The Aesthete: Dean Gomilsek-Cole talks personal taste

The first head of design appointed by Turnbull & Asser has brought the brand’s eccentric undertones to the fore

Dean Gomilsek-Cole at home in London
Dean Gomilsek-Cole at home in London | Image: Mark C O’Flaherty

My personal style signifier is my quirky lapel pin. I have quite a collection of vintage ones, from butterflies and ducks to cats and dogs. My wife, Marie, is Swedish, and I started buying the pins each time we went to a loppis – like a flea market in a barn – over there. I got interested in them as we travelled around, and my collection is growing.

The last item of clothing I bought and loved was a T-shirt from The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in east London, featuring a graphic of a skeleton riding a motorbike. I’m lucky to have an extensive wardrobe of tailored shirts from Turnbull & Asser – my favourite is a super-soft bespoke denim/cashmere blend with my signature rounded 1930s collar – but I have a weakness for black T-shirts with graphics. The motorbike image is another passion: I grew up surrounded by farmland in Norfolk, riding field bikes from the age of three. T-shirts, £35; thebikeshed.cc. Bespoke shirts, from £255; turnbullandasser.co.uk.

The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club x Ryan Quickfall T-shirt, £35
The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club x Ryan Quickfall T-shirt, £35

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a sweater or some outerwear from Christopher Kane’s new collection. I love his menswear; I think we share a love of pattern play and graphic reinterpretation. In readiness for winter, I’d also like an Antarctic parka from Nigel Cabourn – I have always admired the attention to military authenticity and practicality of his designs. christopherkane.com. Parka, £2,999; cabourn.com.

The people I rely on for personal grooming are at Murdock London barbers, in Liberty or in Shoreditch, for haircuts and beard trims; I like the service and their own-brand products. I also go to Jack the Clipper in Shepherd Market in Mayfair for a trim – I like the hot-towel action, and you get a little massage. Jack the Clipper, 020-3602 2427; jacktheclipper.co.uk. Murdock London colognes, £70 for 100ml; murdocklondon.com. 

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The best gift I’ve given recently was a photograph by Chrystel Lebas from a series called Blue Hour, to my wife Marie. We saw it in The Photographers’ Gallery and were mesmerised by it – it depicts a field of flowers in a forest, shot with a long exposure, at that strange time between night and day. It’s beautiful and slightly spooky. 16-18 Ramillies St, London W1 (020-7087 9300; thephotographersgallery.org.uk).

And the best one I’ve received recently is a box of vintage cufflinks from my mother-in-law. She cycles around markets and shops in Sweden for them: the fact that she spends so much time doing it makes them such a nice gift. I don’t actually wear shirts with cuffs that need cufflinks, but I love them regardless.

Nigel Cabourn Antarctic parka, £2,999
Nigel Cabourn Antarctic parka, £2,999

An indulgence I would never forgo is expensive Japanese whisky. I don’t drink much alcohol, so when I do, I want it to be special. A memorable one was a rare Yamazaki sherry cask whisky from 2013 I tasted in Grandfather’s bar in Tokyo – the owner plays vintage vinyl, and they have a great stock of whiskies. 1-24-7 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002 (+813-3407 9505).

An item of clothing I would never part with is my father’s waxed-cotton motorcycle jacket. He bought it on the day I was born, and one of my earliest memories is the smell of wet waxed cotton and him coming home on his motorcycle in the rain. I inherited it in my 20s and have only added a few road scars and badges. I hope to pass it on to my son.

Murdock London colognes, £70 for 100ml
Murdock London colognes, £70 for 100ml

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Peckham Bazaar, which specialises in eastern Mediterranean food. The lamb and pork adanas is out of this world. It’s a small and cramped space, but the atmosphere and food are amazing. 119 Consort Rd, London SE15 (020-7732 2524; peckhambazaar.com).

My favourite websites are Bikeexif.com, for my motorcycle fix; Themodernhouse.com, for when I am daydreaming about escaping London to live in a midcentury-designed house somewhere; Dog-milk.com, which is great for all things canine; and I also have a lifetime membership for Lumosity.com, which is a “gym for the brain” – I like to play the games on my iPad for about 15 minutes a day, as it keeps me sharp.

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