Having studied at Central St. Martins, Michael Hennegan then assisted super stylist Charlotte Stockdale before joining the fashion team at Russian Vogue. He is now Fashion & Lifestyle Features Editor at The Sunday Times Style, and for the final instalment of our Unwrap series he decided to teach us all a fine lesson in Christmas etiquette - listen and learn!
'Apparently, I’m hard to buy for.
I don’t see it personally, but then I guess you never do. One thing it can lead to is a selection of weird and wonderful gifts on Christmas day, and the one thing I’ve learnt (and should really have known all along), is that no matter how many times someone may offer the option to change it - they really don't want you to. It’s one of the first rules of Christmas etiquette, along with the obligatory eating of dry turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day, and it pays dividends to remember that.
One occasion where I should have known this was when I was 18, and my best friend, tired of pounding the streets in search of the perfect present, decided to go all out…! She went in for the 'big one'. The only problem being that her idea of ‘the big one’ and mine, were ever so slightly different. The big one in her eyes was a Louis Vuitton organiser. Pretty big in anyones aspirations, really, and I should have recognised the generosity of the gesture.
I was about to move to London and start university, and an organiser would have come in handy...But alas, the 18 year old mind doesn't work that way, and it was around the time of Daniella Westbrook killing the Burberry check, and logo-ed bling was not a good thing. I decided a preferable present should be sought from Selfridges instead, and so, after one too many shandies, I broke the news. It went down like a lead balloon. How spoilt, you may think, and yes, in retrospect, it was. We agreed a return and that we would look for another present instead…It never happened, and up until this day we still haven't spoken about it. We're still friends; I spent last Christmas with her and her family in fact, and now I wish I still had the organiser, just to remind me of that time and her generosity.
Still that'll teach me, because Christmas is a time for giving, and receiving graciously - remember, feelings first, people.
If I were to buy a gift for someone else, and money were no object, I would buy this 'JC De Castelbajac Vintage Tee' for my friend Glyn who runs East London's Sink the Pink. He's not known for his shy retiring sense of style and this tee is perfect for him. I like it but would never wear it so seeing him in it would be the next best thing.'