and look respectable,” he explained when interviewed for the 14th issue of AnOther Man, “I never give a jot what others are wearing.” The legendary travel reporter passed away last month and left behind him a legacy of interviews and global travel reports that stretches over five decades.
Regardless of his environmental conditions, be it wandering through a Moroccan souk or through the smog of South China in his legendary Whicker’s World travel series, he was always dressed in a pressed suit, often by his favourite tailor Douglas Hayward, accompanied by thick-rimmed glasses and a prominent moustache. His style was classic and never garish, and his regimental dress code contrasted with his warm and affectionate presenting manner which was equally consistent, regardless of whether he was interviewing Haitian President François "Papa Doc" Duvalier or a Nazi fugitive. His advice while interviewing was, “you can ask the rudest, most personal questions if you smile.”
“I just always try and look respectable, I never give a jot what others are wearing” — Alan Whicker
Whicker never sacrificed his pristine style, worn with a charismatic aplomb representative of a bygone media era which lapped up the glamour and indulgence associated with travel, as he infiltrated a world craved by the viewers, far beyond their experience. His interviews now act as milestones within Britain’s cultural development, from a group of Beatniks in Newquay in 1960, feminists in the 1970s or the boom of cosmetic surgery in LA during the 1980s. Previously he had worked as a war correspondent, and his clothing often echoed his military background. It also reflected his quiet, industrious manner. He often softly joked that he was “happy enough to have the best.” When asked whether he ever worried during his travels he just laughed; “no, nothing like that. I just make sure my champagne glass was full and everything is fine.”
Text by Mhairi Graham