Turnbull GQ look described as 'fashion on cocaine'

Malcolm Turnbull has made the front cover of GQ magazine – a trendy men's lifestyle publication which offers designer menswear and grooming tips, as well as other articles on culture, art and design.

Business Insider spoke to Jon-Michail, a former Christian Dior designer, who is now a personal branding expert and CEO of Image Group International, for his opinion on Turbull's new look (which was actually photographed in 2013).

His first words were: "This look is fashion on cocaine."

Incongruous look

Jon-Michail's biggest problem with the outfit was that it made the federal minister for communications – and perhaps the man after prime minister Tony Abbott's job – look like a phony.

"It's an incongruous look for an Australian leader," he said. "The message this photo says to me is that: 'I have come from a photo shoot, it's not what I would normally wear'.

"It's not genuine at all. This is not him … If this was Abbott on the cover he would cop a lot of flak for this look."

Tale of the tie

But that aside, Jon-Michail said it could have worked, if only he had worn a different tie.

"This outfit would have made more of an impact with no tie, than this particular tie. If it was an open neck-look, then it would have looked far more powerful and very, very confident.

"I'm not saying that from a fashion point of view that it doesn't work, but from a physiological point of view – which is important for a politician – it creates confusion in the mind. You've got vertical stripes and horizontal stripes… so it is where they eye is drawn [instead of his eyes]."

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"It's confusing and we don't need confusion in any form of communication in politics. We're already confused to hell."

Jon-Michail said when dressing to influence people, accessories might only make up 5% of the look but it's the 5% that glues the image together.

Here's his breakdown of Turnbull's ensemble:

The suit

"The suit is beautiful, it looks like a fine wool suit. The brown buttons are more of a fashion look … they aren't actually of any influence when it comes to business. If they had been dark navy, or near black they would have worked better from a business point of view.

"The electric blue of the suit works for his positioning, brand and works with his colouring. It makes him look influential and fits in with the expectation of a leader."

The shirt

"The white collared shirt with the blue stripe, and the French cuff signifies power and speaks banker and money – which is his background. The lighter blue of the shirt is softer and friendlier."

The tie

"Everything works in this look except for the tie. The contrast of different angled stripes is a mish-mash. It brings the whole look down, and the image down … it's about fashion, not power.

"The red in the tie historically is very American. A lot of American presidents wear a red tie with the navy suit and white suit to replicate the American flag.

"The four colours used may be fashion and 'in' from a retro/ vintage point of view but we're not talking about this for a politician. Had it been Fortune, or Forbes, they would not have dressed him like that."

The pocket square

"The pocket square is also beautiful, and coordinates the look. Even though it's polka-dot, it works because it's got a contrast and an eclectic feel."